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

September in the U.S. is the start of the new academic calendar. I remember not even knowing right from left when it came to U.S. colleges, let alone getting around campus life or trying to find the right class room - from one class to the next. Funny thing is, no matter where I went there were always muffins.

Whether it was the breakfast buffet in the dorm, or the cafe where I went for snacks, or the coffee stall, there were always muffins. Muffin is a type of cup-cake.

It’s not that dainty little thing like you see in Japan, it’s much bigger. Hold your palm just like you would hold a softball, that is basically the volume of a muffin. In America it is eaten for breakfast, at tea time, or even as a snack and is one of the most common types of cakes.

When making muffins usually you would use vegetable shortening as opposed to butter or margarine. To this you would add egg, and sugar and then mix. This is the crux to making muffins but remember not to over-mix because doing so will burst the bubbles of air that make muffins so soft. Experts say they only run the spoon around the mixture 10 times.

Muffins are an energy source for those on the go, and for those who like to eat them on a daily basis there are a myriad of flavors to choose from. If you use corn flour then you get corn muffins. Blackened bananas when squashed and mixed in will create banana muffins. Thinly slice that old apple rolling around the bottom of the fridge and you get apple muffins. There are chocolate muffins, blueberry muffins and many more.

For some reason muffins made with lemon flavoring and the seeds of a poppy - lemon poppy-seed muffins - appear to be popular with Japanese exchange students. I know someone who ate them every day for a month! She was addicted to the tiny seeds that would burst in her mouth.

By the time I finished tasting all the muffins on campus I had already become a well-seasoned American exchange student and was walking confidently with the sweet breeze of fall on my back…

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