These cold winter nights call for a nice hot mug of champurrado. Champurrado is a pre-Colombian drink made with fresh masa or masa harina, water, piloncillo, and Mexican chocolate. It is especially good with perfectly tender tamales.
Champurrrado ingredients are quite simple but the combination is irresistible. Before the Spanish arrived in Mexico with their cows and their milk, champurrado was made with water.
It is said that the great Aztec emperor Moctezuma Xocoyotzin enjoyed this beverage which he drank in ceremonial vessels made of gold, sweetened with agave honey, and spiced with a bit of chile.
Fray Bernardino de Sahagún documented the consumption of atoll or atolli which was drunk warm or cold by the indigenous people of Mexico, for breakfast or sometimes as a meal in itself. It was also used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.
Atole vs Champurrado
So what is the difference between atole and champurrado?? Atole is also a drink from pre-Columbian times that can be sweet or savory depending on the region in Mexico where you are. Traditionally, it is made by dissolving ground dried corn in milk or water and adding fruits or different flavorings to it. Champurrado is simply atole with chocolate added to it, in other words, chocolate atole.
How to Make Champurrado
Making champurrado is quite easy, the piloncillo and cinnamon are simmered in water until completely dissolved, then a Mexican chocolate tablet is added. Once the chocolate has melted into the piloncillo mixture the fresh masa is added. The masa thickens the chocolate creating a thick, sweet, and chocolatey drink. Then everything is stirred and served hot.
The Recipe: Tips and Tricks
This authentic Mexican champurrado is made with water instead of milk, just like in pre-Columbian times.
- If you want to use milk you can use your favorite plant-milk.
- The recipe calls for masa harina, but it is also delicious with fresh masa.
- I’ve used my favorite Mexican hot chocolate, but I also recommend Ibarra chocolate.
- If you want to make this with fresh masa, use 1/2 cup diluted in 1 cup of water. Enjoy!!
- 4 cups Water
- 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
- 1/3 cup (3-4 oz) Chopped piloncillo
- 2 tablillas Hernan Mexican Chocolate or (1 Ibarra tablilla)
- ½ cup Masa harina
- Place 3 cups of water, chopped piloncillo, and cinnamon stick in a medium sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes or until the piloncillo has completely dissolved.
- Add the Mexican chocolate and continue to simmer and stir until chocolate has completely dissolved, about 3 minutes.
- In the meantime place the masa harina in a large bowl and pour 1 cup of water over the masa. Use your hand to dissolve the masa into the water.
- Pour the masa liquid into the simmering hot chocolate. Stir.
- Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until the champurrado has thickened. Serve hot!!