It’s really cold here folks and that can only mean one thing: HOT CHOCOLATE. Hot chocolate brings comfort immediately, takes you back home if you are far away, to your grandma kitchen, to your childhood memories, it warms your hands and your heart, and this drink came to me for the very first time just when I needed that.
Last year I backpacked trough central America, and Mexico was the last stop in my journey before moving to NYC, and I was sooo excited to get there, but my arrived wasnt smooth at all. I was in Tikal – Guatemala and i bought a door to door bus ticket to Palenque – Mexico, but the journey was sooo bizarre and scary. An old school bus came to pick me up to my hostel at 3 am, so it was still dark, then we picked a german guy that never spoke to me and it all started. 8 hours trough a rough dirt road across the thick jungle and not at soul around, no cars crossing, no villages or little houses, no farms, no nothing, and then out of nowhere, two guys appeared on the road side, we picked them up and they were wearing suites and suitcases (it was like a hundred degrees hot and it was the jungle !) It was so suspicius…i got scared. Then they went off the bus again in the middle of nowhere. The bus dropped us after 8 hours in a river shore, and the bus driver told us that a boat would come soon to pick us up and left. Again, no people around, not a soul ! After a couple of hours a small boat came, we crossed the river, and we where in Mexico ! A car picked us and dropped us a couple of hours later in another weird spot. When was this going to end? They told us to wait for another bus. I was scared as shit ! but there was nothing left to do. I decided to relax and enjoy the landscape and just give myself entirely to destiny. Finally, 16 hours later, i was in Palenque. Oh God ! Thirsty, dirty, sweating, hungry, i entered the first food place i saw and the owner told me: Welcome to Mexico, with a big smile ! Finally i could relax and smile back at him. He gave me a big cup of hot Champurrado without even asking, and told me: Esto es lo que necesitas (this is what you need), and even though the weather was hot as hell, the cup of Champurrado tasted like heaven. It was the best feeling ever, and the best hot chocolate of my life. So i asked everything about this drink and the guy happily gave me the recipe. Viva Mexico !
You will never have a hot chocolate as creamy and rich as this, and the addition of spices and whipped coconut milk on top is just unbeatable. I made it a couple of times modifying and experimenting with vegan milks, until I finally came up with this modification. Hope you enjoy it, and if you are in the other side of the planet enjoying warm weather, blend this with a few ice cubes and enjoy a delicious chocolate, cold, creamy smoothie !
Mexican Hot Chocolate – Champurrado
makes about 6 cups
- 1/4 cup (30 gr) corn flour (not corn starch !)
- 1/2 cup raw brown or coconut sugar + 2 tsp for the whipped coconut cream
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 200 gr dark organic chocolate, roughly chopped + a few shaved for decoration
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 pinch grounded nut meg
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups coconut milk, divided and chilled for at least 2 hours
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. In heavy bottom pan, whisk together the corn flour, the cocoa powder, the sea salt and nut meg, then add the 3 cups of water and bring to a boil on medium heat, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Add the cinnamon sticks. Once it simmer, reduce heat and add the chopped chocolate and the coconut milk. Simmer until thick and smooth. Don’t let it boil too much because it will get too thick. Remove cinnamon sticks before serving.
2. For the coconut cream, put the coconut milk, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Use an electric mixer.
3. Serve the hot chocolate in individual cups, add the whipped coconut cream on top and decorate with shaved chocolate or cocoa powder. Enjoy.
You can chill the mix and reheat it adding more water or coconut milk. You can also make a morning smoothie blending it with ice cubes.