The Rule of Crumb - Scrumptious by Lucy!
In this week’s Rule of Crumb feature where we speak with inspirational bakers we are talking to Lucy Foley, the brains behind Scrumptious by Lucy, a mum who managed to transform her market cake brownie business into an online retailer with a growing digital presence. Scrumptious by Lucy was born in 2017 after Lucy made the decision she wanted to leave her role as a part-time maths teacher to focus on her business full-time. In March 2020, Lucy was forced to adapt her business due to COVID restrictions. Over eighteen months later, Lucy’s business has grown into a nationwide postal caker and brownie retailer with over twenty different flavours to choose from (our favourites are the lemon blondie and Biscoff brownie!)
For more inspiration, follow Lucy on Instagram and Facebook @scrumptiousbylucy
What do you love the most about baking?
When I think about baking, the end result is what makes me the happiest, having my friends, family and customers enjoying my brownies and blondies and not thinking about anything but the utter joy as they are eating and enjoying them makes me so happy.
I have always said baking is a joy, I am constantly tweaking and tasting recipes until its perfect, a little too much or too little of one ingredients can completely change the end result and ruin a good bake. There’s also so many factors outside of the recipe that can affect the success of a bake i.e. freshness of the eggs, temperature of the oven, have the ingredients come straight out of the fridge, is the sugar hot enough, has the supplier changed their supplies etc etc. Oddly enough, I love the constant battle to make sure the end result is perfect.
Although I bake a range of regular brownies, I also bake a range of Gluten Free brownies as well as a range of Vegan brownies, and this was such a challenge in getting the recipes as good as the regular brownies without using either the flour or the dairy products in the different ranges, this was such a challenge, but so rewarding when I finally baked a range I was proud to put my name against.
But at the end of the day, the reviews and feedback I receive really does make my day and that’s what gives me happiness.
Image credit - @scrumptiousbylucy
Do you think it's important for parents to show their children how to bake/cook?
Absolutely! learning to cook not only equips children for adulthood but it gives them so many life skills i.e. confidence, planning, counting and most importantly the lesson that not everything you do will work out perfect every time, you have to live and learn.
I was so close to my nan and I am so close to my mother, I put this down to the amount of time I spent with both of them baking. This time is so sacred, when I bake I shut everything off around me apart from the baking and the children I am baking with, I give them 100% of my time and there’s no distractions, it’s just me and them and a messy kitchen of course.
I see so much confidence in my children in the kitchen which is also mirrored when they are with the family or their friends. Whilst I love to bake brownies with my children it’s just as important that they understand all foods and the importance of eating healthy, so they often help prepare the meals at dinner time.
What is your favourite childhood recipe?
For me, it’s definitely scones!!! I live and breathe scones, my favourite being the classic fruit scone. I have baked them weekly since being young. Scones are my all-time favourite bake, they are so simple and versatile and so quick to whip up a batch when you crave something sweet. You can enjoy them for breakfast, brunch, lunch or afternoon tea and let’s not forget supper! There is just something so comforting curling up on the sofa with my cup of tea with a warm scone or two because sometimes one just isn’t enough!
Alongside the classic fruit, I often bake blueberry, date and walnut and raspberry scones. As the scones bake, the aroma brings back so many memories baking with both my Mum and Nan Freda.
My Great Nan Esther was famous amongst her friends for her scones. She baked them for everyone to enjoy. My Nan Freda followed in her footsteps and shared her secrets with my Mum and then me. Her recipe is very special to me, yes it’s simple but it isn’t just the recipe, it is the method she taught me, the bakers instinct that you pick up along the way, when you know whether you should add a little more milk or flour. When baking scones you must caress the dough, you do not want to end up with rock cakes! Once baked the scones are crisp and golden yet so fluffy and light. They are heavenly and a favourite amongst my friends and family.
If you could only bake one cake for the rest of your life, what would it be?
How could you do this to me!!! But the answer is easy, lemon Drizzle. I love everything about lemon drizzle, the ingredients, the homemade Lemon Curd, perfecting the bake, and the smell once you open the oven door to a perfect moist cake, never mind the fun part of eating it. I can literally smell and taste it whilst writing this. Not only does it make me crave a Lemon Drizzle cake right now it automatically brings back memories of me baking with my Nanna Freda 30 years ago. When I ran a market stall at street markets and food festivals, Lemon drizzle, Carrot cake, Rocky road, Orange and Almond were my favourite cakes and the most popular.
When Covid came and all the restrictions that bought with it, I had to take my business online and build a website https://www.scrumptiousbylucy.com but then I found with sending cakes to friends and families that soft cakes were a little difficult to send by post as they were often crushed, so I concentrated on my range of brownies and more importantly trying to convert the Lemon drizzle into a Lemon brownie or blondie. After many, many, attempts and tweaking the recipes as well using my own home made lemon curd, I got it just right so the blondie had that lovely moist texture with a fresh zingy lemony taste.
Image credit - @scrumptiousbylucy
What quintessential British recipe do you prefer - Victoria Sponge or Lemon Drizzle?
Both are amazing, but the Lemon Drizzle wins every time.