Going Dutched

If you start off using the best ingredients, the proof is in the pudding; as is the case with my Chocolate Torta recipe; I use the Droste brand of cocoa which is dutched cocoa.

Dutched cocoa means the cocoa underwent a process that results in milder chocolate flavor notes by reducing acidity. The dutching process can also change the color from light red to brown to black. Dutched cocoa works well in chocolate desserts such as devil’s food cake or brownies.

My Torta Recipe requires just a simple whisk, spoon or spatula to do the job. Mix by hand + bake. Forty-five minutes later you’ll be savoring this delightful Italian Pastry!

George's Chocolate Torta

Recipe by Chef George Hirsch | Makes 12 servings 


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. To serve, cut into small wedges.