About Me

Welcome to La Pêche Fraîche!
As you probably already know, I’m Rachel, and I’m the creator, author, photographer, graphic designer, resident worrywart etc. etc. of this butter- and complaint-sodden food blog, started way back in May 2012.
I’m a high school college student full-fledged adult medical student at Ithaca High the University of Chicago in New York City at NYU School of Medicine.
At UChicago, I majored in biological sciences with a specialization in neuroscience, and minored in Statistics. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa in June 2017, and no, I’m not adjusted to that yet.

But La Pêche Fraîche is devoted to foodmost importantly, all things sweet.

You’ll find an array of recipes here, ranging from towering layer cakes to intricate pastries and (very very occasionally, read: never, nowadays) molecular gastronomy.
You’ll find pictures of food, cats, my dog, and flowers, ranging from point-and-shoot with low lighting and terrible coloring in the good ol’ days to my more modern attempts at full food styling.
You’ll find me whining about my life, and sharing tidbits of writing, ranging from flowery poetry to philosophical prose. You’ll find me with no words left, just sharing sugar and pictures. That’s more common than I’d like to admit.

Since you’re feeling nosy (how else would you have gotten to this page?!):

Why La Pêche Fraîche?
La Pêche Fraîche means “The Fresh Peach” in French, the language which I dutifully studied for six years and with which I fell deeply in love, for good.
If I were forced to choose a favorite fruit (though I would have to be hard-pressed), it would inevitably be the peach.

Soft and slightly fuzzy, with luxuriously juicy and sweet flesh, peaches evoke summer and sweet memories for me.
There’s nothing quite like the scent and feel of a perfectly ripe peach, lush and sensually curvy.

Pêche is also one of my favorite French words (nerd alert), rivaled only by pistache.
La Pistache Fraîche wouldn’t exactly have the same ring to it, however.

Why sweets?
I am both a scientist and an artist at heart, and desserts allow me to satisfy both sides of my brain.  I love the precision and the detail of pâtisserie; I gladly dive into complicated recipes and love trying all the fussy techniques.
I thrive on challenging myself to go further; I strive to become more like those who inspire me and I seek out innovation.
My brain (not to mention my Pinterest and instagram…) is constantly filled with dreams of dessert.
It all started in 2001, when my parents bought me an Easybake oven—big mistake.
I’ve been in a torrid love affair with sweets ever since.

Stay a while and share in my confessions of confection.
(I’ll try not to bore you.)

Want to get in touch or work together?
Email: lapechefraiche at gmail dot com
Instagram: rachelhsally
Pinterest: rachelhsally


  1. Rachel,
    I loved having your dad here. I am so glad that he shared your blog with me. It is beautiful, entertaining and so well-written. Your dad is so proud of you as he should be. I look forward to following you and seeing all of your lovely ideas.

    Aunt Anna

    1. Aunt Anna,
      Thank you for your kind words!! My dad said he had a great time visiting you guys… Clear indication that I’ll have to come down with him sometime soon! It’s been far too long.

      1. Dear Rachel, I love a lot your photograph (33801) because of the bite marks on the cake. But I’ve seen you smiling: it’s not your bite.
        Best regards and greetings from Firenze, Italy.
        an old (mature) photographer.

      2. Hi Rachel. You are lovely. I’m inspired by your artistry; passion for detail and scientific thinking and how that drives this space. I love baking and have passion for photography as well. After reading your page I am curious about the photography aspect of your journey. What camera have you started using and have you changed anything else in your practice that allowed you to bring your images to the next level? Do you have tips for successful blogging? I am a production designer beginning a blog but unsure about making it about my film journey and my wellness practices bc Im also a yoga instructor. I’m asking bc you seem to have found a practical way to integrate science and your artistic passion. Love and light. Thanks in advance!

  2. you are a goddess

    1. Love you Louise!!

  3. Hi Rachel.
    I absolutely love your site. The baking is so creative I can hardly wait to see what you are going to post next. I have tried the financiers which turned out incredible and my husband just loved them. He says I am an amazing baker. 🙂 I also made your peanut butter cup cakes which are to die for. I don’t know what to try next but I intend to try everything you posted. The pictures and the poetry….. exquisite . Well done. I am your true fan.

