As we celebrate miracles this season, Cindy bakes a delicious chocolate cake with owner Matthew White from the HGS Home Chef cooking school.  HGS Home Cooking school combines all the best nostalgic pieces of an old time general store.


  • 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.

Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with sorbet if desired. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week.)

Interior designer and author, Matthew White was selected as one of the “AD 100” (Architectural Digest’s list of the 100 best designers in the world). His design firm White Webb LLC was also recently named one of the 50 top designers in New York by New York Spaces magazine. Although White Webb’s projects are stylistically diverse, there is a consistent sensibility within the work – warmth, comfort, beauty, quality and a keen interest in lasting design.

Matthew is also the proprietor of two stores in Hillsdale NY. Hillsdale General Store was featured in Martha Stewart Living, Elle Décor and Traditional Home magazine. Located in the Hudson Valley, Hillsdale General Store is a country life style “department store” showcasing a wide range of locally made, vintage and antique merchandise.

His most recent endeavor is HGS Home Chef, a kitchen store and cooking school also in Hillsdale NY. With the best selection of cookbooks in the region, the store has been called “the most beautiful kitchen shop in the US”. HGS Home Chef as two gorgeous teaching kitchens where guest chefs and renowned culinary experts share their skills in a wide range of hands-on and demonstration classes. Ruth Riechl, Madhur Jaffrey, Patti Jinich and Martha Rose Shulman are but a small sampling of the much-admired chefs who have taught at HGS Home Chef.

In addition to his interior design work and position as Proprietor of two unique businesses in the Hudson Valley, Matthew White is involved in various philanthropic causes. For fifteen years he has been on the board of  Save Venice Inc. and served as Chairman for six years. Save Venice is an American non-profit that restores superb examples of Venetian art and architecture in Venice Italy. He is also on the Historic Preservation Committee for the hamlet of Hillsdale, NY. Matthew’s first book titled Italy of my Dreams – An American Designer’s Real Life Passion for Italian Style chronicles his work as a preservationist and love for Italian style.

You can learn more about Matthew White by following the Hillsdale General Store on Facebook and Instagram.