Pre-heat oven to 350°F Position rack in the middle of oven.
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.
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.).
Measure flour, mix in baking powder and salt, and set aside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. The 8-inch cake should bake an additional 5 minutes.
Fudge Frosting -
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.
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.
Fill the bottom; part of the double boiler with water. Make sure it doesn't touch the underside ot the top.
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.
Stir in the can of sweetened condensed milk and cook approximately two minutes, stirring constantly, until the frosting is shiny and of spreading consistency.
Spread on cupcakes, making sure to fill in the "frosting pocked.".
Give the frosting pan to your favorite person to scrape.
These cupcakes are even better if you cool them, cover them and let ehem sit for several hours before frosting them.