Thick, warm, and comforting are the words that come to mind when thinking of chocolate de maíz, our traditional spiced corn drink. This is a perfect beverage for weekend breakfast or snuggling up on a chilly day. Brighten up the start of your day with a delicious steaming cup.
Why we ❤️ it
This creamy, spiced hot drink is perfect for breakfast, easy to make, and can be –with a simple change– a vegan option.
If you're looking for great chocolate-based hot drink alternatives, look no further; I have the recipe for you.
What's chocolate de maíz?
Chocolate de maíz is a traditional Dominican hot drink made from milk, spices, and gofio – a type of sweetened toasted corn flour. It is similar to Mexican atole or champurrado.
Don't worry if you can't find gofio; we also have a gofio recipe here.
But how can you call it "chocolate" if it has no chocolate or cocoa derivatives? - Well, apparently, Dominicans use the word "chocolate" to mean hot beverage, but this does not include beverages containing coffee. I guess it's complicated.
Chocolate de maíz (corn hot drink).
Chocolate de maíz can be served with the traditional mangú and Los Tres Golpes (fried eggs, queso frito, and salami frito) breakfast. At home, it was more common to have breakfast with mazamorra (puré de auyama) instead of mangú.
You can also serve it with Pan de agua, a slice of sweet arepa, or arepa salada.
- You can sift it with a fine-mesh sieve, as you may not like bits floating in your drink.
- Stir before serving because some corn powder will settle at the bottom.
- Depending on your taste, you can add the traditional spices: ground cinnamon and clove powder, and nutmeg, or also add a little bit of vanilla extract, but this is not traditional.
- If you're lactose intolerant, or to make it vegan, you could substitute milk with vegetable milk such as oats or almond milk. I haven't tried it with coconut milk, but I think the coconut taste might be too overpowering in this drink.
- To give it a bold touch, add a pinch of salt. This was my father's trick.
About this recipe
This is one of my favorite childhood memories. When I woke up, I was immediately hit by the smells and sounds of mami cooking breakfast. Since my mom was a working mother, weekends were the only time she could cook for us. In those days, breakfast was an elaborate affair and, more often than not, included chocolate de maní o chocolate de maíz.
You can try some of the variations and tips I mentioned above; the limit of combinations is your taste and imagination. Let me know if your family has a different way of making it.
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Cornmeal Drink Recipe (Chocolate de Maíz )
- 3 cup water
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks, (or 1½ teaspoons of cinnamon powder)
- 1 teaspoon clove powder
- 6 cup whole milk
- ½ cup gofio, (Dominican Sugary Corn Powder)
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly-grated)
- In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, cinnamon, and clove powder in a three quarts pot [3 liters].
- Cook over low heat until water has reduced to half.Add milk and gofio. Once the mixture breaks the boil, cook stirring until it thickens a bit (5-7 mins).
- Remove from the heat, pour into another pot and stir for a minute to cool it down.Serve and sprinkle with nutmeg powder.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
Chocolate de maíz is made by boiling a combination of spices, toasted cornmeal, sugar, and milk.
Published Sep 26, 2014, revised