The Mary and Me Undertaking: Coffee and Walnut Cake, St Clements Muffins and Lime Cookies

Day 13: 11 Feb 2018

Recipe 8: Coffee and Walnut Cake

Recipe 9: St Clements Muffins

Recipe 10: Lime Lattice Cookies

Book: Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, pg 51, 127 and 199 respectively

I’ve been trying to get this post up since last week but just hadn’t had a chance to get the photos edited and resized until this weekend. Turns out it’s really difficult to write and edit on your phone, on the tube, when you have cake in hand and you don’t get a seat, like ever. So please read this in last week Wednesdays frame of mind, because that is when I finished writing it.

As if last weekend spent painting wasn’t enough, this weekend we continued with all the homey things and tidied up the garden, fixed a carpet and I built and stained a chest of drawers. I also got a facial and did some shopping for my niece so that was nice.

So Sunday ended up being an afternoon of catching up again. This week looks like it’s heading the same way. I worked late on Monday, yesterday was pancake day (woop to pancakes for dinner), today is valentines day (and our 12 year dating anniversary) and I have a work social on Thursday.

The first bake on Sunday was coffee and walnut cake. I ran out of self-raising flour halfway through the recipe so subbed in plain flour with baking powder and it worked like a charm.
The Mary and Me Undertaking, Coffee and Walnut CakeI also didn’t have coffee extract or essence, the recipe calls for both, so I did a little Google to see what substitutes could work. A teaspoon of instant coffee dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water was the general consensus and only after baking the cake did I see Mary’s tip at the bottom of the page stating the exact same…maybe in future I should read the entire recipe before I start.

While the cake baked I started on the St Clements muffins. These muffins are made with the zest of a lemon and an entire orange, peel and all. As I was bringing the ingredients together I was all like “Oranges and lemons, the bells of St Clements, when will I kiss you… La la lala la laaaa” (because I don’t know all the words to the song) and then it was like a light bulb moment or as Riaan and I would say “mind blasting” – that’s why they’re called St Clements muffins! Because of the oranges and lemons.The Mary and Me Undertaking, St Clements Muffins, Coffee and Walnut Cake Mary said to fill the muffin cases almost to the top, so I did. I ended up only having 9 muffins. The recipe is supposed to yield 12 muffins. Are my South African muffin cases bigger than the British ones? Do these cases make my muffins look big?

Sidenote: I bought 500 muffin cases before we moved to the UK and they got shipped over with all my baking stuff, I’m not some crazy person that buys everything at the South African shop.
The Mary and Me Undertaking, St Clements Muffins, Coffee and Walnut CakeThe cake came out and the muffins went in, next up, the lime lattice cookies. I had been smart this time and chose 3 recipes that baked at the same temperature, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.

I had been doing a bit of Googling about St Clements muffins while I was preparing them and this led me to a discovery, I am not the first crazy person to bake every recipe in Mary’s Baking Bible. After discovering this I felt a bit deflated and distracted TBH.

I got started on the lime lattice cookies and didn’t read the recipe properly, I ended up doing an all-in-one method rather than creaming the butter and sugar together first. Sigh. Too busy thinking about the other people and how their bakes might have turned out.

I took a minute, gave myself a talking to and got on with my cookies. I never set out to be the first person to do this, I set out to see if I would still love baking/my kitchen and still want to do it every day as a job after working through 338 recipes and also I hoped to learn something along the way. And I definitely am learning.

I picked some limes from my newly acquired lime trees (thank you Flo!) and grated them for zest, mixed this into the batter and created the lattice effect using a toothpick.
The Mary and Me Undertaking, St Clements Muffins, Coffee and Walnut Cake, Lime lattice cookiesThis was the first time I was having lime in cookies and I was excited! The muffins came out of the oven, the cookies went in and I got started on the icing for the cake, once again using my own coffee essence.
The Mary and Me Undertaking, St Clements Muffins, Coffee and Walnut Cake, Lime lattice cookies When the cookies came out I was so happy to see there had been no spread, my all-in-one method had worked. They’d held their shape and they were nice and golden. Success!
The Mary and Me Undertaking, St Clements Muffins, Coffee and Walnut Cake, Lime lattice cookies

Difficulty

Coffee and Walnut Cake: Easy

St Clements Muffins: Easy

Lime Lattice Cookies: Easy

The verdict

The coffee and walnut cake was really easy to bring together, and it was surprisingly good. I used two tablespoons of hot water with two teaspoons of instant coffee in the sponge and one of each in the icing and it was perfect, not too strong. The sponge was nice and light and not dry at all, I think I could have done with a few more walnut pieces in the sponge.

I made the St Clements muffins due to a request for a lemon flavoured bake on Instagram. I usually wouldn’t have chosen this recipe because I don’t like orange peel, but I’m glad I did. The muffins were moist and had a lovely fresh taste. They are also very easy to bring together if you have the right equipment. You need a food processor to chop up your orange to get the pulp and peel nice and fine.

The lime lattice cookies were my favourite biscuit so far, they were super easy and quick to make and I loved the texture. I think they’d be amazing with some oats and dark chocolate chips in the mix.

Will I make it again? And what will I do differently next time?

I only realised last night(13 Feb) that I used a tin that was 2cm too big for the Coffee and Walnut Cake, so next time I’ll use the right size tin to give my cake more height. Other than that I wouldn’t change a thing. And yep, I’d make it again.

I’d also make the St Clements muffins again, but I’d add more lemon, I really enjoyed the lemony flavour. I’d also double up on the batter to get nice big bakery style muffins.

The Lime Lattice Cookies were the stand out from this batch, I’ll definitely be making them again and trying out some flavour combos.

10 recipes down, 328 to gooooo.

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