Last Valentines Day I decided I would bake a red velvet cake for Greg. Influenced by the amazing red velvet cupcakes from Society Bakery, I aspired to make a cake as moist and flavourful as theirs. The only problem is I cannot bake for my life! I hate to admit it but I have a sordid history of catching ovens on fire and forgetting crucial ingredients such as flour while attempting to bake. I reassured myself that this time would be different and read countless recipes online.
When I finally built up enough courage I began the adventure. I followed a recipe step by step making sure every ingredient was exact. As I placed that cake in the oven I felt like a baking goddess! I set my timer and relaxed, knowing my Valentine’s surprise would be a success.
When the timer went off I rushed to the kitchen to admire my work. My dreams were suddenly shattered when I pulled that cake out of the oven and it jiggled like Jello! When the cake cooled I reluctantly sliced a piece to serve Greg. As the knife cut through the leathery top layer a blood like substance oozed from the inside. Being the sweetheart he is, Greg took a bite. The red goop dripped from his open mouth and suddenly he resembled a zombie feasting on blood and brains.
We were both puzzled as to why my cake turned out so bad, so Greg decided to investigate the oven. “Rule number one of baking: bake, don’t broil,” Greg said as he pointed out the switch on the oven. To this day he still teases me about my famous broiled red velvet cake.
This year I decided to veer away from all things baked and make a Valentine’s Day-inspired stained glass Jello. I believe Greg enjoyed this a lot more than the gelatinous dessert he was served last February 14th.
4 3-oz. packages of Jello (I used cherry, strawberry, raspberry, and wild berry)
2 packets Knox un-flavored gelatin
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Spray four plastic food containers with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a kettle, boil about 5 cups of water. Combine 1 package of Jello with 1 cup of boiling water; stir until fully dissolved; about 2 minutes. Place Jello in one of the prepared containers and repeat with remaining Jello. Refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours, but preferably overnight.
When the Jello has set, carefully cut into 1 inch squares. Spray a 9×13 inch dish with cooking spray and gently toss Jello squares in dish ensuring the flavours are dispersed. Set aside in refrigerator.
Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. In the meantime, combine two packets of un-flavoured gelatin with ½ a cup of cold water. Let the gelatin stand for about 4 minutes. Stir 1 ½ cups of boiling water over the dissolved gelatin until combined. Mixing well, add the condensed milk and allow mixture to come to room temperature. (about 1 hour).
Pour the cooled mixture over the Jello cubes in the 9×13 inch dish. You may want to rearrange some of the cubes so that they are mostly emerged in the liquid.
Place the dish in the refrigerator and let it set overnight.
When the Jello has set, you can cut it into squares or use various shapes of cookie cutters. Smaller, detailed cookie cutters do not work well, however I did find success with a large heart and circle shaped cutter.