“I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not, to agree to disagree on red velvet cake, and to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.” – Paige, The Vow
A little while ago my friends and I had a girls weekend/sleepover and since we were going to have a festive dinner, I decided to go all out and come up with a spectacular dessert. I had recently seen the movie ‘The Vow’ on TV and remembered that Paige and Leo mentioned red velvet cake in their wedding vows and decided I might as well write my next movie recipe and bake a cake for the weekend at the same time. I did decide to go for a little twist and make it red velvet cheesecake, to give it just a bit more flavor. Only one problem: I had never made cake/pie before in my life and if it wasn’t scary enough knowing there was no back-up dessert, red velvet cake is a layered cake which to me seemed like a 100 times more difficult than just plain pie or cake.
I followed the instructions by the wonderful Donal Skehan (high five for Irish chefs!) and Eric Lanlard on Jamie’s foodtube and tweaked it a little bit cause I wanted more cake and more flavor than the one they made. Now I must say, I was a bit shocked that I managed to bake the cake and cut it in half without burning or breaking the cake. Next up was the frosting and I was so convinced it wouldn’t be thick enough and the whole cake would be collapse.. AND IT DIDN’T. Could it be that I was going to actually be able to show up with dessert at the sleepover? Yes I would! I managed to bake the cake, fill it up nicely and cover it with frosting and transport it over to my friend’s house, all ready for the taste test by my friends. And lo and behold they all gave me a thumbs up, what a relief!
“The moment of impact. The moment of impact proves potential for change. Has ripples effects far beyond what we can predict. Sending some particles crashing together. Making them closer than before. While sending others spinning off into great ventures. Landing them where you’ve never thought you’ve found them. That’s the thing about moments like these. You can’t, no matter how hard you try, controlling how it’s gonna affect you. You just gotta let the colliding part goes where they may. And wait. For the next collision.” – Leo
The Vow is a 2012 romantic drama film directed by Michael Sucsy, starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. The film is inspired by the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. The Vow was a box office success, becoming the seventh highest-grossing romantic drama film of all time (and it still is). Paige Collins (Rachel McAdams) and her husband Leo (Channing Tatum) are truly madly deeply in love with each other when tragedy strikes. On their way home from the movies, their car is hit by a truck and Paige, who had just unbuckled her seatbelt, crashes through the windshield. They are both taken to the hospital and while Leo suffers only a few injuries, Paige unfortunately is left with severe brain injury and has lost all of her memories from the past few years and no longer recognizes her husband.
Her family takes her back home with them and try to mend their family bond that had been broken the past few years and try to push Leo out of her life at the same time. Since Paige couldn’t remember why she no longer was in contact with her family, she happily went back to her old life, her old friends and even starts hanging out with her ex as well. Meanwhile, Leo desperately tries to help Paige get her memory back but to her, he is no more than a stranger who she has no connection with at all. Can the love of a lifetime find a second chance? Only one way to find out!
I’ve mentioned it before but I’m a massive fan of Rachel McAdams, she is actually one of the few actrices that seems to never disappoint me. First she & Ryan Gosseling totally notebooked me.. and now she is joined by the ultimate hottie, Channing Tatum, to vow us. The major reason why this movie works so well, is the amazing chemistry McAdams and Tatum have. Although McAdams is clearly far more experienced in these types of movies, Tatum caught me off guard by his strong performance. Now, It’s been a while since I’ve seen a romantic movie and I know they are often frowned upon by critics because of their lack of originality, but to them I say: lighten the fuck up. I think Betsy Sharky from the Los Angeles Times really put it perfectly: “Despite the sweet story, this is a movie that leaves you wanting more. To care more, to cry more, to love more.”
