Saturday, May 02, 2020

Weekend Cooking: Rosie's Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin

Before I get into this week's post, I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that my first Weekend Cooking post was posted 10 years ago yesterday. I am not suggesting that I have posted every week because I haven't but I enjoyed taking a look back. I also wanted to thank BethFishReads for continuing to host Weekend Cooking for all that time. It is a big part of my blogging routine! Evidence of this is in the fact that I pretty much have my Weekend Cooking posts scheduled until the end of May.

As well as Weekend Cooking, another thing that I can be certain of during these uncertain times is that I am looking for comfort reads. This was only my second book by Rebecca Raisin, but it's fair to say that I find her writing comfortable with a capital C. This doesn't mean that they are perfect by any means, but if you want to get lost in a story, the books I have read by her so far definitely fit the bill.

Rosie's life is falling apart. Her husband has just left her. She has a great job as a chef but it isn't giving her fulfilment as it used to, and so, in a drunken, spur of the moment kind of decision, Rosie buys herself a hot pink van called Poppy. Her intention is to live on the road, travelling from place to place, selling comforting, most definitely not cheffy food. This  is not really part of Rosie's overall plan. Normally her whole life is scheduled to the nth degree, so how will she fit into the nomadic, go with the flow kind of lifestyle where you travel from festival to festival.

This would be an idea that makes sense if Rosie had any experience at all living the traveller lifestyle. Looking for guidance she joins a forum for similar minded travellers and soon is befriended by Oliver, who gives her some helpful suggestions as to where she might start. Luckily at her first stop she meets Aria, who quickly becomes her trusted companion. Aria runs a travelling bookshop and so Rosie and Aria agree to set up their respective vans close to each other with the idea that customers can sip their tea from Rosie whilst browsing through Aria's books. Sounds like a great idea to me and that they can even have different flavours of tea to match with different books.

As Rosie settles into the traveller scene, she meets many people, including Max. Max is gorgeous, athletic, confident, and runs his own cafe, but his food is all vegan and he is apparently interested in a somewhat oblivious Rosie from day one. But Rosie is also still chatting to Oliver and hoping to meet  up with him at some point during the story.

When I initially closed this book, it was with a contented sigh and a desire to get hold of the follow up book to this one which will be Aria's story. I gave it a rating of 4/5 on Goodreads. It was only after I finished it and contemplated the events within the pages a bit more, that I realised that there were some overall issues. particularly around the romance side of things, but perhaps that storyline will be continued a bit more fully in the next book. The issue that the author was trying to explore in relation to the romance was interesting but it was wrapped up in a very rushed way at the end of the book. The other questions include would it be really that easy to set up at a location and start selling. Surely it wouldn't be that easy to get permits etc. Who knows.

So I guess my overall feelings about this book are a bit mixed. Both books I have read by Rebecca Raisin have been super comfortable reads, and so for that reason I will continue to read her books. I love the way that she writes about books and food in particular, as evidenced by the previous quotes I have shared previously, but I also need to remember to read them at face value.

Given that Rosie is a chef, and the shop is a travelling tea shop, there is plenty of food and tea throughout the story.

One of the key scenes in this book is a bake off between our chef Rosie and all round good guy, muscle bound, pacifist, masculine vegan cafe owner Max. Both are to make a berry cheesecake with Rosie's being made using traditional ingredients and Max's cheesecake being made using vegan ingredients.with the festival crowd getting to vote on which cheesecake is better.

Like me, Rosie can't imagine a cheesecake that is made without cheese of some description, whether it be baked ricotta version or a no bake cheesecake made using cream cheese.

I was most definitely craving cheesecake as I was reading that section of the book and as I was writing up this post. I am also thinking that it might be time to try playing around with some more recipes for different flavoured versions! Who knows, maybe I could play around with a vegan option. Stranger things have happened.

It doesn't help that a good cheesecake is one of my favourite things to eat ever. I have shared a few cheesecake recipes over the years, but I haven't shared this one yet. It isn't exactly a berry cheesecake, it is more a cheesecake served with berries, but it was absolutely delicious. I have made it a couple of times over the last 18 months or so and therefore thought I would share the recipe as much so that I can find it when I need it in the future as anything just in case the  original recipe disappears.

Creamy Ginger Nut Cheesecake

175g ginger nut biscuits
75g butter, melted

400g full-fat cream cheese, softened
2 cups (500g) thickened cream
¾ cup (110g) icing sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 sachet (12g) gelatine Powder
2 tbsp boiling water
3 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

To make the base, grease and line a 23cm springform round cake tin with baking paper. Crush biscuits and mix with melted butter until combined. Press mixture into bottom of tin and place in fridge to chill.

Prepare cheesecake filling by creaming softened cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add lemon juice and Vanilla Bean Paste and mix until smooth. Add cream and mix until smooth. Sprinkle Gelatine Powder over boiling water and mix to dissolve. Mixing constantly, gradually add gelatine to cheesecake mixture in a thin stream and mix until well combined.

Pour cheesecake mixture over biscuit base and spread with a spatula. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

To serve, remove cheesecake from fridge 20-30 minutes before serving. Carefully release spring on cake tin and remove baking paper sides. Garnish with fresh seasonal fruit.

Other cheesecake recipes I have shared over the years include

White Chocolate Cheesecake (my signature dish if I have such a thing)
Salted Caramel and Vanilla Baked Cheesecake
Jelly slice.

I have also linked this post to Foodies Read hosted by Based on a True Story

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.


  1. Ha. The irony of your opening! This sounds like my kind of book, and Mr. BFR loves, loves, loves cheesecake. Perhaps this one will appear in his near future.

    1. Yay! I was able to put a hold on the book at my library.

  2. I love the characterization: "I find her writing comfortable with a capital C." This is exactly what kind of books I am looking for lately! And of course who isn't comforted by cheesecake? LOL

    1. Comfort reading and comfort eating for the win!

  3. Several bloggers have made cheesecakes this month -- sounds wonderful! I don't have the ingredients, but I hope there's lots of cheese available when I next make an order. When I shop in person, I don't forget cheese, but this time is different.

    be well... mae at

    1. I still have some cream cheese Mae - maybe I can make some mini cheesecakes!

  4. Vegan cheesecakes can be really good! Give them a chance. Lol

  5. The book sounds cute even with its issues.

    I know a lot of people who'd love to dig into that cheesecake.

    1. I'd love to dig into that cheesecake bermudaonion

  6. Reading and making cheesecake sounds like a good way to pass the sheltering time. Your cheesecake recipe looks nice and easy.. thanks

  7. I'll give that author a go, sounds good and entertaining, if not too deep:) Cheesecake has never been one of my top dessert loves. That would be chocolate. Well, maybe chocolate cheesecake.

    1. Mmmmm chocolate cheesecake! Winner winner!

  8. That looks yummy! How I would love to find those to trucks... tea and books. Who would not stop in right?

  9. I read my first one of hers recently and agree is a great read for these times. Cheers

  10. Comforting books are perfect for these times. Love that cheesecake!

    1. I am all about the comfort reads right now Tina!

  11. Sounds like a comforting combo of book and snack! I love New York-style cheesecake. Unfortunately, with my choice of reading this week, I can't help thinking of how much sugar is in a slice of cheesecake! :D

    1. I would be just trying to forget the sugar and savour the cheesecake Laurie!

  12. Any book that inspires that cheesecake is certainly worth reading.



Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP