If you ever feel like making a very light, low-fat dessert that is also good for you, you may want to try a delicious, fruit-filled champuz or champus. This traditional dessert from Lima, that has a funny name that makes one think of shampoo (no idea where the name comes from), was originally prepared as a hot beverage during cold winter nights. Dating back to colonial times, it was typical to listen to the champuseras (women who prepared and sold champus on the streets), announcing their product.
The original preparation is made with mote (dried and shelled corn), and adding this Andean ingredient to the dessert makes it very unique and different from a simple mazamorra. But if you can’t find mote (you can probably get it in Latin American stores around the US, or online), you can leave it out of the preparation, and you will be left with an even lighter dessert with a mild, soothing taste and texture. You can choose to eat it hot, as is traditionally consumed, or cold, as my dad prefers it. He has the warmest body temperature in the world (my mom calls him a living chimney), so he likes everything cold, and champus is no exception. I actually like it that way quite a bit too. It’s up to you to decide how you like it best.
The usual fruits used to make this recipe are guanabana, which is similar to cherimoya, but less sweet. I couldn’t find guanabana in the organic farmers market this time, so I used cherimoya instead. I also decided this was a better idea, so that way I could use less sugar, and take advantage of the fruit’s natural sweetness instead. I also added some apples to my champus, even though it’s usually made just with pineapple, quince, and guanabana.
This is a dessert you won’t have to feel guilty about eating, and you can have as much as you want of it. Wouldn’t it be a dream come true if we could say that about every dessert we love?
- 250 grs mote
- 2 small green apples, chopped
- 1 cherimoya, pealed, deseeded, and chopped
- ½ pineapple, peeled and chopped
- 1 quince, peeled and chopped
- ½ – 1 cup sugar (you can use brown if you prefer)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 cloves
- ½ cup corn flour
- Powdered cinnamon
- Soak the mote overnight, in a bowl full of water. you can even soak it for 2 days, changing the water a couple times, to make it softer.
- The next morning, drain the water, and cook the mote covered in water until soft. This may take long (about 2 hours).
- In a large pan filled with boiling water, cook the pineapple, together with sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cloves, for 15 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the apples and quince and cook for another 15 minutes.
- In a bowl, beat the flour with some water, until completely dissolved and without lumps. Add to the pan, together with the cherimoya and the cooked mote, and cook for 5 extra minutes, stirring.
- Serve immediately, or at room temperature, sprinkled with ground cinnamon.
- You can also put it in the fridge once it has cooled.