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I wrote a cookbook! Postal Bakes: Over 60 cakes, cookies and other treats to send by mail

12 January 2022

Well... hello! Not quite sure how else to open after a cool 21 months away. Life got busy and the world went crazy and, well, here we are. I miss writing here and hope to reinvigorate this special space one day. Until then, I wanted to stop by quickly as I have some very exciting news which I'm dying to share with you! 

I WROTE A COOKBOOK! I’m so excited (but also strangely nervous!) to finally be able to shout from the rooftops that my first cookbook, Postal Bakes, comes out on 12th May in the UK, published by Welbeck. She’s also coming out in the USA, Aus & NZ shortly afterwards and is available to pre-order now. Somebody pinch me?! 

Maybe I’m biased, but I can think of few things more special that you could do for someone than choose a recipe they’ll love, bake it for them, wrap everything beautifully, and send it to them as a surprise piece of *nice* post. It’s like a hug in the post, and is it just me who really needs that sometimes?! 

Postal Bakes features the recipes that you all loved and ordered from me over lockdowns one two three and in-between (thank you!), alongside plenty of new ones - think brownies, blondies, cakes, biscuits, cookies, confectionary, and pantry staples (curds, caramels, honeycomb and more) that will take your baking to the next level. I’ve shared everything I’ve learnt from running a postal business, from packaging to shelf lives to postage options - you name it, it’s in there! Every recipe in the book is designed to be made in the same tin using easily accessible ingredients, because I want to make baking feel easier. Gentler maybe. These are the kind of recipes where you might just already have most of what you need in your cupboards already. 

Life has given us a lot of lemons over the last few years. 2020 was a real low point, but it did spark this little seed of an idea and I’m so happy that it resonated and found a home at Welbeck and that I got to work with the most incredible team to bring it to life. I never once made lemonade but I did make a lot of lemon (and gin) drizzle cake inspired by the one and only original recipe that I shared right here on Pudding Lane back in 2014. You'll find the new and improved (yes, really!) recipe in the book! 

Pre-orders really do make such a difference, and you can order now for a treat in the post on 12th May. Future-you will thank you later! You can order via Amazon, Waterstones, Blackwells and WHSmiths with more to follow. 

To anyone reading this, thank you for continuing to stop by. I'm sorry I disappeared, but hope you'll consider writing a book a worthy excuse! Hoping to be back with recipe content in the coming months too - more soon! 

Lucy x

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Caramelised Banana Tarte Tatin With Sea Salt

23 April 2020

Another day in lockdown, another day digging through the archives of my first blog, which I  briefly wrote during my last year at university and first few months living in London.

Like flicking through old photo albums or hearing your voice played back to you, it's been an equally toe-curlingly cringeworthy and fondly nostalgic occupation. Turns of phrase and baking trends that have not aged well stand in for the bad haircuts and questionable clothing choices - I like to think I won't read this post back in seven years time with such disdain, but who knows. And before I move on - remember mug cakes?! Wow but also, ew.

Anyway, a ruby in the rubble was this forgotten recipe for caramelised banana tarte tatin. I remember baking this for my family and being very pleased with the results. I had been inspired by an early episode of Bake Off - back when all four judges/presenters had the same haircut and the contestants didn't have Instagram - where one of the bakers had created something similar.

At the risk of stating the painfully obvious, I think I had also recently discovered the saturation setting on Lightroom, so please forgive the lurid photos. Strangely, my early food photography and styling (or rather, severe lack of) makes me smile rather than grimace.

I hope you're all doing as ok as can be. If the perpetually empty baking section of my local Sainsbury's is anything to go by, you are all experimenting in the kitchen, which makes me so happy.

if you don't want to make your own pastry, skip this part and use shop bought puff pastry
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
190g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
125g cold water
100g caster sugar
60g butter
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3 firm bananas
Flakey sea salt, to finish

To make the rough-puff pastry, place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter, stirring and chopping it a little using a round-ended knife. Once the butter is well coated in flour, add the lemon juice along with 125ml of cold water. Continue mixing and chopping with the knife, until the mixture has formed a rough, soft dough.

Tip this onto a well floured surface, and shape roughly into a square. Roll into a rectangle which is roughly 35x20 cm, then fold into thirds. Roll the pastry out again into another rectangle, and repeat the process. Repeat this 4-5 times. Wrap up your pastry in clingfilm, and leave to cool down in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably overnight.

To make the caramel, heat the sugar in a pan. Avoiding stirring, let it cook until the sugar has melted and taken on a deep golden colour (10 minutes ish). Add the butter and salt, and shake the pan or if needed, quickly whisk together. Immediately, pour into the base of a round oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with flakey sea salt. Cut the bananas into rounds and layer over the caramel.

Roll out the chilled pastry, and cut a circle just bigger than the banana dish. Place on top and tuck around the bananas, then bake at 180C for 40-45 minutes. The tart is cooked when the pastry is golden and firm to the touch. Flip it onto a plate (carefully, as the hot caramel could spill out when you do this) as soon as you take it out of the oven.

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25 March 2020

Hello! How are you doing? You ok-ish? The world feels like it's turned upside down, doesn't it? I'm a week into working from home, and just a couple of days into lockdown here in London. I'd like to say I'm getting used to it, but it does all still feel like a bit of a bad dream. 

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