Atole is a Mexican corn beverage drink that is served since Aztec times during festivities. At this time the plain atole was prepared by cooking maize (corn) with water and lime until soft; then ground and cooked until thickened.
If milk is added, it is called atole de leche and if also chocolate is added, this preparation is called champurrado.
Other variation include the bark of cacao (atole de cascara), honey (atole de agua miel), red chile (atole de chile) or the native brown sugar called piloncillo (atole de pinolei).
The addition of chocolate came probably from the Mayan culture and until now in Yucatan (old Mayan territories) they serve a thick chocolate atole perfumed with honey, black pepper and allspice called tanchcua.
As you see there are many different ways to prepare this beverage, I will give you my version; however, you may adapt it to your taste!
For the decoration of the picture I used the “muñequitas” which I bought in Mexico almost 30 years ago in “San Cristobal de La Casas” (Chiapas) and which we still keep for the pleasure of our eyes and souvenirs.
Champurrado - Mexican Hot Chocolate with Corn Flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 pod star anise, optional
- 4 tablespoons masa harina (corn flour)
- 2 cups water
- 4-8 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste
- 30 dark chocolate, grated or one tablet „Abuelita chocolate“
- Heat the milk and chocolate in a saucepan with the spices, stirring to dissolve the chocolate. Add sugar to the milk mixture and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove now from heat and keep aside.
- Mix the masa harina with the water in a small a small saucepot stir to combine well. Heat and cook until the masa de harina is cooked and it turns translucent.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and the anise pod from the milk mixture and while stirring add the mixture with the with the masa de harina.
- Heat again (while stirring constantly) and serve the hot champurrado immediately.