Red velvet cheesecake
Serves: 8-10 people
Red Velvet Cake Mix
- 15g butter to grease
- 375g butter, at room temperature
- 210g caster sugar
- 100g light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 225g self-raising flour, sifted
- 80g plain flour, sifted
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 250ml buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons red food coloring paste
- 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 70g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatine powder or 3 sheets of gelatine
- 300ml double cream
Cream cheese frosting:
- 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 60g butter, at room temperature
- 80g icing or powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 25-35ml Raspberry coulis
Needed: baking tin (spring form) of 25cm diameter and parchment paper
Sift the dry ingredients for the red velvet cake: sugar, self-raising flour, plain flower, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix the unsalted butter with caster sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and continue to mix at low speed. Simply add the dry ingredients you sifted before along with the buttermilk and food coloring paste. If you can’t find coloring paste, you can use a liquid coloring, but you might need more to give it that lovely shade of red. Now mix mix mix!
Line your baking tin with some parchment paper and slightly butter the bottom and sides of the paper. Pour the batter in the tin and pop it in the oven (preheated at 180°) for 35-40 minutes. One little tip: if you want to decorate the cake in the same way I did ( with some crumbled dough on top) I recommend to leave out a couple of tablespoons of the batter and bake it separately. Otherwise you’ll have to cut your dough up into 3 layers: one to crumble, one as our base and one as our top layer. Although this is very much possible, it’s just a lot easier and will save you a lot of stress cause trust me: it ain’t easy to cut up layers of cake!
Either way, once the cake is done leave it to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing it from the tin. Now the tricky part: cutting it in half! I used a knife fixator that I bought on Ebay to help me out with this step, cause it helped me make sure my knife stayed at the same height while spinning the cake and cutting it. It barely costs a thing and it’s very useful so I can highly recommend buying one!
Next up is the cheesecake filling! Try to remove any liquid that might be in the cream cheese packaging (the drier the cream cheese, the better) and mix it with the sugar until nice and smooth. Add lemon juice and mix again. If you are using gelatine powder: add 2 tablespoons of warm water to it and stir until dissolved. If you are using sheets of gelatine, simply follow the instructions on the package. Whatever you use, as soon as it’s dissolved, add it to the filling and mix it straight away. In a separate bowl whip up the double cream until really fluffy and then spoon it into the rest but do not mix it! Stir with a spoon until everything is combined really well.
Let’s start layering! Get your baking tin again and line it with some cling film (a pain in the ass but really necessary), and put one of the cake layers on the bottom of the tin. Spoon around 3/4th of the cheesecake onto the layer and make sure you push it right onto the edge of your tin so your edges will be nice and straight. Put the second layer of cake on top and push it down a bit and make sure it’s all leveled. You’ll notice some of the filling will pop up along the sides but don’t worry, that’s how it’s suppose to be! Stop pushing as soon the filling starts to come up though, cause you don’t want to whole filling layer to come up. Now add the remaining filling on top of the cake and level it (again make sure to push it onto the edge to get straight edges). Pull the cling film from the sides on top of the cake, this will help you get some lovely edges on top of the cake as well. Let the cake set for at least 4 hours in the fridge but if you can, leave it overnight to make sure it’s set perfectly.
The last step is the frosting! Mix cream cheese and butter and add vanilla extract. Mix again and add the icing or powdered sugar and use a spatula to stir it in. Mix it again until fluffy. Take the red velvet cheesecake out of the tin and remove the cling film. Cover your cake with a thin layer of frosting on top and on the sides. Use a palette knife if you have on, cause this will make the edges look a million times better than mine. I didn’t have one at the time, and the edges on my cake weren’t very smooth as you can see in the photos. Luckily, this won’t have any effect on the flavor of the cake, it’ll just make you look like more of a pro.
Now all that’s left is to add any other decorations on top of the cake that you want. I crumbled the extra layer of cake we made in the beginning and then added raspberry coulis to give it just one extra flavor and then put it all over the top of the cake. I also sifted some powdered sugar on top, right before serving. And there you have it: red velvet cheesecake, all ready to be eaten! I hope you’ll enjoy the movie and the cake!