We've been having those cold as a witch's tit in a brass bra in the middle of winter days. That means, it's been cold here. I had a warming cup of tea the other day, followed by hot towels on my face thanks to a truly wonderful facial, and I think it was there, and under my giant waterfall rain shower head, that I finally got warm. When it's cold, it can take a while.
But there's another way, and it comes through drinking a mug of champurrado. Yes, those double r's mean you roll them, and feel free to do so with grand sweeping hand movements, or with a punching of the fist forward. Champurrado is a great sounding word delivering warmth from the inside out when you drink it.
I first fell in love with champurrado in San Jose del Cabo, a little town in Baja California of Mexico. Hot, thick, chocolate, I literally felt it warming me as I drank it. (Actually, I think I may have panicked a bit about its warmth: it's thick, and hot, and I thought I could be literally cooking my insides. Sip this carefully! Hot drink!) While it wasn't the coldest of nights, I knew it was perfect for warming the cold Northwest winters.
Champurrado is a kind of atole, a hot drink made with masa, or corn flour. Atole is AdRi's favorite, and is made with fruit for flavors like strawberry or with vanilla. But champurrado is chocolate, and uses mexican chocolate, masa, milk and a raw form of sugar called piloncillo (it still has the molasses in it and comes in the shape of a small cone). Some recipes call for condensed or evaporated milk, but I went looking for the real thing, using whole ingredients, and this is what I came up with.
If you're cold and missing a trip to Mexico this winter like I am, head to your local tienda and acquire the basic ingredients to make your own champurrado. (A pedicure to reintroduce you to your toes this winter may also help.)
2 1/2 cups milk (we used 1%)
2 cones of piloncillo
1 disk mexican chocolate, chopped coursely
1/3 cup masa
1 1/2 cups water
In a blender, blend the masa with the water until smooth. Pour into saucepan and add milk, chopped chocolate and piloncillo. Heat over medium heat, whisking as you go. Sugar and chocolate will melt, and champurrado will thicken. If you're using a wooden spoon, the champurrado should coat the back of your spoon in thickness. Too thick? You have pudding, add more milk. Pour into mugs and enjoy.
You can listen to AdRi and I talk about champurrado, atole, and another hot drink from her childhood, on this week's Lelo Homemade here. (She pronounces champurrado much more beautifully than I do.)