Champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate) is one of my favorite winter drinks. It keeps me warm, comforts me and brings back beautiful childhood memories. During the holiday season, it’s perfect to go with tamales or to serve with pan dulce (sweet bread) on a chilly night.
Champurrado is a very Mexican recipe. It’s basically chocolate in water, which is thickened with corn dough and sweetened with piloncillo (raw sugar). In some regions, milk, pinole (ground corn) and spices like cinnamon, anise or cloves are added. The recipe may have variations, but one thing that never changes is that many Mexicans start and end their day with a champurrado.
Several years ago, I visited a small town in the state of Michoacán where I was given sort of a blackberry atole for breakfast, whose consistency was very similar to that of champurrado, but instead of making it with dough, they used oatmeal.
My friend Blanca would say that’s not champurrado, it’s atole. And she’s probably right, but the consistency and flavor are very similar. Since anything goes in the kitchen, I now share my version of champurrado with oatmeal, which helps me add more fiber to my diet, by the way.