Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sneak Preview: Christian Moerlein Brewery Tours @ Taste of Cincinnati

Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. is opening its doors to visitors during Taste of Cincinnati.  They are currently putting the finishing touches on their Tap Room and will be opening up their cavernous beer cellars to curious visitors.

They advertised for volunteer "Beer Meisters" to lead the tours, and I jumped at the chance.  I'm all about Cincinnati, and I happen to really enjoy their beer as well.  One perk of attending Beer Meister Orientation?  Beer samples!!!  Here is a picture of me with a sample of their Hefeweizen ale, which is called 7.  It's a south German style wheat beer with a hint of banana. Quite delicious and definitely my favorite. 

I don't have much in the way of pictures because I was focused on listening and learning the content and the expectations of the tour guides.  But, I couldn't help but take a couple pics.
Want to see more pictures?  There are plenty of images on the web.  Here are a few links that show images of some of the things you will see on the tour.

Tap Room
Beer Cellars

You can't truly experience this unless you come out in person.  Want the details?

Christian Moerlein Brewery is located at 1621 Moore St in Over the Rhine.  They are offering tours during Taste of Cincinnati 2013, and will have their new Tap Room open with beer for sale.

During Taste, busses will provide transportation between Fountain Square and the brewery.  You can register for the tour at the Christian Moerlein Beer Garden on Fountain Square.

Tours are free of charge and are estimated to take about half an hour (allow an hour for travel time if taking the free bus shuttle).  They are running tours from noon to 8pm on both Saturday and Sunday, and from noon-6pm on Monday/Memorial Day.  Bring money for beer.  I promise you'll want some.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Black and White Cake

Yeah, I'm still around.  Grad school has been eating my soul.  And I've been eating cake. 

This is the Black and White Cake from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson, with a vanilla bean buttercream.

Since I last updated, I've lost 35 lbs (ok, maybe I haven't been eating all that much cake) and dyed my hair blonde.  I still prefer to go barefoot though.

Back to the food...I like to host Mother's Day brunch for my family.  My sister and boyfriend were coerced into helping me cook.  Many a joke about sweatshop kitchens ensued.  In the picture below, He is cutting challah for bread pudding, she is slicing strawberries for fruit cocktail, and I am working on the cake batter.

This cake was for my mom, specifically chosen because it is dark chocolate.  I thought it was very similar to oreo cookies.

This cookbook tells you the weight the batter should be in each part of the cake.  Never thought about weighing the cake pans.  It was a pretty good strategy, because the two layers ended up being pretty much the same size.  And that's the point, right?

I had to make the icing twice, and I still wasn't terribly happy with it.  The icing was tasty, but hard to work with.  Not sure if I did something wrong or if it was the recipe.  The basic buttercream recipe from the book worked fine on another cake that I made from the book.  I'm sure I'll make this recipe again (it was VERY good), so time will tell.

A big benefit of kitchen visitors is that you get more pictures of yourself cooking!  Here is the finished icing.

One of the cakes had a pretty big dome that I cut off, so I used a cup as a biscuit cutter to make some little samples for us to nibble on.  I made a mini batch of cake balls too!  No pictures of those...they were gone super quickly!

After our mini snack cakes, it was assembly time!

I tried to make chocolate ganache 'kisses' on top of the finished cake, but through a tragic combination of too warm ganache and too big of a hole in my ziploc, I had to use a 'modern' decorating style.  :)  My sister was a big help on this part.

Luckily, my mom loved the cake, and she didn't think anything was off about the decorating style.  I didn't mention that we took 100 photos of the cake.

And here I am with no shoes...

The cake was terrific.  It really did taste like oreos, but with a higher quality cream in the center.  Yum.