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This recipe is kind of a continuation of our last conversation about traditional Mexican holiday dishes. Corn dough, or masa harina, is used this time of year to make tamales, of course, but it also make a wonderful and interesting drink called champurrado which is a special hot chocolate thickened with masa and flavored with piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar cones) and aniseeds. I have had it many times, but had never made it, so I went to my friend Dora for advice and an authentic recipe. Dora is a consultant specializing in interpreting and translating 18th- and 19th-century Spanish manuscripts and knows practically everything about the traditions and cuisine of Mexico. Here is her recipe – she even told me how to pronounce it correctly - [chahm-poo-rah-doh] -


Mexican Champurrado

Serves: 4 – 5

1/2 cup fresh
masa (corn dough) or 1/2 cup masa flour (masa harina) mixed with a 1/4 cup hot water to blend
2 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 disk
Mexican chocolate which is dark and bitter and mixed with sugar cinnamon
3 tablespoons piloncillo, chopped or 1/3 cup brown sugar plus 2 teaspoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon crushed aniseeds (optional)

I N S T R U C T I O N S 
Place the water and the masa into the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium sized saucepan. 
Add the milk, chocolate, piloncillo (or sugar, molasses combination) and the aniseeds if you wish to use them.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking with a molinillo or whisk until the chocolate and sugar is melted and well-blended.  Strain the mixture through a medium sieve (optional) and serve hot, in mugs.


Dora adds:

Champurrado is not to be confused with atole [ah-toh-leh] which is a hot cream of wheat type breakfast dish.  Champurrado is the beverage, which can be spiked.


I’ll bet some Kahlua would be awesome in this special hot chocolate – hope you try it and enjoy it!

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