The idea for this week’s breakfast started actually with the Champurrado. Since I had tasted it in Oaxaca I had been looking forward to try it at home. For those who don’t know, Champurrado is a deliciously thick chocolate drink made with masa harina (maize dough used to make among other things, corn tortillas and tamales), dark chocolate, water and a touch of cinnamon or vanilla.
Champurrado is derived from the Atole which is a pre-hispanic drink created by the Aztecs. Initially made with corn, water and served warm , it was considered a sacred drink used in several rituals and ceremonies. To make it sweeter (before sugar was introduced), spices and other ingredients were later used. In the case of the Champurrado cocoa beans were introduced.
Due to its sweet flavour and energetic properties, the Champurrado soon spread to most parts of Central America. Here in Mexico it is particularly appreciated in the state of Oaxaca, where people drink it at breakfast to give them energy for the rest of the working day.
Since the Champurrado is a sweet drink I thought it best to pair it with something simple with less sugar, which is why I thought of this particular recipe of corn muffins.
Both recipes were adapted from the “Larousse de la Cocina Mexicana”.
0.5 l/17 fl oz
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 small sticks of cinnamon
- 125 g/4.4 oz piloncillo (if you can’t find this Mexican unrefined, pure sugar, with a molasses taste, you can always use brown sugar)
- 45 g/1.6 oz unsweetened dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup masa harina (you should be able to find it at any grocery store that carries Mexican food items)
- Boil in half of the water the cinnamon, piloncillo and the chocolate until melted and dissolved, about 10 minutes.
- Dissolve the masa in the rest of the water until there are no lumps left and then strain it.
- Add the masa to the piloncillo and chocolate mixture.
- Simmer it in low heat stirring constantly until it gets slightly thicker. Use a “molinillo” (traditional Mexican wood whisk used to froth drinks like hot chocolate, Atole and Champurrado) to make it foamy, if you have one. It is a rich, comforting drink, perfect to start the day.
- 6 corn cobs, kernels removed and ground
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tbsp baking powder, sifted
- 4 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350 ºF. Line a muffin pan with paper moulds.
- Beat the butter with the sugar and the pinch of salt until creamy. Gradually add the corn and the sifted flour and baking powder. Mix well.
- Add the eggs and beat until soft and creamy.
- Pour the batter into the moulds (I decided to add a few whole pieces of corn in the end in each mould to have a bit more bite but it is completely optional) and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. It is a very easy recipe and a really nice match with the Champurrado. Enjoy!
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