Champurrado, a Mexican hot chocolate thickened with masa flour, is traditionally frothed with a wooden whisk called a molinillo, which is rolled between the palms. We've used a regular whisk. Piloncillo is the traditional sweetener in this and many other Mexican recipes.
- 330 gm plain flour
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- For deep-frying: vegetable oil
- 50 gm piloncillo, coarsely grated (see note)
- 50 gm raw caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp finely grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground aniseed
- Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 30 gm (¼ cup) masa flour (see note)
- 560 ml milk
- 150 gm dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids), finely chopped
- 40 gm piloncillo, coarsely grated
- 1Sift flour and a pinch of salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Bring olive oil and 450ml water to the boil in a saucepan, add to mixer, beat on low speed to combine, then beat on high speed until very smooth and shiny (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 2cm star nozzle and rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
- 2Meanwhile, for spiced piloncillo, combine ingredients in a bowl, rub with your fingers to combine, spread on a tray and set aside.
- 3For champurrado, process masa and 120ml hot water in a food processor to combine, transfer to a saucepan, add milk, chocolate, piloncillo and 300ml hot water. Bring to the simmer over medium heat, whisking until frothy (4-5 minutes). Keep warm, then, when ready to serve, strain into mugs.
- 4Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 180C. Pipe 12cm lengths of churro batter into oil, snipping ends with scissors to detach, and deep-fry, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (3-4 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit). Drain on absorbent paper, toss in spiced piloncillo, keep warm and repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot with champurrado.
Note Rapadura, piloncillo and panela sugar are all variations on unrefined sugarcane juice. Rapadura is the Portuguese name for the sugarcane juice product common in South American countries including Brazil and Venezuela. It has a distinct caramel flavour and a fine grain. Piloncillo, the dark brown Mexican version, is sold in conical blocks. Masa flour, a type of corn flour, is available from The Essential Ingredient and Monterey Mexican Foods.