Champurado, how I love thee

One of my favorite comfort foods is champurado, a Filipino breakfast food.  Think of it as chocolate oatmeal, except instead of oats it's made with rice.  Making it has become my Sunday morning ritual.  Champurado equates home for me.  You'd be hard-pressed to find champurado in a Filipino restaurant, although now our local Goldilocks has it at their weekend breakfast buffet.  When I want to feel closer to my mom who passed away two years ago, or introduce my daughter to a taste of my own childhood, or when I just need a dose of warm, carby, chocolatey goodness, I make champurado.

My Mom's Champurado
Serves  4

1 c. glutinous, sticky rice, uncooked
5 c. water
1/2 c. or more good quality hot chocolate mix
evaporated milk

Start with 1 cup of glutinous, sticky, sweet rice.  Do not use regular Calrose or Uncle Ben's!  I like this brand, Shirakiku:

Put it in a medium saucepan along with 5 cups of water.  Bring water to boil, then lower heat to medium-low to reduce to simmer. 

Add about 1/2 cup or more, to taste, of good quality hot chocolate mix.  I like my chocolate strong tasting, so I probably use more than 1/2 a cup.  I try to use Filipino tsokolate, that bittersweet stuff that comes in rolls wrapped in waxed paper from the Philippines when I can get it, but regular old hot chocolate mix, the good stuff, will do.  I happened to have this in my pantry, so this batch of champurado turned out rather fancy:

Stir in the cocoa until it's dissolved.  Simmer the rice, water, and cocoa for about 30 minutes, stirring occassionally.  During the last 10 minutes of cooking, you may want to stir more frequently, as your champurado should be pretty thick and goopy by then and you don't want it to stick to the bottom of your pan.  The rice by this point should be breaking down nicely, with little cracks forming around the edges of the rice grains, and you should have the consistency of thick oatmeal.  Adjust flavor to taste, adding sugar or more cocoa if needed. 

Serve warm with a little evaporated milk to stir in, or just regular milk if that's all you have.  Enjoy!

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