    1. Brooklin– that’s about the nicest thing anyone has every told me! I’m so glad you liked the financiers and PB cupcakes, and I’m very grateful to have you as a fan! 😀 Xx

  4. Hi Rachel,
    As a 13 year old cooker, reader, photographer, and writer, I adore your blog. I was brought through brit.co to your pavlova recipe and connected immediately when you mentioned being a “weird” child reading Martha Stewart: I regularly read Martha Stewart Living and I constantly bother my mom with my (sometimes successful, sometimes failing) cooking endeavors. As a photographer, I find your snapshots of food gorgeous and as a writer, I find your prose and poetry alike beautiful. I’m so glad to have found such an awesome blog run by such an awesome person. I hope to try your recipes soon!
    xx Lily

    1. Lily, I’m so glad that you found me! It’s so wonderful to hear of young aspiring foodies and chefs. It sounds like we have a lot in common– I hope you continue to pursue your loves of food, photography, and writing. Let me know if you try any of my recipes, I’d love to hear how they go!

  5. I absolutely love your blog. These recipes are fab. I really want to try them out and improve as a pastry chef. Please keep it up!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Seth! I’m glad to have you reading; I hope my recipes can be of help in your pursuit of pastry!

  6. Rachel,

    I feel like I am writing to a superstar! Not to blow sunshine up your ass but seriously…you are on your way. I came into contact with you and your blog through your mother/my doctor. I have been hooked ever since. Now I believe things happen for a reason and there are no coincidences. However, I am a bit neurotic…just ask your mom. One day I was having one of my “episodes” Dual AV node pathways, hovering around 175 BPM, usually this kind of “run” will send me to the ER and while I was tying to keep myself inside my body I remembered that I had happened to mark your blog earlier that morning saying to myself, “oh, I get to that later tonight”. I sat down shaking from the incessant pvc’s and ectopic beats and opened up your blog “Between to Lungs” Let me just say that I laughed my ass off and thought this is so typical…Just when I needed something to happen it did and in doing that I was able to get my mind right where it needed to be and calm down. I spent the rest of the night going over all of your recipes and getting really excited tying to figure out if I would be able to pull off making any of them.
    I come from a long line of self proclaimed chefs and cooks. My family owns 25 restaurants in the Bay Area and have either cooked, waited tables, or managed restaurants my entire life until my love of paper and the written word inspired me to buy a small but promising stationery store…”Ithacards” on The Commons and turn it into one of the best paperies on the east coast, Mockingbird Papereie. I have shared your blog with my friends at Sarah’s Pattisserie where I thought you would be working for a summer, all my California chef friends and family and we just can’t wait to see what you make next. I hope you will stop in the store when you are in town and introduce yourself.
    Be well,


    1. Suzanne,
      I can’t thank you enough for your kind words. This is by far the BEST compliment I can receive– I’m so glad that you’re hooked here. I can’t imagine more perfect timing for that crazy cake to have gone up. I will definitely stop by and say hi during the summer, and thank you for sharing my blog with Sarah’s! I will let you know if I do end up working there.

  7. Hey Rachel,
    Your blog is mouth watering to say the least. I’m a pretty novice baker and would like a recommendation for a chocolate cake/dessert. I’m not a big fan of coconut and I don’t think pecan is available in my small-town in India. I’m also really impressed by the detail in all your posts. Can you by now imagine what a dessert tastes like based on the recipe?

    1. Mayukh, thank you for your flattering words!
      As far as imagining the taste of a dessert, I will say that many times I tweak the recipe before testing it, so I guess that’s something.
      I can recommend a few simple chocolate cakes: this cake works as layers (2 8-inch pans or 3 6-inch pans) or in a 10-inch (25 cm) round or square cake tin–it’s my go-to simple, soft and tender chocolate cake recipe; this one requires only 6 ingredients and is more of a torte (single layer, crunchy top, not good for frosting); and here is a cake similar to the second, though suitable for multiple layers, since it has less of a crusty top.
      I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes and if you have any more questions!

  8. Rachel, I have just discovered your blog and absolutely LOVED it! Loved, loved, loved.
    I’m totally obsessed for sweets and your blog is such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing.
    And just out of curiosity, are you from Ithaca, NY? I’m from Brazil but lived there for a while 10 years ago! I miss that place a lot.
    Congrats and keep up the great job!
    XOXO, Vivi

    1. Vivi, thank you so much for your kind words! I’m very glad you found me!! Yes, indeed, I was born and raised in Ithaca! It does have a curious pull to it, doesn’t it? You can always be sure to find a kindred soul in a fellow Ithacan! xx

  9. Hello Rachel,
    I just discovered your blog and I’m blown away by the photos and the yummy things you bake! But I think your blog needs an overview page. You make such awesome pictures, but they get a bit lost in the posts 🙂 Just an idea! Keep up the good work!


