Champurrado (Chocolate Atole)

Champurrado is a chocolate-based drink with corn flour added to thicken it. I remember having champurrado on cold winter mornings in my grandmother’s cozy cocina. Grandma always seemed to know what little kids need on any given day, that’s what makes grandmas so special. She made this thick chocolaty drink to help me warm up in the morning. If the champurrado was too hot I remember her pouring it back and forth between two cups to cool it off.

It filled my belly and sometimes it was all I needed for breakfast. As a kid, champurrado reminded me of a thinner version of cream of wheat with a rich and delicious chocolaty taste.

Champurrado is a very popular drink during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Las Posadas during Christmas season. I like the hint of corn after the initial taste of chocolate on my taste buds.

Watch this video to learn how simple it is to make.

Champurrado (Chocolate Atole)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 anise star
  • ¼ cup masa harina
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ disk Mexican chocolate, chopped (Abuelita or Ibarra chocolate)
  • 3 ounces piloncillo, chopped or 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan boil water with the two cinnamon sticks and anise star. Remove from the heat, cover and let the cinnamon sticks and anise star steep for about 1 hour. Remove the cinnamon sticks and anise star, return to low heat and slowly add the masa harina to the warm water, whisking until combined. Add milk, chocolate, and piloncillo.
  2. Heat over medium heat just until boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and sugar is dissolved, whisking occasionally. Serve immediately.
More recipes available at muybuenocookbook.com This recipe is also published in Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

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Photography by Jeanine Thurston