Champurrado

Champurrado is a chocolate version of the previously reviewed atole. Atole is often described as a masa-based porridge, sweetened with raw sugar (piloncillo). For my previous atole attempt, I relied on a Rick Bayless recipe and was slightly disappointed with the unexpectedly thin result. I stumbled across the recipes on the Latina Cocina and Hungry Sofia blogs and merged the two for this version of champurrado.

Ingredients:

  • 1 disc of Mexican chocolate (eg. Abuelita or Ibarra brands)
  • 1/2 large cone of piloncillo, chopped (sub. generous 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 tsp. molasses)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • zest from 1/2 orange (I used a knife to shave zest in large chunks, to be removed during cooking.  A sharp knife is key to avoiding the bitter white pith.  Use a grater, and leave zest in champurrado if it proves troublesome.)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup masa harina (eg. MaSeCa flour), reconstituted with 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk

Steps:

  1. In medium pot, combine chocolate, piloncillo, cinnamon stick, orange zest and 2 cups water and simmer on medium-low heat for ~15 minutes until chocolate and sugar have melted.
  2. While ingredients are simmering, combine masa flour and water in a bowl and whisk until evenly combined with no lumps.
  3. Once chocolate/sugar mixture is finished, remove and discard cinnamon stick and orange zest (if in strips. If grated, proceed).
  4. Add the masa mixture to pot along with the milk and bring to temperature, whisking to prevent clumping as it cooks.
  5. When mixture begins to gently simmer, remove from heat and serve in a mug.

The consistency of this was pretty much exactly what I was aiming for.  Thick, porridge-like, coats your tongue, with the bonus of being rather filling.  It also takes a long time to cool, so drink slowly and enjoy examining the layers of flavor. The orange zest, cinnamon, corn, chocolate… But this isn’t a light, before-bed drink.  Having this after a sizable dinner, along with a bowl of fruit (in this case, the leftover orange with some papaya, a squirt of lime and some chile powder) might send you to bed groaning.  But it is delicious, if a tad overly sweet.  Next time, I’ll cut the sugar by 1/3, and serve it in my smallest mug, instead of my largest.

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