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Chocolate Cupcake Menorahs (D)
Source: Daphna Rabinovitch & "The Test Kitchen"
Serves: 9

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
27 small gold foil wrapped chocolate coins

8 ounces softened cream cheese
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/3 cup icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk or water
6 round chocolate wafers
Edible gold glitter or coloured sugar
Miniature candy-coated chocolates (such as M&Ms)

Line 9 muffin cups with paper liners or grease. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In separate bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup (175ml) water, oil, egg, vinegar and vanilla. Make well in centre of dry ingredients; pour in water mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour into prepared muffin cups, filling about three-quarters full. Press 3 gold foil wrapped coins into each.

Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven for about 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Wrap individually in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day)

In bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in chocolate, sugar and milk until satiny, scraping down side and bottom of bowl often. Spread over top of each cupcake, reserving 1 tbsp. (15ml). Using reserved icing as glue, make stack of chocolate wafers.

Arrange cupcakes in straight row on long platform or in arc or semicircle on platter. Place wafer stack in centre or at right end of row; arrange 1 cupcake on top. Decorate with edible gold glitter and candies. Makes 9 cupcakes.

Tips: Insert a Hanukkah candle in the centre of each cupcake or use a foil-wrapped chocolate kiss to resemble a candle with a flame.

The elevated cupcake is the shammas (servant or helper candle). Always light the shammas first and use it to light the rest of the menorah, from left to right.

Poster's Note: Menorahs (or hanukkiahs, as they are also called) come in a variety of shapes and materials, but none is as intriguing as our edible version. The cupcakes, which become candle holders, contain a surprise treasure of chocolate Hanukkah gelt (Yiddish for "money"), a traditional offering.

Posted by Carole Walberg

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 426 Calories (kcal); 28g Total Fat; (55% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 44g Carbohydrate; 53mg Cholesterol; 321mg Sodium