Sunday, January 09, 2011

Warming from the inside out: champurrado

hot champurrado
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.

piloncillo with chocolate in the background

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.)


chook said...

sounds great, lelo! i'll be trying this out soon, maybe later this week when SNOWSTORM 2011!!! hits.

i wonder if a little bit of scotch bonnet pepper might work here. just a tiny tiny little bit.

Laguna Dirt said...

looks so yummy. mexico sounds so great right now, but no $ for a trip. can't wait to try this warming drink!

Laguna Dirt said...

looks so yummy. mexico sounds so great right now, but no $ for a trip. can't wait to try this warming drink!

Best Wishes, Marie said...

hi lelo. just stopping by to say a quick hi. have been happily busy. will start to blog again soon.

Maggie said...

one question - do you have to use hot water with the masa in the blender?

I'm heading into town this week to see if I can find everything!! Girls are wildly excited!!


e said...

Sounds perfect for this week! And for the past two or three weeks, for that matter. Did you make churros to go with it?

scottweberpdx said...

mmmmm...sounds so good, I made myself some mexican hot chocolate the other night...but will have to give this a try too!

Metroknow said...

mmm, I love Champuraddo. There is a small place in Oregon City that makes it on occasion - I have yet to try it (they didn't have it available when I asked), but it is one of the many Latino tastes that I miss from our time in Southern CA.

Thank you for posting - Now I can try making it! :)