Saturday, June 30, 2018

HVAC and Dishwasher

We are happy to report that the future tasting room now boasts a heating and cooling system, which we promptly turned to cooling.  It is amazingly quiet and works great.


The other major addition this week was a commercial dishwasher!


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Deck Railing and Ramp



Progress continues this week, as the handicap ramp is taking shape. The decking boards, posts and railings were installed on the ramp, which will end with a cemented landing.    The deck also has a railing as of this week, and a door from the future tasting room to the deck was added.     
  

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake with Ganache Icing

This cake is one of our favorite chocolate cakes.  It contains sour cream, which typically results in a
moist cake that keeps well.  The dark chocolate ganache is a decadent icing, which further helps to keep the cake moist.  I usually store the cake under a glass cover.

Ingredients for the Cake:

1 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I use Hershey's dark chocolate)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2 cups all purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
1 and 3/4 cups sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions for the Cake:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F and thoroughly butter and flour a Bundt cake pan
2. Combine butter, cocoa, salt and water in a small pot, and heat on medium, stirring frequently until butter is melted (don't overheat). Set aside to cool a bit
3. Sift the flour, baking soda and sugar into a large mixing bowl (I use a KitchenAid with whisk for this cake)
4. Add about half of the melted butter mixture to the flour mix and start whisking until combined, then slowly add the remaining butter mixture
5. Add the eggs, one at a time
6. Add the sour cream and vanilla
7. Whisk until the batter is smooth (may need to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure it is all blended together)
8. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake in center of oven for about 40 - 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. (my oven takes 44 minutes) Try not to over-bake it.
9. Place pan on cooling rack, and let cool down - about 15 minutes or so, before inverting onto cake plate.  Let cake cool some more.

Ganache Icing

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chocolate morsels  
  • scant 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine 1 cup chocolate morsels (I use Hershey's dark morsel, can also break up high quality chocolate into small pieces) and scant 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream in a double boiler.  Heat on medium, stirring constantly.  Watch carefully, stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture gets shiny - pull of heat immediately (chocolate will temper quickly) and stir.  (if it seems too runny, add a few more morsels and stir them in)  While still very warm, spread ganache on the cake.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Wine Label Design Finishing Touches

Samantha has been working hard on finalizing our wine labels.  The general design and layout had been done for a while, but we had to get the labels sized correctly to fit our various bottle shapes, and we had to meet the specs of the printer.  The draft labels have been printed on two different types of paper so that we could see how well each holds up.  We actually made the bottles wet and put them in the refrigerator, and submersed them in ice water buckets to test the paper.  Now that we have all this done, we are submitting each label for approval to the TTB.

We also selected different color schemes for the various wines, and tried to match those colors to the available bottle caps.



Here is an examples of our draft wine label:


Monday, May 7, 2018

Tasting Room Nearly Finished

Just realized that we had not posted any pictures of the nearly finished tasting room - so here we go:








View from tasting room window