Surprise was my first reaction after I tried the celebrated chocolates of Modica, Sicily. They taste exactly the same as the Philippine tablea chocolates that I used to steal from the jars my Mom kept for making champorado (chocolate rice porridge) or hot chocolate drink. And that grainy texture is unmistakably familiar. I had an inkling that the history of both chocolates are intertwined together especially after I learned that they both originated from the Aztecs that the Spaniards took with them. Both the Philippines and Sicily were under Spanish rule around the 16th century. Everything fell into places.
Champorado in Filipino language means chocolate rice porridge. It traces its history back from Mexico where the Aztecs where. In the 16th century, there were Spanish traders who brought with them the knowledge of making champurrado, a chocolate-based Mexican atole, a warm & thick drink taken as a breakfast or afternoon snack. Through the years, the recipe had been modified and rice was added. The Philippine champorado is boiled glutinous rice mixed with chocolate, originally the tablea, then sweetened with sugar and mixed with milk, if desired. Like the original champurrado, it is taken as a breakfast or afternoon snack.
The Modican chocolates are still made with the same technique from the time chocolates were introduced to Sicily by the Spaniards in the early 1500s from their travels from Mexico where they learned everything from the Aztecs. The chocolates are made straight from grinding the cacao beans with no added cocoa butter. The beans are ground on a stone slab with a stone rolling pin on a fire that maintains a temperature that does not exceed 40 degrees Celcius. With this temperature, the sugar mixed in does not melt, thus giving a grainy texture which the chocolates are particularly famous for.
My kids, who continue to baffle me, were not attracted to this chocolate porridge that I prepared. By now, I am not surprised anymore with their tastes. They are not easily swayed by any food done specifically for kids. As always, the adults had the free reign on this chocolate porridge so I spiked it with some Godet, a Belgian white chocolate liqueur. For once, I was grateful that the kids refused to eat the rice porridge because I wouldn't discover the delicious blending of the liqueur with this chocolate. If you are having it for breakfast, maybe it's better to hold off the liqueur part. Douse it with the white chocolate liqueur as much as you want in the afternoon.
Champorado with Modican Chocolate & Godet White Chocolate Liqueur (Chocolate Rice Porridge)
Yields 4 bowls
- 150 g. Modican or tablea chocolate, broken to small pieces (or cocoa powder)
- 1 cup glutinous rice
- 5 cups water
- white sugar, according to taste
- white chocolate liqueur (I use Godet.) (optional)
- Put rice and water together in a cooking pot and cook with high flame. When it boils, simmer on low fire for about 20 minutes of until the rice is cooked through. Add hot water to loosen the rice if needed. Stir often to avoid formation of clumps or burning.
- Add broken pieces of chocolate to the rice porridge when the rice is almost cooked and mix well, making sure they have all melted. Add sugar according to taste.
- Turn off fire. Add some white chocolate liqueur according to taste if you are not serving to kids.