1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake papers into the cupcake pans. Beat four teaspoons of room-temperature butter and one-fourth cup sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in one large egg. Sift one-half cup self-rising flour and two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Use a metal spoon to fold it into the mixture. Stir in one teaspoon of milk.
2. Using an ice-cream scoop, fill the cupcake papers three-fourths full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cakes have risen and are firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
3. For the frosting, put three-and-a-half ounces of semisweet chocolate chips into a pan and add one-half cup heavy cream. Heat gently, stirring continually, until the chocolate has melted. Pour into a large, heat-proof bowl and use an electric hand mixer to beat the mixture for 10 minutes, or until thick, glossy and cool.
4. Fill a pastry bag with the frosting and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake. Chill for one hour before serving. For fun toppings, add chocolate chips, crushed Andes mints or any variation of flavor to the batter such as instant espresso mix for a mocha twist.
Cakes by Ron
3520 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. 365-2991.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday
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Coats for kids
Knights of Columbus Councils are helping children in need by providing coats to children in their communities through the order’s Coats for Kids program.
Santa and his elf made a surprise stop Dec. 13, at WineStyles, in San Marco Plaza, by Harley-Davidson motorcycle, during the store’s weekly Friday night wine-tasting event.
Members and guests of the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club ventured Dec. 4 to Orlando, to view holiday decorations at the Grand Floridian and to have lunch at Downtown Disney.