This Sunday it was our turn to host our weekly dinner with friends. There are 10 of us who get together every Sunday to eat dinner and watch Tatort (a CSI-like show). The food is always really great. But since Tobias was working this weekend, I was the one who got to cook. Someone said, “Ooh! Make something typically American!”
But what kind of food is American that they don’t already eat here? Hamburgers? (Somehow, in Hamburg…lol!)
But then I had an idea: nothing is more American than Tex Mex! And for dessert, I’ll make cupcakes! I enjoy baking, so that was good to go. And preparing tortillas was super easy. Just a lot of chopping to make salsa and guacamole, and then pretty much just sticking everything out onto the table for people to build their own tortillas. Easy preparation! Just heated up the tortillas in the oven, browned 1000 grams of beef and heated up some refried beans (imported and sold at 2.50€ per can – I splurged and bought two of them…that’s about $6.50 for two cans of beans, people!).
Everything went well and my guests really enjoyed having something different.
Maple Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
The cupcakes were another story. I used this recipe for Maple Cupcakes but didn’t have all of the ingredients I needed. Eggs being the most important missing item. Here in Germany there are rules about what you can and can’t buy on Sundays – most grocery stores are closed unless they’re near a train station, and then those stores actually lock up frozen goods and put away other items. You can only buy small quantities of things (not a 6-pack of 1.5 liter bottles of water, for example) and you can only buy items that are necessary for traveling.
So I wasn’t sure if I could buy eggs. But luckily, you can substitute them with quite a few other ingredients, like applesauce or bananas or even water! But I read buttermilk is a good thing to use for that because it makes the cake really soft and moist. But of course I didn’t have any buttermilk either…however, there is a substitute for that, too! All you have to do is take a scant cup of milk and mix it with 1 tbsp of either lemon juice or white vinegar. I had neither lemons or white vinegar, but I used some apple cider vinegar and it worked just fine. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then you’ve got homemade buttermilk!
So the buttermilk replaced the eggs and the cupcakes still tasted great. And for the frosting, I wanted to make something not too sweet and opted for a nice cream cheese frosting. Again, I didn’t have everything the recipe called for, as I didn’t have quite enough powdered sugar. But apparently you can make your own powdered sugar using corn starch and regular granulated sugar. And of course I didn’t have any corn starch…whoops. But flour worked just fine and my blender mixed it up into a nice sugar cloud for me which resulted in powdered sugar. Thank goodness for blender lids, otherwise I’m sure there would have been sugar all over the kitchen!
They turned out rather nice. They were a little messy, but we ate them with spoons directly from the silicone baking cups and it was perfect!