Champurrado

Traditional to Mexico, champurrado is a warm, thick chocolate beverage (the chocolate version of atole) popularly enjoyed for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. It’s sweetened and flavored with staple Mexican pantry ingredients – piloncillo, stone-ground chocolate, and Ceylon cinnamon – and thickened with masa harina. This version from the founder and lead baker at Gusto Bread, Arturo Enciso, can be made with water (for a vegan option), or with milk for a little more body. Either way, it's the perfect complement to Conchas de Maíz.

Prep
20 mins
Total
20 mins
Yield
a generous 3 cups
Champurrado - select to zoom
Champurrado - select to zoom
Champurrado - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. Pour the water (or water and milk) into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and canela stick.

  2. Set the saucepan over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chocolate pieces, stirring to incorporate the chocolate as it melts.

  4. Weigh your masa harina; or measure it by gently spooning it into a tablespoon, then sweeping off any excess.

  5. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the masa harina a little at a time, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth.

  6. Continue to heat the champurrado over low heat, whisking regularly, until it’s silky and thickened, 12 to 15 minutes.

  7. Remove the champurrado from the heat, discard the canela stick, and serve as is or with a dollop of whipped cream.

  8. Refrigerate any leftover champurrado in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat over low heat in a saucepan or in the microwave, adding water or milk as needed for your desired consistency.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you’re not able to get piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar commonly pressed into a cone) substitute 1/4 cup (53g) packed dark brown sugar.

  • Masa harina (translation: dough flour) is flour made from corn that’s been soaked in a solution of slaked lime (nixtamalized) to loosen its hull and soften it, which improves its texture and helps release its nutrients. The soaked corn is ground into a paste (masa), dried, and then ground again, this time into a fine flour. Due to the corn’s special treatment, neither cornmeal nor corn flour are good substitutes for masa harina.

  • Stone-ground chocolate disks vary, with some sweeter than others; adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe according to taste. If you’re not able to get stone-ground chocolate substitute 1/4 cup (43g) good-quality bittersweet chocolate (wafers or a bar chopped into pieces).