Monday, August 13, 2012

Dying for Chocolate Cupcakes: Krista Davis

Photo: Krista Davis
My mystery and chocolate worlds collide again. Today I welcome Krista Davis, author of the Domestic Diva Mystery series (Berkley Prime Crime).

Krista Davis's The Diva Runs Out of Thyme and The Diva Haunts the House were nominated for Agatha awards. Her most recent book, The Diva Digs Up the Dirt, joined The Diva Haunts the House in the honor of making the extended New York Times Bestseller List. The Diva Frosts a Cupcake will be released in June. Visit Krista at and at her blogs, MysteryLoversKitchen h and Killer Characters. Her novels include recipes and entertaining tips, as well as being fun mysteries! Thanks, Krista, for this fabulous recipe and mouth-watering photos!


My name is Krista, and I am a chocoholic. When Janet so very kindly asked me if I would provide a recipe for Dying for Chocolate -- I flipped. Just the excuse I needed to play with chocolate. I immediately thought of a triple chocolate mousse cake that I used to indulge in. Those who live near Arlington, Virginia might know of Pastries by Randolph. His cakes are heavenly and the triple chocolate mousse cake has long been my favorite.

So I tried a recipe for a torte with a layer of white chocolate mousse, another of milk chocolate mousse and one of dark chocolate mousse. It wasn’t worthy of Randolph but it came out fairly well. Or so I thought.

Two out of four tasters had complaints. One, a die-hard chocolate lover, even said she could do with just the white chocolate mousse! Clearly, I need to do some tweaking on that recipe, but without a house full of company to eat such a cake, well, I’m sure you see the problem.

So I turned my focus to cupcakes. My next Domestic Diva Mystery will be THE DIVA FROSTS A CUPCAKE, with loads of cupcake recipes. Have you noticed that cupcakes have gotten super fancy? It’s not enough to bake them and add frosting. Now they have to have fillings, too! Plus, I knew the Dying for Chocolate audience would be special. You’re chocoholics, like me. So I embarked on Double Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Filling and Raspberry Tinged Chocolate Frosting. Any recipe with a name that long deserves a special name, and since they were developed just for Dying for Chocolate, I’m calling them Dying for Chocolate Cupcakes.

If you’re not game for lots of steps, skip the raspberry cream. I decorated some with a raspberry (easy!), left some plain (easiest), and dotted some with Callebaut’s Dark Crispearls. If you haven’t tried the Crispearls yet, look for them. They’re terrific!

There’s good news and bad news about this recipe. The good news is that it freezes very well. Just slide the cooled cupcakes into a zip type freezer bag. I usually slide a sheet of waxed paper inside over top of them so they won’t stick to the bag. To thaw, simply remove from freezer to room temperature for 45 minutes or so. The bad news is that they’re actually pretty good frozen should you happen to have a middle-of-the-night chocolate crisis. I would recommend filling and frosting them after they have thawed. I did freeze some filled ones for about a week and the filling, while not as good as when fresh, wasn’t the soggy mess I expected.

Dying for Chocolate Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes (makes 18 cupcakes)

16 hazelnuts
1 cup flour
1/4 cup high quality unsweetened powdered chocolate like Pensey’s
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (1 square)
1/2 cup milk (I used nonfat)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
 2 eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400.

Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan.

Toast hazelnuts on a pan for about 4-5 minutes until fragrant. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. When you take the hazelnuts out of the oven, reduce the heat to 350. Let the hazelnuts cool enough to handle, then rub off the skin. It’s okay if a little skin remains. Grind the hazelnuts fine.

Combine flour, hazelnuts, powdered chocolate, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and blend well with a small whisk or a fork.

Cream butter with sugar. Add each egg and beat well. Add the flour mixture in small amounts, alternating with the milk. Beat in the melted chocolate and then the vanilla. Beat to combine.

Divide between cupcake papers, filling each about 1/2 full. Bake 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cream Filling

1/4 cup sweetened whipped cream
3 tablespoons defrosted frozen raspberries* (set aside the liquid for the frosting)

Mix the whipped cream with the raspberries. Cut a small divot out of the middle of each cupcake. Fill. Replace divot and frost.


2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
liquid from raspberries plus enough water to equal 1/4 cup
3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate with the butter. I do this in short bursts in the microwave. Add enough water to the reserved raspberry liquid to make 1/4 cup and heat. Mix the chocolate with the raspberry liquid. Beat in powdered sugar until the consistency is thick but not stiff, (about 3 ½ cups of the powdered sugar). Refrigerate about 15 minutes until it’s easier to handle and will keep its shape. Frost the cupcakes.

Photos: All photos c. Krista Davis


Kaye George said...

Now you've done it, Krista! These will be on my menu tomorrow, as soon as I get to the store for the ingredients. Yum, yum, yum!

lisa is cooking said...

The raspberry cream sounds amazing! And, now I have to find some Callebaut Dark Crispearls.

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Oh, my, love the filling. How cute is that! Sophie would be so proud of you!

Avery aka Daryl

Krista said...

Kaye, I hope you love them!

Lisa, the Crispearls are unbelievable. I'm not sure what else to do with them except decorate -- and eat. They're like tiny bits of airy, crunchy, cereal covered in dark chocolate. So delicious!

~ Krista

Krista said...

Avery, Sophie might skip that step, but Natasha wouldn't! LOL!

~ Krista

Sheila Connolly said...

So not fair, when it's too hot to turn on the oven!