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Vegan Champurrado {Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole}

In this dairy-free version of champurrado, almond milk forms the base for spiced hot chocolate thickened with masa harina, all decked out in coconut whipped cream and hella chocolate. 
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: The Bojon Gourmet

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup masa harina (or corn flour [NOT cornstarch]), (30 g)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons packed muscovado sugar (or grated pilconcillo or dark brown sugar), (60 g)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I like natural), (10 g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or dried chipotle powder (more to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups water, (475 ml)
  • 2 cups almond milk, (475 ml)
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I like 65-72% cacao mass), roughly chopped
  • 4 (3”) cinnamon sticks

Whipped Coconut Cream

  • 2 small cans unsweetened coconut cream (such as Native Forest Organic brand), chilled at least 2 hours and up to 1 day, (5.4 ounces each / 160 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, (12 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • chocolate shavings, for garnish

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, whisk together the masa harina, muscovado sugar, cocoa powder, chili powder and salt. Whisk in the water until fairly smooth, then add the almond milk, cinnamon sticks and chocolate.
  • Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue simmering and stirring until the mixture is smooth and thickened to your liking, 10-15 more minutes. Taste, adding more spice if you like. Serve immediately, or remove from the heat and let stand until ready to serve; the champurrado will continue to thicken as it stands and the flavor of the cinnamon will deepen. Thin with almond milk or water if needed.
  • Meanwhile, make the whipped coconut cream. Without tipping or shaking the cans, remove the coconut cream from the refrigerator, open the cans, and scrape the thick cream from the top of the cans. Place in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until soft peaks form, 2-3 minutes on medium-high. Taste, adding more sugar or vanilla if you like.
  • Ladle the champurrado into cups, top with a dollop of cream, a sprinkle of chocolate shavings, and serve immediately.

Notes

With inspiration from The View From Great Island and Serious Eats, this thickened Mexican hot chocolate goes down easy.
If you don't have access to masa harina, this works equally well with corn flour, such as Bob's Red Mill brand (not to be confused with cornstarch).
The coconut cream is a must; it provides a cool, mild contrast and richness to the deep chocolate drink, so do be sure to chill your coconut cream for at least 2 hours (or full-fat coconut milk such as Thai Kitchen brand) for at least 12 hours before making.
Extra champurrado can be chilled for up to several days and reheated with a little extra almond milk if needed to thin the drink.
If dairy isn't an issue, this can be made with cow's milk and regular whipped cream.
If you want to booze it up, add a splash of dark or spiced rum to the champurrado or coconut cream.
To make the chocolate shavings, start with a bar of good chocolate. Scrape a side with a vegetable peeler (I like the T-shaped kind) to make tiny curls. Chill until needed.
Nutritional values are based on one of six servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 330mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 3mg
Making this? I'd love to see!Tag your snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet!