Champorado, also called chocolate rice, is versatile. Jun Belen, an Oakland, California–based cook and food photographer, grew up eating it for breakfast on chilly winter mornings in Manila, with pan de sal (soft, buttery rolls) and fried salt fish. He also ate it chilled as an after-school snack with evaporated milk poured over the top. We prefer our champorado made with good-quality bittersweet chocolate and served warm as a luxurious ending to a meal.
What to buy: Since this recipe contains so few ingredients, be sure to use good-quality chocolate. Missouri-based bean-to-bar company Askinosie imports single-origin cacao from Davao in the southern Philippines and produces a 77-percent bittersweet chocolate with earthy and slightly smoky flavors that really shine through in this simple recipe.
Although rice does not contain any gluten, short-grain sweet rice is sometimes labeled as glutinous rice or sticky rice and can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.
Game plan: The liberal garnish of rich evaporated milk is traditional, but feel free to substitute regular whole milk or half-and-half.
- 1Create a double boiler by filling a pot with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over the pot. (Do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.) Stir continuously until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- 2Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. Transfer the rice to a medium saucepan, add the measured water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.
- 3Add the sugar and melted chocolate to the rice, whisk to combine, and return to a simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until the pudding has cooled slightly but is still warm, about 45 minutes. (At this point, you can cool the champorado completely, transfer it to a container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)
- 4Spoon the champorado into serving bowls and drizzle each with evaporated milk.