    1. Thanks so much for your kind words and the suggestion Mimi! 🙂 I’ll definitely take it into account! xx

  10. Dear Rachel,
    Love your blog – interesting and original. The photos are excellent.
    I wonder if I could ask a small favour: I direct and arts festival (a charity) in England, and I am starting a visual arts project with 30 sixth form students. The project is all about Piet Mondrian, and I need a suitably whacky photo to put in our publicity, brochure and on our web site. My favourite is your partly-eaten cake picture. Please may I use it?
    I will be happy to mention your blog site underneath.
    My deadline is very soon: 19th January 2015!
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks and best wishes,
    Malcolm Creese, Artistic Director – Swaledale Festival

    1. Malcolm—I’m flattered. Thank you so much for your kind words. Please go ahead and use that photo; a link back would be great. Good luck with your festival!

  11. Thanks so much Rachel. A link will be added. It will be on our new website in around three weeks.

    Very best wishes,


  12. hi Rachel,
    We have fallen in love with one of your photos (of the pink birthday cake with all the candles blown out) and were wondering whether we could discuss paying to use it for a marketing image for a theatre production in the UK in May?
    Best wishes

    1. Laura—sounds great! I am flattered. I’ve sent you an email. xx

  13. Huge fan of your writing, your baking, your photography – you are so talented and destined for success. As a recent college grad, I am very impressed by your ability to juggle a full undergraduate schedule and this amazing, professional blog. Just wanted to give you some props on this snowy Sunday!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Maggie! I’m flattered!

  14. Hi Rachel, Your mom and dad visited me here in Peabody last weekend. We met when they were in school at Harvard; I celebrated their wedding and have kept in touch. It was so good to see them and catch up. Your mom sent me your blog and I love what you are doing with your talents (photography and baking) and interest in CASA. Your photos were almost too much for me to look at during Lent when i’m trying to hold back on sweets, especially chocolate. But you’ve given me something to look forward to at Easter!!!
    God bless. Fr. John

    1. Dear Father John, I heard my parents had an absolutely wonderful time visiting with you—how lucky they are to get to do so! Thank you so much for your kind words, and I’m sorry to tempt you during Lent 🙂

  15. My name is Angela. I run the blog, foodiebliss, on Tumblr and I was wondering if I would be able to use your current and future photos to post on my blog?

    It’s always a photo, with three links back to the original post {in the caption, content source box and click through link on the image} and also the name of the blog from where the photo comes from. I also add a link back to the homepage as well. I do not take credit for anything I post on my blog except my own creations. I never publish any recipes.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you.

    1. Angela—how sweet of you to ask! Of course you may; thank you for outlining your methods of credit. I think the aesthetic of your page is fantastic, and I look forward to seeing more of your blog! xx

      1. Thank you so much!

  16. Dear Rachel,

    I’m reaching out from Country Living, where I work on food, lifestyle, and crafts for our daily website. We just wanted to let you know that we featured your Forêt Noire Cake in a slideshow of our favorite Christmas cakes. We spotlighted one image from your blog and, of course, linked back to your post for a full tutorial and more details.

    Our readers are really enjoying it, and we are excited to show support for your blog and hopefully send traffic your way. Our story featuring your site may also be featured on our sister sites such as GoodHousekeeping.com, HouseBeautiful.com and others, which will mean even more exposure for you.

    You can check it out here: http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g2806/best-christmas-cakes/

    Definitely keep us in the loop about other projects you have coming up. We always love to feature more fun ideas from creative blogs like yours! Feel free to email us at clideas@hearst.com

    Thank you,

    1. Herrine,
      I was absolutely elated to see my post linked to at Country Living. It was so exciting—so thank you for featuring me! I will be sure to keep you in the loop. Thank you for your kind words; I’m flattered!

  17. I just found your exquisite blog and have signed up..why miss a post?:)
    Happy Holidays.

    1. Monique, thank you so much! Glad you found me 🙂 x

  18. Hi Rachel,

    First, I want to compliment you on your delicious food photos and recipes! The editorial team at Honest Cooking is looking to add new talent to our ever-growing network of contributors and we would like you to be a part of Honest Cooking.

