MATSUNOSUKE - Akiko Hirano's Pie & Cake

Cake Diaries


January - Apple Pie Healing
The Bitter Cold of New England

February - Chocolate Brownies
Valentine’s Day

March - Maple Syrup Cheese Cake
Massachusetts Maple Syrup Factory

April - Boston Cream Pie
Boston and Boston Bags

May - Giant Decoration Cake
The Star of the Graduation Party

June- Bake Sale
Labor, Reward and Fun!

July - Strawberry Shortcake
Independence Day

August - Cranberry Bread
Farmer's Market

September - Muffins
Memories of a College Student

October - Punpkin Pie

November - Indian Pudding

December - Fruit Cake

July: Strawberry Shortcake - Independence Day

The fourth of July, Independence Day, happens to fall in the middle of strawberry season in New England. It is the time of year when people throw off their jackets and go outside into the warming sun in short-sleeved shirts.

On this day in the big cities, and even in the smallest of cities, there are Independence Day parades. A day when the stars and stripes flap in the summer skies. The colorful cheer girls, the proud cavalry (and if it’s a small country town) the muddied ploughs all slowly parade through the main street.

After the parade it’s time for a quiet picnic under the trees. This is one of the few enjoyments of New England’s short summer. Cold lemonade and hot-dogs heaped with mustard. And lots of fruits, starting with ripe strawberries.

Red ripe strawberries are great on their own, but those who like their sweets would probably enjoy strawberry shortcake more!

This cake, which is also common in Japan, begins with a soft sponge upon which superior quality fresh cream is heaped followed by not a few strawberries. The ‘short’ from shortcake comes from butter, a shortening known as the ingredient that makes cookies and pies so soft and delicious.

Like cookies, the sponge is also light and soft. Several round sponges are sandwiched around a mixture of strawberry and cream. Cream and strawberries then are used for decoration on top.

The decoration doesn’t need to be geometrical. The simple red of the strawberries and white of the cream go well under the crisp blue summer skies. Nothing needs be difficult.

Just try a bite! The sponge is light and soft with crisp thin edges, it goes perfectly with the moistness of the strawberry and cream. There is texture in the sponge and tenderness in the cream.

Even in summer when sweets are not such a favorite, nothing can be compared to this strawberry shortcake. After enjoying a rich afternoon, it’s time to watch the fireworks light up the Independence Day night skies.

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