Chocolate Pound Cake

This recipe is one of those cakes that gets better with age; meaning, it tastes even better the day after it is baked. You may not have access to Sag Harbor Rum for the simple syrup, so if you find yourself in a strange port use a good quality rum. 

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George Hirsch Chocolate Pound Cake, Sag Harbor Rum Syrup

Chocolate Pound Cake

Makes one loaf

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

 1 1/2 cups cake flour  

1 teaspoon baking powder  

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sweet butter, room temperature

1 cup pure cane granulated sugar  

3 eggs, beaten 

1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon fine grated orange zest 

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder such as Droste

1/4 cupboiling hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Grease a loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl mix cocoa powder into boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl, mix cake flour with baking powder and salt.

On medium high speed, mix butter until softened, about 1 - 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. With the mixer on low add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after adding each egg. Add vanilla, orange zest, cocoa mixture. add the flour mixture and mix only until combined.  

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake on a center rack in oven for about 50 - 55 minutes or until done. To test doneness, cake will spring back when touched lightly with index finger.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Slice pound cake, serve soaked with rum simple syrup and with fresh whipped cream.

To make simple syrup:

1 cup water, 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup of Rum, 1 orange, cut into quarters

Place all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Remove and cool.

Late Summer Cobbler

A peach berry cobbler is one of my favorite desserts using a combination of summer fruits. This cobbler is a must during late summer when the fruit is at the perfect level of natural ripeness. The natural sugars from the soft fruit provide excellant sweetness. And, making the cobbler in a cast iron skillet makes it easy to serve during a Labor Day BBQ for the last hurrah! Wait, summer isn't over..Let's just call this a Late Summer Cobbler. 

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ingredients for George's Warm Peach Berry Cobbler

George’s Warm Peach Berry Cobbler

Makes 4 –6 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

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George's Warm Peach Berry Cobbler

For Topping:

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour

3/4 quick oats

1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup melted butter 

Mix all sugars, flour, oats and nuts. Pour in butter and mix until topping looks like wet sand. Do not over mix; topping should have a lumpy consistency.

For the Filling:

4 cups Fresh Peaches- sliced and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces. 

2 pints Fresh Blueberries, or mixed berries

1 loaf pound cake, sliced thin 

1/3 cup water or *simple syrup

Pre heat a 375 degree oven.

Grease small individual ramekins, or one nine inch ovenproof casserole, or an iron skillet. line bottom of pan with sliced pound cake. Add peaches, blueberries and simple syrup. Top with a generous amount of crumb topping.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until crumb topping is crisp and light brown. 

Serve warm topped with powder sugar, whip cream or powder sugar.

*To make simple syrup:

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

1 orange, cut into quarters

Place all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Remove and cool.

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Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Simple solutions can give you best results. Machines and gadgets are very important to many people, but honestly I really enjoy cooking when just a simple whisk, spoon or spatula just does the job. As is the case with the Chocolate Torta recipe from my TV series George Hirsch Lifestyle episode titled Old World Traditions. Enjoy.

Mix by hand and bake. Forty-five minutes later you’ll be savoring this Italian Pastry delight! 

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George's Chocolate Torta

Makes 12 servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1-1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

1/3 cup sweet butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1 egg white, beaten into whole egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan; set aside.

In small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, combine cocoa and granulated sugar until blended. With wire whisk, beat in water, then melted butter, egg, egg white and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. On wire rack, cool for ten minutes in pan. With small spatula, loosen cake from sides of pan. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Place on plate and sprinkle with confectioners sugar and a dollop of fresh whip cream. To serve, cut into small wedges. 

Tip: This cake actually tastes get better when baked and aged one day in advance. When making ahead, allow to cool completly, then cover tightly in an air proof container or place baked chocolate torta back into cake pan and wrap the top with film. 

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Chocolate Torta, from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV Series

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