    Honest Cooking is a fast growing food, drink, and travel-loving website where we all invest our time and passion to create something that we’d like to read ourselves, and then present to a large audience.

    It is a group effort, that has been called one of the best digital food magazines in the world by Vanity Fair, and won the Saveur Food Blog Awards. But that’s not all – Honest Cooking is also a native advertising network of hundreds of handpicked blogs that work together on advertorial campaigns for high-end food and beverage brands. We would like to invite you to become a contributor and network partner with Honest Cooking.

    This network is about relevant and inspiring paid branded campaigns where we offer you the opportunity to create articles and posts for some of the highest quality brands in the business that will also be published on one of our three sites. Any publisher can choose which campaigns to participate in – and have 100% creative control over exactly what is published. Among brands that we have recently created campaigns for are Castello Cheese, Rioja Wines, Maille, Colavita and FIJI Water. Participating in these campaigns is not only fun and something different, but also comes with a monetary compensation for you. It is a way to monetize your blog, with full control of your editorial process and creative development.

    How does it work? It’s simple. First of all, just answer this email and let us know you’d like to be a part of Honest Cooking. We will then set you up with a contributor account, where we will automatically choose one article every month from your blog that we feel will resonate best with readers and publish it to the site. This allows us to provide your content to a large audience without you having to worry about formatting and uploading it. In addition, you may submit as many additional articles as you would like. Every published article has a byline with a headshot and a description of you and your writing. Your posts will be pushed through our social media accounts with tags for further reach.

    As soon as you are signed up as a contributor – you will automatically receive invitations to participate in all paid contributor campaigns going forward.

    Please let me know if you have any questions and we look forward to welcoming you on board to the Honest Cooking.

    Have a great weekend,

    1. Annelise, I’m so flattered! I would love to be a contributor. Honest Cooking seems like a great website with exciting things to come. Let me know where I should reach you (you can reach me at rachel dot h dot sally at gmail). Thanks very much!

  19. Hi Rachel,

    We noticed that you are a big matcha fan and you have written a lot of amazing content related to matcha.

    We would like to share your wonderful matcha-related content with our global fans.
    With that saying, we would like to share your content (Post/Article/Images) on our Facebook, Pinterest, or blog.
    Of course, we will credit you by linking back to your website/blog, mentioning your blog and your name at the end of each content. We will notify you each time when we post & share your content on our site.

    We want to not only share it on our growing FB page but also want to boost it occasionally, so more people will be able to read your outstanding content & fall in love with matcha.

    This will bring Bonus Free Traffic to your website/blog, and this could help you to gain more exposure, gather more followers, as well as help you to attract more advertiser to your website or gain more commission via affiliate sales.

    Our marketing team will make sure that each piece of your amazing content could get the exposure it deserves.

    Let us know if you agree to let us share your fantastic content to all the matcha lovers just like us.
    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask, as the mutual benefit is the only thing we seek over here.

    You can contact me via darrenchow.zendorimatcha@gmail.com


    Darren Chow
    Marketing Director of Zendori Matcha

    1. Darren, I’m flattered. Thanks for reaching out! Feel free to share my posts, as long as you give proper credit. Thanks again and best wishes!

  20. Rachel, your pictures are absolutely beautiful, I am excited to try your recipes!

    1. Thank you so much Natalie! xoxo

  21. Hello,

    I met your mom at a cheese’s of europe pop up store and she said you like to blog about food. We’d love to send you a sample kit of olives from one of our brands, Olives From Spain.

    If you supply us with an address we’ll get it off this week.

    Please send me an email at Justin@fifteendegrees.com.


    1. Justin,
      Thank you so much! Maybe I should hire my mom as my PR person… Seriously! I will email you right now.

  22. I never saw more beautiful eyes. Deep like ocean depth.

  23. Just fell onto your blog- love everything about it

    1. Thank you so much Gloria! xoxo

  24. Hi Rachel,

    Like to ask if there was an error print for Red, Red (red velvet) for the ganache: there seems a missing text for the ingredients
    ” 60 grams (1/4 cup) half-and-half
    pinch salt”
    I am trying to figure out what is the ingredients of the 60grams

    Thank you

    1. Hi! There is nothing missing there–the 60 grams refers to the half-and-half! You can substitute single cream for that as well. Happy baking! xoxo

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