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It’s not Christmas until there is a tamal in one hand and a cup of champurrado in the other. I have seen different recipes for this drink, but there is none better than my mom’s.
During one of her visits, I asked her to teach me her secret on how to make this authentic Mexican drink.
How to Make Champurrado
- Add water and cinnamon in a large stock pot.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.
You start by making a cinnamon tea in a large stock pot. There is no way around it. You must use whole cinnamon.
None of the ground stuff. You can’t make it quick. You gotta use the stick.
While this is happening, work on the masa mixture.
That’s why this drink is so often had with tamales.
It will help thicken your Champurrado. You CAN’T substitute masa harina for corn flour. Accept no substitute. If they don’t use masa harina, it is not champurrado.
- For those of you in Mexico, you can buy a small amount of masa from the tortillería for just a few pesos.
- Here in the US, make your own as we are doing here, or you can buy it at a local Mexican restaurant.
It’s seriously easy to make. Masa harina and water. That’s it!
My mom and I made gorditas that day and had leftover masa dough.
I love this picture of my mom’s experienced hand covered with masa and all.
My mother is old school. She makes the masa mixture by hand. That’s the way she was taught, and that’s what she’ll do.
Never mention store-bought masa to her if you want to remain welcomed in her kitchen.
- Add water to the masa.
- Mix thoroughly to get out all the lumps.
For all of you who enjoy good food but don’t want to spend hours cooking, make this in blender or use a hand mixer.
It’s much faster and not as messy.
Mexican Joke for the Holidays:
Question: What state makes the best tortillas, tamales, and champurrado?
Answer: Masa-chew-sets 🙂
Back to our cinnamon tea…
Do you see the color? It’s an auburn brown color and smells incredible. It’s not a sin. It’s cinnamon. 🙂
Don’t worry about the champurrado getting too cold. It retains its heat because of the thickness.
That’s another reason why you need to let it rest for a few minutes before serving. You do not want to burn anyone’s tongue.
- Add the masa mixture to the cinnamon tea.
- Then, add a little water to the container.
- Just enough to get any remaining masa mixture and add that to the pot as well.
Leave no masa behind. Good to the last drop.
Don’t stop stirring, or it will form lumps. No Lumpy Dumpty. Or your champurrado will have a great fall.
That said, I like Abuelita better. I was raised on it, and I can’t abandon the traditions that I know and love.
How to Make Your Own Mexican Chocolate:
- Use 1 bar of dark chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Drop of almond extract for every ounce of chocolate
- 4 cups of milk go into the pot.
- Continue stirring.
Pour it alllll in and look what you’ve got.
Types of Milk to Use: You can use skim milk, whole milk, 2% milk. Whatever you choose as long as it’s 100% milk.
Soy milk, coconut milk, goat milk, almond milk, none of those will do. Only cow juice to make an authentic Mexican champurrado.
- Add sugar to the pot.
- Continue stirring.
- Taste it. Add more sugar if needed. If it’s too sweet, add more milk.
Sugah. Sugah. No honey, honey.
Pro Tip:Instead of sugar, some people will make the cinnamon tea with piloncillo to sweeten their champurrado. I say, whatever works!
Atole vs. Champurrado
They are not the same thing no matter what you may have heard.
- Atole de Chocolate or just regular Atole is thickened with cornstarch.
- Champurrado is thickened with masa.
Both are equally delicious and great for the Holidays.
- Place 6 cups of water in a large stock pot along with the cinnamon stick.
- Bring to a boil.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a medium bowl, add the remaining 2 cups water and mix with the masa harina.
- You can use a blender or a hand mixer to dissolve any clumps.
- Add the masa mixture to the stock pot with the cinnamon tea.
- Stir constantly.
- Add the Mexican chocolate tablet to the stock pot.
- Melt the chocolate while stirring. About 3 minutes.
- Add the milk and sugar.
- Stir constantly.
- After about 8 minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.