Raspberry and Vanilla Naked Cake


I just ran in my door slick with rain and cold (what’s going on Adelaide?) and opened this post up to edit, depressingly enough, I went on to read myself complaining about the heat 2 months prior. I’m learning that I need to get my act together, both in editing efficiency and in carrying an umbrella.

There are some other truths that I have learned during my time with this piece of the internet:
– Scheduling only works if you have a billion hours to actually make the food.
– Lighting is important.
– Friends love cake.
– Birthday cake is a classic for a reason.


Let’s talk about cake, birthday cake. I’ve spent a few years forcing my creations (some good, some bad) on to unsuspecting birthday goers, and there is something kind of empty about it. Part of my obsession with food stems from the ebb and flow of the seasons, the tradition of holidays. Food tastes better in season and seasonal classics are seasonal for a reason – a Yule log in December, Strawberries and Cream in Summer (with the Queen, watching Wimbledon of course), hearty stews in the cold months and bright fresh fruits in the heat. There is something magical about a classic vanilla sponge dressed to the nines for a birthday celebration, classic and timeless, a year-round treat!

Specifically, vanilla sponge with a hint of lemon, and the last of the summer berries, and Meringue swirls, because birthday!

I got the recipe from the Sweet Tooth cookbook, but the recipe can also be found here. I grated the zest of half a lemon into the cake and used vanilla whipped cream in the middle with some raspberry coulis (recipe below). Top cake with raspberry splattered meringues, the recipe also below.


  1. 1cup frozen raspberries
  2. Juice of half a lemon
  3. 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  4. Pinch of sea salt
  5. Pinch of brown sugar
  1. Add the ingredients to a small pot, set over a medium low heat and cook. If the sauce looks to dry add some water, too wet, cook longer,
  2. So good, so easy.
By Rachel S
  1. 2 egg whites – room temperature
  2. 115 g raw caster sugar
  3. 1/8 tsp vanilla paste
  4. 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  5. 1 tbsp raspberry coulis strained to remove seeds (recipe below)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170C.Prepare a tray with baking paper.
  2. In a stand mixer with whisk attachment/hand held whisk/your arm, whisk the egg whites until they are frothy. Slowly add the sugar, then vanilla and lemon juice. Continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
  3. Prepare a piping bag with a wide tip.
  4. Spoon the meringue into the piping bag and pipe small mounds on to the prepared tray.
  5. Take a fork and splat the raspberry coulis lightly onto the meringues to give a paint splattered effect.
  6. Lightly tap the tray on a hard surface.
  7. Place the tray in the oven and turn the temperature down to 100C. Bake until the the meringue can be lifted off the baking sheet with the base in tact depending on the size of the mound between 35 to 60 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues on for a further 20 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Spread the top of the cake with vanilla whipped cream and place the meringues over the top, dab extra raspberry coulis in the gaps between meringues.
  10. Eat!

Black Pepper and Vanilla Cheesecake


It’s been the longest 6 months of my life, between long distance relationships, friendships, new jobs, promotions and moving house I don’t feel like i’ve had a chance to take a breath.

I’m definitely not someone that struggles with change, but i’m quite excited to spend a few months creating a routine/attempting to eat more vegetables than pasta.

Also going cold turkey on that office biscuit addiction.



I always like to start my new year’s resolutions a few weeks (or months) early, I’m far too much of a planner to just jump head first into 2016 without a dress rehearsal.

My resolutions are –

  • Finish couch to 5k, then go for 10k (i’m three weeks into this so far, and I actually love it!)
  • Throw 10 parties/dinners/movie nights
    • So far I’m planning a Mollywood movie night, Galantines and Christmas in July!
  • Explore Sydney
    • I thought I would hate it, I really did. I moved for my career, but I’m much happier than I thought I would be here. My hair is screaming otherwise, hello humidityI’m looking at you.
  • Post more
    • I actually have shit to post about, I just moved interstate and moved in with a boy. Working gal, big city – I’m basically a romcom, without Jennifer Anniston.


I made this cheesecake for my fave gal when she left Sydney, she’s a total superstar, Harry Potter fan, feminist, Tay Swift lookalike and all round good guy. It’s a spin on the Bon Appetit best ever cheesecake recipe with a mixed berry topping. I added black pepper and subbed out the graham cracker for a mix of milk and ginger-nut biscuits. Because recipes amiright.