information overload // matcha mixed berries muffins

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Looking back, I’ve always favoured a minimalist approach to pictures, both mine and others’. Usually that entails having an unadorned white background and containing very few elements aside from the ones in focus. I guess it’s because these pictures stand out in a society so cluttered with information that it would reach its breaking point with a mere additional gigabyte of data; they contain a tranquility that sucks you in and shuts the rest of the world out in their simplicity.

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Living in one of the busiest cities in the world, it’s near impossible to avoid being bombarded, assaulted by information. But I think us city dwellers especially have gradually developed a defence mechanism against this constant onslaught of data – we ignore with our eyes wide open. We see a commercial running on that massive television screen that serves as a modern day billboard, yet we don’t necessarily process the information we’re looking at. We listen to music while surfing the web, but can we really appreciate or concentrate on either activity?

If only silence was a soundtrack we could play on maximum volume.

I’m guilty of this thoughtless consumption as well, even as aware as I am of the sheer amount of effort that goes into each creative endeavour. I scan through blogposts and Instagram pictures at the pace of several per minute, not because I don’t have the leisure to carefully take in each word and image, but because I lack the concentration. The difference between my current attention span and that of just a couple years ago is frightening. I think it’s high time that we reconsider how we consume information, I definitely plan to do so.

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Moving on to a lighter topic – these muffins. It occurred to me one day that I still had a bit of matcha powder left in the pantry that I should use up soon, and I was kinda in the mood for a breakfast good – deliciousness without the fuss. Deciding on what exactly to make was a tough battle between scones and muffins and the latter won out in the end because there were fewer steps involved in the process. I wanted the muffins to be packed with matcha flavour and it took me some time to find a recipe that promises that, but I did.

The muffins were pretty agreeable in terms of matcha flavour intensity, although I would add a tiny bit more because I’m a matcha freak comme ça. Also, I felt that the density of these were more similar to that of cupcakes than muffins which I wasn’t expecting. I generally prefer fluffier muffins with those gorgeous massive domed tops so I’m pretty undecided if I like the texture of these. Frankly these have the potential to be a great matcha cupcake recipe so all in all, certainly not hating on these.

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Matcha Mixed Berries Muffins

makes 6 large muffins

Ingredients:

180 grams cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder (I suggest using 1 1/2 teaspoons for a fluffier texture)

2 tablespoons matcha powder (or 3 tablespoons, if you like an intense matcha flavour)

100 grams butter, at room temperature

120 grams sugar

2 eggs

70 ml regular milk or soy milk

about 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries

Instructions: Preheat oven to 180C and place cupcake liners into the cavities of a muffin tin.

Sift the flour, baking powder and matcha powder into a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add in a third of the flour mixture, followed by half the milk, half of the remaining flour mixture, the rest of the milk, then the last of the flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Lightly stir in the berries until evenly distributed.

Divide the batter evenly amongst the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes.

Recipe adapted from here (translated from Japanese).

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