Chocolate for breakfast? Um, yes please?!
That’s right – you read that correctly. Chocolate for breakfast. And I’m not just talking about a nice hot cup of cocoa, my friends. Are you ready for this?
Champorado. Or, in other terms, chocolate risotto. Or, chocolate rice. Yep. In the morning.
(I know you’re thinking . . . what?!)
Champorado (or tsampurado, or champurrado) is a food I ate in my childhood, while living in the Philippines. According to the ever handy-dandy Wikipedia, champorado is:
“. . .a sweet chocolate rice porridge in Filipino cuisine. It is traditionally made by boiling sticky rice with cocoa powder, giving it a distinctly brown color and usually with milk and sugar to make it taste sweeter. However, dry tsampurado mixes are prepared by just adding boiling water. It can be served hot or cold and with milk and sugar to taste. It is served usually at breakfast and sometimes together with salty dried fish locally known as tuyo.
The pudding becomes very thick and the lighter milk helps to “loosen” it. It’s almost like eating “chocolate oatmeal”. It can be eaten as a snack or dessert as well.
Its history can be traced back from Mexico. During the galleon trade between Mexico and the Philippines, there were Mexican traders who stayed in the Philippines and brought with them the knowledge of making tsampurado (this is also the reason why there is Tuba in Mexico). Through the years, the recipe changed; Filipinos eventually found ways to make the Mexican champurrado a Filipino tsampurado by adding rice.”
I’ve always just eaten it by itself, no salty dried fish on the side. Mmmmmm. Yep, champorado is what I ate for breakfast today.
Anyway, my mom recently gave me tablea – cacao chocolate disks, which she got from a relative who just visited the Philippines.
I was so excited when she gave it to me, as I’ve never made champorado here in the states with tablea, only with unsweetened cocoa powder before. Well, last night we ate tinola (a Filipino dish) for dinner so I figured, why not make a Filipino dessert (or breakfast food, whatever)? Besides, cooking is something that actually relaxes me most of the time so I was ready to unwind. Note: making this will require you to stir the rice constantly. I know, I’m crazy – my way of unwinding is to stir rice constantly.
Here’s the recipe:
- 5 tablea disks
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup arborio rice (the kind you use for risotto)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar (next time I make this, I may use 1/8 cup to lessen the sweetness)
- extra water handy, in 1/2 cup increments
1. Boil 1/2 cup water in a small pot, then add the tablea disks. Let it boil for 30 seconds and turn down the heat to medium. “Cook” by stirring the disks constantly until they are dissolved, then remove pot from heat.
2. Boil 2 1/2 cups water in a bigger pot then add the rice. Stir constantly and when the rice is a bit transparent, add the melted chocolate and sugar. Stir again, and again, and again!
3. Cook the rice until it is tender. Since this is arborio rice, you will need to keep adding water as the rice absorbs it. I added 1/2 cup of water every 3-5 minutes, doing this 5 times. Remember to constantly stir the rice.
4. Once rice is tender and you have the desired consistency (I like my champorado a little soupy), remove the pot from heat.
You can eat this hot or cold but I prefer to eat it hot. If you have evaporated milk on hand, drizzle a little bit of that like I did here. But when I ate this last night, I used 1% lowfat milk (added 2 tsp) and added some chopped walnuts and milled flax seed for an added dose of “healthiness”. If you don’t have tablea disks, you can substitute with about 3-4 tbsp (or a few more, according to your palette) of unsweeted cocoa powder than you can get from any grocery store in the U.S.
PS – I promise, what I ate last night was not that much. The picture is distorted. It was a small bowl! This morning, however, is another question . . .