Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Elizabeth's May Cake - Fudge Cupcakes

I did it again.

I couldn't help myself! I thought I had learned my lesson, but I guess I didn't.

I read another Joanne Fluke book.

I know! It's ridiculous that I read it, given how much I hated the other one. But the very next one in the series had cake in the title, and I had looked at it when I picked up the Lemon Meringue Pie one, AND it involved a mystery ingredient.....so I just had to get it from the library when the year of cakes started.

Luckily, it wasn't quite as bad as the Lemon Meringue Pie book (although that's not saying much). Still, I just had to find out what the secret ingredient was in the Fudge Cupcakes, which was the title recipe). Well..... (spoiler alert!) it was Raspberry Syrup! Who knew!? Thus solving the best mystery Ms. Fluke could possibly put together, because her murder investigations are completely absurd.

Getting back to the cupcakes....

These were awful. I made them twice, because I thought I might have done something wrong, and they were just as bad the second time. I eventually searched online for reviews of the book to see what others had to say about the recipe. Turns out there was a MISPRINT in the original edition: it's not baking SODA, it's baking POWDER! Argh. This was the title recipe, and Fudge Cupcakes sounded oh-so-tasty. I'm thinking about making them again the correct way, but .... I don't have the energy for it just now. If I make them again, I'll post the results. I promise. And I promise not to read another Fluke book again. Really.

Cross my heart and hope to die.

...'Cuz I'll WANNA die if I read another one! Oh snap!! Good one, Elizabeth.

Right before melting the chocolate

Waiting for the chocolate to melt

And...the chocolate has melted.
I skipped all the steps after this, such as adding flour, etc. Boring.

The finished cupcakes. What the....?

The cupcakes after we poked at them a little bit. They didn't taste too terrible, actually, but they clearly went over the pan and didn't hold their rise. They were also too chewy-weird.

Fudge Cupcakes

(This is the correct recipe, in case you want to make them and post them or something)


  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares (1 oz each)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup raspberry flavored syrup (for pancakes- I used Knott's red raspberry)
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature (one stick, 1/4 pound, I use sweet butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar (you use 1 3/4 cups sugar in all)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F Position rack in the middle of oven.
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with double papers. Since this recipe makes 18 cupcakes, you can use an additional 6-cup muffin pan lined with double papers, or you can butter and flour an 8-inch square cake pan or the equivalent.
  3. Microwave the chocolate, raspberry syrup and 1/4 sugar in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave again for another minute. At this point, the chocolate will be almost melted, but it will maintain its shape. Stir the mixture until smooth and let cool to lukewarm. (You can also do this in a double boiler on the stove.).
  4. Measure flour, mix in baking powder and salt, and set aside.
  5. In an electric mixer (or with a VERY strong arm), beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. (About 3 minutes with a mixer--an additional 2 minutes if you're doing it by hand.) Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to make sure they're thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Add approximately a third of the flour mixture and a third of the milk. (You don't have to be exact--adding the flour and milk in increments makes the batter smoother.) When that's all mixed in, add another third of the flour and another third of the milk. Thwn that's incorporated, add the remainder of the flour and the remainder of the milk. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Test your chocolate mixture to make sure it's cool enough to add. (You don't want to cook the eggs!) If it's fairly warm to the touch but not so hot you have to pull you hand away, you can add it at this point. Stir thoroughly and you're done.
  8. Let the batter rest for five minutes. Then stir it again by hand and fill each cupcake paper three-quarters full. If you decided to use the 8-inch cake pan instead of the 6-cup muffin tin, fill it with the remining batter.
  9. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. The 8-inch cake should bake an additional 5 minutes.
Fudge Frosting - for 18 cupcake, or 12 cupcakes and 1 small cake, cooled to room temperature and ready to frost.
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (12-ounce package)
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk.
  1. If you use a double-boiler for this frosting, it's foolproof. You can also make it in a heavy saucepan over low to medium heat on the stovetop, but you'll have to stir it constantly with a spatula to keep it from scorching.
  2. Fill the bottom; part of the double boiler with water. Make sure it doesn't touch the underside ot the top.
  3. Put the chocolate chips in the top of the double-boiler, set it over the bottom, and place the double boiler on the stovetop at medium heat. Stir occasionall ntil the chocolate chips are melted.
  4. Stir in the can of sweetened condensed milk and cook approximately two minutes, stirring constantly, until the frosting is shiny and of spreading consistency.
  5. Spread on cupcakes, making sure to fill in the "frosting pocket.".


ferskner said...

Whoa, did you add the "frosting pocket" part???

I've always wanted to try some of the recipes from the many many culinary mysteries I read (although not this series...yet!), but when I read through them, they just don't make sense! They're not logical, the way a good recipe should be. Maybe I'll try one someday. I admire you for trying.

I loved the part about the mystery of the raspberry syrup being the biggest one that what's her face could come up with.

Elizabeth said...

Excellent recipe reading, Ann! Yes, there is a line about the "frosting pocket" and it's from her and not me.

In the book she talks about how the cupcakes fall a little, leaving a small indentation that she calls the "frosting pocket." I don't believe that the droopy craziness that I had going on was what she intended by "frosting pocket."