Have you ever had a taste or a smell that reminds you of home? For me, that would be Champurrado and Suavitel. The smell of Champurrado wafting from the kitchen and the fragrance of Suavitel coming off the freshly washed linens. All I know is one sip and I’m a little girl again, home with my parents and my brothers and sisters sitting around the breakfast table eating pan dulce.
The champurrado was ( and if we’re being honest, still is) always perfect. I have no idea how my mom gets it so perfectly smooth (it’s like her secret for having the worlds softest towels. How does she do it?) it’s just one of those “mom things.” The pan dulce is always warm and the laughter is always intoxicating. It’s home and everything that I want my daughters’ to think of when they think of home. That warm nostalgic feeling of belonging and being loved.
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So what is this magical drink of my childhood that some of you have never heard of? It’s called champurrado or chocolate but it’s not like Swiss Miss. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Swiss Miss with marshmallows too. This just isn’t it. This is something more substantial.
What is Champurrado?
Champurrado is Mexican hot chocolate or chocolate atole.
Atole or Spanish, from Nahuatl ātōlli, also known as atol and atol de elote, is a traditional hot corn- and masa-based beverage of Mesoamerican origin. Chocolate atole is known as champurrado or atole. It is typically accompanied with tamales, and very popular during the Christmas holiday season. Maybe? But in our house, it was just called breakfast.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole Champurrado is deliciously spiced drinking chocolate that is sometimes so thick and rich you’ll need a spoon! That’s the champurrado that you’ll drink on Christmas morning. It’s flavored with cinnamon, star anise, and Mexican chocolate, but gets its velvety pudding-like consistency from masa harina. That is delicious, but that is not what we had for breakfast every day or we really would have all been diabetic. We drank a slightly lighter version.
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If you ever do find yourself in Mexico or a really good Mexican restaurant and they offer Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole Champurrado, get yourself some. It is delicious.
If you want to try it for yourself at home, my mama’s easy delicious and decadent Champurrado Recipe is perfect.
Mama’s Every day Champurrado
- 1 cup water
- 1 disk Mexican chocolate, chopped Abuelita or Ibarra
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour)
- 4 cups Vitamin-D Whole Milk
- 1/2 cup piloncillo/ or brown sugar Piloncillo is raw form of pure cane sugar that is commonly used in Mexican cooking. Unlike brown sugar, which is made by coating refined white sugar with molasses, piloncillo is pure sugar with no additives.)
- In a large saucepan boil water with the two cinnamon sticks.
- Remove from the heat, cover and let the cinnamon sticks steep for 30-45 minutes (depending on how cinnamony you like your Champurrado.)
- Remove the cinnamon sticks from the water, return to a slow boil and add the chocolate. Bring to boil while constantly stirring the chocolate as it melts.
- Add the brown sugar or piloncillo. Whisk until well blended.
- Slowly add the masa harina to the warm water, whisking until combined.
- Add milk and whisk until smooth and well blended.
- Warm 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.
- If the champurrado is too hot, pour it back and forth between two cups to cool it off. That’s what my mama did.
- Optional: Top with whipped cream. This is my daughters' preferred way to drink it.
This champurrado recipe is perfect for cold mornings before school and work, long Sunday afternoons by the fireplace or for sipping just because around the dining room table playing board games with your family; filling the house with laughter and your hearts with love.
That’s what this Easy Delicious and Decadent Champurrado Recipe is to me.
What is a favorite food or recipe that reminds you of home?