Halloween is coming soon!!
Don't forget the treats or there
will be tricks
!

 

 

OCTOBER 2013 NEWSLETTER

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Double, double, toil...

Spacer issue four, volume ten  

Ghost with Rock
GREAT HALLOWEEN SHOW!

First off, let me start by saying I'm not going to tell you where we live. You are going to have to figure that one out for yourself. All right, on with the show...One of my wife's great joys in life is seeing people enjoy the chocolates that she and her team painstakingly hand-craft each day. So many people toil in tasks whose results hardly see the light of day, but Tracy gets the charge of seeing people's faces light up when they bite into a Woodhouse Chocolate. Brains!Halloween is a particular opportunity for enjoyment as we have a little secret. If you can find our door on the 31st of October, ring the doorbell and say "Trick or Treat", we will hand you some of our chocolate. Not just a single piece mind you, but a box of Halloween Truffles, or Eyeballs or a Skull, etc. You get the picture. We have never advertised this fact, but over the years people have learned of the practice and while our neighbors may see a smaller number we serve about 200 or so "children" each Halloween. I say "children" because teenagers and adults are just as likely to hit our door as their charges. Groups arrive in cars, screech to a halt, visit Pumpkin Pieonly our house and then speed away. Groups hit our house multiple times, but take the trouble to change costumes between visits. Groups hit our house multiple times and don't take the trouble to change costumes between visits. People arrive in no costume at all and simply explain that they love our chocolate and after all "it is Halloween". Again, all we require is that they say, "Trick or Treat". It's fun! Tracy decorates the house inside and out, answers the door in costume and we have never had anyone come to the door who didn't say thank you. Skulls and MummiesPerhaps the most interesting Halloween experience happened to us a few years ago in 2010. I had had a severe cough for several weeks, so severe that when I went into a coughing jag I would experience what can only be described as micro black outs. Well, we were watching the 4th game of the World Series and answering the door for Trick or Treaters when I began to cough. This time it was so severe that I passed out and hit the floor. My wife called the paramedics who arrived, treated me and advised me to go to the hospital. Long story short, PumpkinsI was fine after the cough went away, but the fascinating thing was what happened while all this was going on. Remember that we had an ambulance in our driveway, a gurney in our front hall and paramedics tending to me within sight of the door. The trick or treaters never slowed down! The doorbell kept ringing and while my wife was with me my daughter kept handing out chocolate. Perhaps the "children" thought this was all part of the show. That's OK, I was in no danger anyway, it was Halloween and evidently nothing can slow down people in need of chocolate. Such is the power of Woodhouse. Happy Halloween!

John Anderson

Redd Wood

In the past little while, a new restaurant has replaced one of our old haunts in Yountville and for two reasons, alright three, we are more than a little excited. Number 1: Richard Reddington! Number 2: Great food! Number 3: Great bar! Chef Reddington already has one outstanding restaurant in Yountville, the renowned, Michelin starred, Redd. With Redd Wood he hits it out of the park again, focusing his skills on food that is comparatively more casual but no less delicious. The menu has a rural Italian focus and because it is attached to a hotel, it serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant he replaced was known for its Salumi and fortunately Reddington has not only continued the program but improved it. We have been there multiple times now and each time have ordered the cheese and charcuterie plate which was different and delicious with each visit. They have a great wood-fire oven that produces beautifully blistered vegetables along with tasty Neapolitan pizzas that range from the familiar to more interesting and unconventional flavors. The few salads that we had were clean and bright with a touch of something different that urges you to go back for another bite, such as a watermelon and tomato salad with fresh herbs and a chili oil drizzle. As for the beverage portion of the show, not only do they have a great and affordable wine menu, their cocktails are an equally delicious collection of classic Italian drinks with a twist. Redd Wood has a vibrant and infectious atmosphere with a simple and terrific menu to match. We will continue to go back again and again.

Christina Anderson

 


Caramel Apple Cake
CARAMEL APPLE HARVEST CAKE

 

Serves 12

There is a chill in the air - finally! Here in the Napa Valley, the grapes are coming in and harvest is in full swing. Time to bake! I have this instinct this time of year to knit, make beef stock and bake. Since I doubt you are interested in my knitting, and beef stock is pretty basic - here is something to bake. My mother has made this simple cake for breakfast ever since I can remember. Her version is very straightforward and dusted with powdered sugar, and I love it just the way it is. But, being me, I had to change it up, gild the lily, take it over the top. The aroma of baking apples and cinnamon will fill your house with the feeling of Fall. I hope you try it - with or without the extras.

My version is a like an upside-down cake with a streusel crust. My mother simply bakes the cake on it's own and dusts it with powdered sugar - you choose.

For the bottom that will become the top:
3/4 cup salted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 large Granny Smith apples
more butter for greasing the pan

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9X13 Pyrex baking pan. Combine the melted butter and brown sugar. Pour into the greased pan and spread evenly. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter into 8 slices. Lay the apples, fanned in three rows over the brown sugar/butter layer like this:

apples

For the Cake:
2 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups grated apple (about 3 peeled and cored)
1 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)
6 oz. coarsely chopped white chocolate, or white chocolate chips (I use the really good stuff we make our bars and chocolates out of)

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the sugar and mix well. Whisk in the vanilla and oil. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and add to the sugar/egg mix. Stir this with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It will be very thick until you add the apples, so add the apples. stir until it loosens up, then add the nuts and chocolate. Combine well, then pour over the sliced apples in the pan, spreading evenly.

Mixture

For the Streusel top that will become the bottom:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice

Combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Dump in the butter and rub it into the flour with your hands until you have a sandy, crumbly mixture. Spread this over the cake batter evenly and pat down gently.

Streusel

Bake for at least 1 hour. In my oven it took 1 hour and 20 minutes. It's done when you give it a good jiggle and it doesn't jiggle back. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Then, place a cutting board over the cake and with oven mitts to protect your hands, grasp the baking pan and cutting board together and carefully invert the cake onto the cutting board. You should see the apples release from the baking pan - give it a few minutes to be sure, then gently remove the baking pan. Ta Da! You have the yummiest apple cake in the WORLD!

Tracy Wood Anderson

  Halloween Box
© 2013 Woodhouse Chocolate LOCATION
1367 Main Street
St. Helena, CA 94574
CONTACT US
telephone 800-966-3468
email john@woodhousechocolate.com