Champurrado Holiday Drink — It’s “DeAquella/Awesome”

Champurrado Holiday Drink — It’s “DeAquella/Awesome”

This Champurrado holiday drink recipe is lush, velvety smooth, and it’s all done with no milk or creams at all.  The smoothness comes from the chocolate and nixtamalized corn masa blended together.  I adapted this champurrado recipe from my book, Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage In Recipes.  In this version there is no lactose, and I use a blender to create a delicious chocolate velvety mouthfeel.

Champurrado Holiday Drink is made with Mexican cholcolate, Canela (cinnamon), and corn masa
Champurrado Holiday Drink is made with Mexican cholcolate, Canela (cinnamon), and corn masa

As I mention in my book, of the many recipes that I share, I really (really) hope you try this one. I think it is iconic. It has the potential to do what any true icon does: act as a portal so that you come face-to-face with the real thing, in this case, being Texas Mexican, Texas Indian, Mexican American, and Chicana/o.

I was six years old when I first tasted the champurrado holiday drink. It is an “atole,” an ancient porridge type of aromatic beverage.
It was on a cold night at an evening church fundraiser where an old man was selling it in diminutive adobe-colored clay mugs. I took a sip of the steaming liquid. I had never tasted anything like it—chocolate with corn! The texture was rich, the cinnamon and chocolate aromas inviting, and, thankfully on that wintry evening, it was nice and hot. Heaven on earth.

Recipe for Champurrado Holiday Drink

Ingredients (serves six)
3 cups water
2 cups water, separate, additional to the 3 cups above
1 6-inch stick of Mexican canela (cinnamon)
1 cup fresh corn masa or nixtamalized corn flour (masa harina)
4-1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate

The smooth texture of the Champurrado Holiday Drink comes from grinding the corn and chocolate very finely
The smooth texture comes from grinding the corn and chocolate very finely

1. In a saucepan, add 3 cups water, cinnamon and chocolate. Simmer gently for 15 minutes until the chocolate is completely dissolved.
2. In a saucepan dissolve the nixtamalized corn flour in two cups of water, and then pour it slowly into the chocolate mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for 5 minutes to thicken. Remove the cinnamon stick, and allow the mixture to cool a bit.
3. Pour into a blender and blend on high speed for a couple of minutes until the champurrado is very smooth and creamy.  Reheat as necessary, being careful not to burn the bottom.
NOTE: This level of creaminess used to be achieved by grinding both the nixtamalized corn and the chocolate very finely using a metate.  Ms. Benedicta Alejo demonstrates how to use a metate in this video, and the technique is one I’ve not yet learned well.

Serve hot. And if you can find those little adobe-colored mugs, you will have a visual, multisensory, soothing experience.

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