Derren Brown: Apocalypse – Mexican hot chocolate

TV Dinners: Brave the television illusionist's latest spooky trick - as well as the ancient Aztec Day of the Dead

imagenotavailable1’s TV Dinners series is designed to test your culinary mettle, whilst taking inspiration from some of your favourite television shows. From filling your empty belly with X Factor’s Chico-ry salad to a trip back in time to gorge yourself whilst sampling the delights of Downton Abbeyeat along with Homeland, or perhaps a slice of the supermodel lifestyle to enjoy with BINTM – each time the culinary magicians at Sous Chef will devise a new and exciting recipe for you to try…


It’s been quite a week. Halloween on Wednesday, and a double-whammy tonight as the ancient Mexican celebration, The Day of the Dead, coincides with the final instalment of Derren Brown’s equally spooky Apocalypse.

Last Friday, the first episode showed Steve Brosnan being brought under Derren Brown’s infamous powers as he was convinced there’d been a meteorite storm, and he was one of a handful of survivors left on earth. A sort of 28 Days Later scenario – only poor old Brosnan’s not watching it from the sofa, he’s living it.

No doubt the programme is going to take an even darker turn tonight, with the promise of zombies, lunacy and the general kind of behaviour you might expect if you’d been conned into thinking that the world was ending. Well-timed given that it’s also the night of the 3,500 year-old Aztec ritual commemorating the dead. Traditional festivities involve dancing in calacas (wooden skull masks), and eating sugar skulls embossed with the names of the deceased.

So this week’s TV Dinner isn’t so much of a dinner, but something warm and cosy to help get you through the last evening in the ‘haunting season’. This Mexican hot chocolate, or champurrado, tastes different to European variety – grown up, thick and spicier. The perfect drink to get you through the terrifying final episode of Derren Brown’s most disturbing stunt yet. 

Recipe: Traditional Mexican champurrado
Serves 4

1 disc of Ibarra Mexican chocolate (65g)
800ml milk 
50g masa harina
4 sticks of Mexican cinnamon
Optional: cayenne pepper

  1. Heat three quarters of the milk in one pan. When it starts to simmer, break the chocolate into segments and add to the hot milk.  
  2. Whisk the masa harina into the remaining cold milk, to form a smooth paste.
  3. Slowly pour the masa harina mixture into the hot chocolate-milk. Continue stirring over a low heat until it reaches the desired consistency.
  4. Pour into four mugs, and garnish with an optional pinch of cayenne pepper and one stick of Mexican cinnamon – as you use it to stir the champurrado, the cinnamon stick will continue to release its warm, comforting flavours.

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