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San Diego Cooks: ‘Mexillent’ Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

The Porras family, circa 1950, sitting at the dinner table for a holiday meal, the boy in the foreground is Margo's late father.
Margo Porras
The Porras family, circa 1950, sitting at the dinner table for a holiday meal, the boy in the foreground is Margo's late father.

Margo Porras is on a health mission, of sorts. As a San Diego-based blogger, she wants Latinos, particularly those of Mexican descent, like her, to eat healthier.

“In my culture, people see being a little bit gordita (chubby) as something you’re just born with,” she says. “Like being tall or having curly hair. It’s just a feature that you have. I, as an overweight child, didn’t experience a lot of bullying or anything like that, but on the other hand it was like, oh well, yeah, they’re gorditas, but they’re going to die of diabetes. And, it was just accepted.”

Over a year ago, Porras, who, ironically, is known in her blog as Nacho Mama—“with extra cheese”—decided to cut down on all the traditional Mexican dishes that are fried and served with mounds of cheese. With the help of a well-known weight-loss program, she developed a plan that included healthy eating and a workout mix of Zumba and walking. Pretty soon, the pounds began to shed.

Which is why this holiday season, she’s not following her usual tradition of gathering with her family after church for some Mexican Hot Chocolate and desserts. Instead, she’s bringing her own, lighter offering to the festivities.

“We were very traditional in our customs and celebrating saint days and everything,” Porras recalls. “But on Christmas and Thanksgiving, those were our American holidays where we ate American food—turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce—and played American music, such as Bing Crosby and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Music we’d never listen to, except on Christmas. I think that all of my grandparents, who were migrant workers, worked very hard to be able to give their kids the opportunity to ‘assimilate’ into the mainstream culture. And, I think they were trying to celebrate the American tradition one or two days a year. “

For Porras, her Mexillant cupcakes combine her heritage with lighter fare. “Christmas Eve was all about sweets and hot chocolate, usually after church. It was just so much food. This is my new tradition, I’ll be serving them this Christmas Eve when I’ll be with my husband’s side of the family (who are not of Mexican descent). So, it’s just going to be the gringos and me. “

According to Porras, these easy to make cupcakes are about 80 calories each, and 1.5 Carbohydrates.

Mexillent Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

1 box of Chocolate Cake mix

2 Cups, Sparkling Water

½ teaspoon, Vanilla Extract

Cinnamon to taste

Freshly grated nutmeg

96 Chocolate Chips, 4 per cupcake

Chocolate frosting

Combine first five ingredients and follow cooking instructions on the cake mix box for baking cupcakes. When batter is distributed in the cupcake pan, drop four chocolate chips into each cupcake. Lightly frost (approximately ½ Tablespoon per cupcake) with your favorite frosting. Porras uses frozen, low-calorie frosting available at most grocery stores.

Makes 24.

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