Time 55 minutes
Yields Makes 2 quarts
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Avila spikes his champurrado, a warm, homey drink made with masa and chocolate, with pineapple juice.

From the story: How Guerrilla Tacos does Christmas in L.A.

Guerrilla Tacos: 2000 E. 7th St., Los Angeles, (213) 375-3300,

Carnitas Uruapan: 2100 E. César E Chávez Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 265-2474, next door to Guisados in Boyle Heights


In a saucepan on medium-high heat, combine 2 cups of milk with the pineapple juice and bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, add the piloncillo, cloves and cinnamon stick and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved, about 8 minutes. Add the chocolate and continue simmering until chocolate is dissolved, about 5 minutes.


In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the masa and remaining milk on medium/low speed until fully combined and smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Once the chocolate has melted, slowly add the corn-milk mixture to the saucepan, whisking simultaneously. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer, whisking occasionally to avoid clumping, until thick like a milkshake, about 10 minutes.


Strain, preferably into a ceramic dish to maintain heat. Serve immediately.

Adapted from a recipe by chef Wes Avila. Mexican piloncillo and chocolate tablets can be found in well-stocked supermarkets, as well as Latin markets.