Tacos Oscar, Oscar Michel, recently brought back the nostalgic drink at his restaurant."My family is from Jalisco, but I grew up in Los Angeles. We'd have champurrado from Thanksgiving through New Years. I remember drinking it as a kid at family parties when it got cold and late, we'd drink it to warm up (and some people would spike theirs)," he says. "It's traditionally eaten with tamales, which is also a holiday tradition. Once Thanksgiving comes around, it's like Black Friday for tamales, and there's always masa on hand. The two go together." Note: Michel uses almond milk so that all his customers, many of whom are vegan, can enjoy it; he recommends using Ibarra brand chocolate discs, which are also vegan.     " />
Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon and chilis
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Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 20 mins Total Time 25 mins
AuthorOscar Michel DifficultyBeginner

Champurrado is a chocolatey version of a traditional Mexican atole, a warm beverage made with masa harina (the corn flour used to make tortillas). It dates back to ancient Mexican traditions from the Aztecs and Mayans, and is still part of cold weather traditions in many families. Chef-owner of Oakland’s Tacos Oscar, Oscar Michel, recently brought back the nostalgic drink at his restaurant.”My family is from Jalisco, but I grew up in Los Angeles. We’d have champurrado from Thanksgiving through New Years. I remember drinking it as a kid at family parties when it got cold and late, we’d drink it to warm up (and some people would spike theirs),” he says. “It’s traditionally eaten with tamales, which is also a holiday tradition. Once Thanksgiving comes around, it’s like Black Friday for tamales, and there’s always masa on hand. The two go together.”

Note: Michel uses almond milk so that all his customers, many of whom are vegan, can enjoy it; he recommends using Ibarra brand chocolate discs, which are also vegan. 

 

 

How to Make It

1

Add 10 cups water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries to a large pot and bring to a boil. (You can add your sugar at this point as well, if you choose to use it; the chocolate discs are already sweetened.) Once the water has taken on the color of tea from the spices, reduce to a simmer and add chocolate discs. Once the chocolate has dissolved, add milk and return to a simmer.

2

While the pot of champurrado is coming back to a simmer, take your masa harina or tortilla masa and add to a blender with two cups of cold water. Blend until smooth; then add slurry to the pot of champurrado through a fine mesh strainer to avoid any clumps, stirring continuously.

3

Bring everything back to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes while the mixture thickens. At this point you can add more milk or more of the masa slurry depending on how thick or thin you prefer. You can also add more chocolate if you'd like. The final product should coat the back of a spoon, not be too sweet and should have the flavor of chocolate, cinnamon and corn. Garnish with shaved chocolate, an orange peel, or a whole dried chile de arbol (careful not to eat it!)

Ingredients

 8 cups milk (substitute almond/oat/soy milk as desired)
 2 sticks cinnamon
 2 cloves
 2 allspice berries
 4 discs of Ibarra Mexican Hot Chocolate
 1 ½ cups masa harina (such as Maseca) or 6 oz raw tortilla masa
 2 pinches salt
 ½ cup sugar or piloncillo (optional)

Directions

1

Add 10 cups water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries to a large pot and bring to a boil. (You can add your sugar at this point as well, if you choose to use it; the chocolate discs are already sweetened.) Once the water has taken on the color of tea from the spices, reduce to a simmer and add chocolate discs. Once the chocolate has dissolved, add milk and return to a simmer.

2

While the pot of champurrado is coming back to a simmer, take your masa harina or tortilla masa and add to a blender with two cups of cold water. Blend until smooth; then add slurry to the pot of champurrado through a fine mesh strainer to avoid any clumps, stirring continuously.

3

Bring everything back to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes while the mixture thickens. At this point you can add more milk or more of the masa slurry depending on how thick or thin you prefer. You can also add more chocolate if you'd like. The final product should coat the back of a spoon, not be too sweet and should have the flavor of chocolate, cinnamon and corn. Garnish with shaved chocolate, an orange peel, or a whole dried chile de arbol (careful not to eat it!)

Champurrado (Thick Mexican Chocolate Drink)