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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Chocolate Cupcakes #FoodieReads

I just had to make a batch of these chocolate cupcakes after reading the sixteenth book in the series A Murder on Maui by Robert W. Stephens: Poe's World. I wrote a post last summer about the first fifteen - Fifteen Books of Poe and a Shave Ice Addiction - and, as soon as this book was released, I ordered it.

Like the other books, this centers on Edgar Allen Rutherford, nickname Poe, as a private investigator who is married to a Maui detective Alana Hu. Poe also owns a bar with his childhood best friend, Foxx, who is also the father of a daughter with Alana's sister, Hani. Yes, it's a little bit of an island soap opera mixed with a murder mystery.

In this book, Poe helps to solve a poisoning that happened in plain sight, investigating both the man's young wife and his adult children. As I said before, these definitely don't qualify as good literature, but they are a fun little read.

As I can always find food inspiration in whatever I am reading or watching, I was inspired into the kitchen to make chocolate cupcakes. I laughed as I never celebrated half-year birthdays for my kids or fed them cupcakes. Mean Mommy here, for sure. Well, they got cupcakes when they were older, but definitely not at six months.

"This story officially began six months to the day that my last one ended. I know this since it was my daughter’s six-month birthday. My wife and I marked that special moment by making chocolate cupcakes, which we proceeded to eat ourselves."

Another exchange between Poe and Alana had me chuckling. It's definitely the sentiment of new, exhausted parents. "'I shall have to make it up to you with a bouquet of flowers and a steak dinner with a side of garlic mashed potatoes.' 'At this point in our lives, I’d prefer you do the laundry and dishes for the next few weeks,' she said." Priorities definitely shift at the beginning of the parenthood journey. The good news is that it shifts back. Now that our boys are off to college, Jake and I are enjoying many more relaxed date nights with flowers and dinner.

Back to the cupcakes...these are a riff on a Death by Chocolate kinda dessert.



  • 1 cup Guinness (or other stout beer that you have on-hand)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 cup flour

  • 1 cup organic dark brown sugar

  • ½ cup organic granulated sugar

  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2/3 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips

  • Also needed: cupcake liners, piping bag and tips

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup organic heavy whipping cream

  • 1 Tablespoon butter

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks or chips



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners. Combine the Guinness and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk till smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache Place whipping cream and butter in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until bubbles begin to form on the side of the pan. Add in the chocolate chunks and swirl to make sure they are covered with the warmed cream. Let stand for 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Cool in refrigerator until it thickens, at least 30 minutes. Once it's cool, you can whip the cooled ganache into a pipeable frosting. Pipe over cooled cupcakes. You can refrigerate them to set the frosting.

I am linking this post to the August round-up for #FoodieReads. Find that here.

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1 Comment

Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
Sep 01, 2023

Perhaps a good series to download during my travels so I don't have to concentrate or think too hard.

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