Cooking Chapbook

Notes from my kitchen in the D.C. area & beyond

Tag: chocolate

Champorado, Filipino chocolate rice pudding

Champorado, Filipino chocolate rice

Champorado, Filipino chocolate rice

Of all the Filipino foods I know so far – maybe 0.1% of the lexicon – the one that baffles me is champorado. I love chocolate. I love rice pudding. I love salty little fish. And yet …

Essentially chocolate rice pudding, champorado is thick, warm, deeply chocolate, and often served with salty, dried fish. For breakfast. Perhaps you can understand my confusion. Or perhaps you are in my sweetheart’s camp.

He loves it, adores it, craves it. We’re too far right now for his mother to cook up a delicious batch, so I thought I’d try to stir up a bowl for his birthday.

Ingredients for Champorado

Ingredients for champorado

His family had months ago given us cocoa tablets and a jar of tuyo, the tiny fish. They were sitting in the cabinet, watching the cans of tomatoes and coconut milk come and go, and patiently waiting for their day under the stove light.

Ingredients for Champorado

Cocoa tablets for champorado

My sweetheart thought I could use our everyday white long-grain rice, but none of the many recipes I checked out, including the one his mother kindly sent, mentioned ordinary rice. And this champorado would be like a birthday cake! It called for special-occasion rice: short-grain, sticky, sweet rice.

Rice cooking for Champorado

Rice soaking for Champorado

Sweet rice needs to be soaked for 20 minutes or so before you cook it. The nice part is no extra dish is required. I poured 1 cup of sweet rice in a small pot, covered it with 1 1/3 cup water, and let it sit.

Rice cooking for Champorado

I love the little designs the pebbles of rice make.

Then I cranked up the heat until the water boiled. Once it was boiling, I turned it down to the lowest setting, covered the pot, and let the rice cook for another 15 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, in another small pot, I boiled 2 cups of water. Then I added 3 tablets and 1/4 cup sugar. I let it bubble and simmer and break down while the rice cooked.

Once the rice was done, I mixed in the pot of chocolate into the rice to make a rich porridge.

Champorado

Champorado

I let the rice pudding simmer until it cooked down a little bit. You can cook it longer, if you’d like more water to absorb.

Eat it with dried fish, if you like. Some of my favorite people do.

Champorado, Filipino chocolate rice

Champorado, Filipino chocolate rice

Chocolate Scrabble

Chocolate Scrabble. Clearly genius. And the best White Elephant gift ever.

Chocolate Scrabble box

Chocolate Scrabble box

Yes, the pieces are chocolate. Let’s look inside!

Chocolate Scrabble, inside the box

Chocolate Scrabble, inside the box

Inside the box, you’ll find wrapped chocolates marked with letters. The “coin” in the middle is also chocolate, and the game’s designated reward for the winner. Yes, you apparently are only supposed to play Chocolate Scrabble once.

Take note of Chocolate Scrabble!

Take note of Chocolate Scrabble

Since it’s a one-shot game, the board is foldable slick paper. And Scrabble geeks may be in shock – there are no tile holders. You are, I can only imagine, supposed to keep your tiles in view of the other players. I know!

Five sample letters of Chocolate Scrabble

Five sample letters

The differences don’t end there. The directions direct each player to pick out five letters (rather than the usual seven), except each tile has a front and a back …

Five sample letters flipped

Five sample letters flipped

… so E on one side might be X on the other.

Chocolate Scrabble's blank space

Chocolate Scrabble’s blank space

Yes, there are blanks. But I was most aghast to find the Y letter worth 8 points. In usual English Scrabble, Y = 4 points. (Scrabble fans may have also noticed above that the W is 5, instead of 4.) What is happening?

Chocolate Scrabble is a European specialty

Chocolate Scrabble is a European specialty

You probably also want to know how the chocolate tastes. I confess, we have played the game twice, and I can’t bring myself to eat the tiles yet. I know we must. The time is coming. I’ll let you know …

And after the chocolate tiles are gone, I’m thinking it may be time to make a homemade edible Scrabble version, maybe with hard German cookies. Any ideas?