Quarantine Cooking Trends: Dalgona Coffee

If you were quarantined at home during 2020, bored, and chose to advance your cooking skills, then you probably got caught up in one or more of the following recipes that popped up on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram: no-knead bread, sourdough starter, Dalgona coffee, easy banana bread (hundreds to choose from), focaccia gardens, chicken and rice baked in five-pounds of butter.

Okay, so I got caught in a few of these trends. While I didn't make a sourdough starter (didn't feel like babysitting), I did get into no-knead bread and made several loaves with different "flavors" (rosemary, whole wheat, and also cinnamon raisin). I discovered a delicious, flavorful, and very dense recipe for banana bread using one banana (I may share the recipe at another time). 

I skipped the five-pounds of butter with chicken and rice but eventually, I will try my hand at VanDough art and design a garden on top of hand-made focaccia bread using herbs and vegetables as leaves and flowers. 

It was the Dalgona coffee trend that got the best of my curiosity. Could these three simple ingredients really whip up like cream? And wouldn't you know that it took me a couple of tries to get espresso powder on my online/pickup grocery order? After I finally secured the espresso powder, I later read instant coffee will also work if you can't find any espresso powder. 

Two tablespoons of each: espresso powder, sugar, and hot water.

This creamy topped coffee is made by whipping equal proportions of instant espresso powder, sugar, and hot water until it becomes creamy and then adding it on top of cold or hot milk. This craze emerged in January 2020 when a Korean actor was filmed showing the whipped coffee on YouTube. He had picked up the technique by watching the mocha-colored delight being whipped at a Korean cafe. Legend has it that the same cup of Dalgona was being served to Chinese actor Chow Yun-fat while he was filming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The name "Dalgona" comes from the resemblance to a favorite candy made in Korea. We refer to the same candy as either Honeycomb or Sea Foam - a light and airy sponge-looking candy dipped and covered with chocolate. 

Here's what you need to make your own whipped coffee, think 2-2-2 - two tablespoons of each: instant coffee or instant espresso powder, hot water, and granulated sugar (white or brown, but use the real stuff). Now start whipping with a whisk if you have strong wrists or use an electric hand mixer as I did. 

Once you get it to the perfect whipped consistency, you may make it your own by adding vanilla or cinnamon if you wish. Top the frothy mix on a cup of your favorite milk - whether hot or cold. You can also spoon the whipped coffee on top of ice cream or a slice of brownie. For a "power breakfast," enjoy this cup of milkshake-like coffee with a slice of one-banana banana bread (I may share the recipe at another time... Ahem). 

Disclaimer: If you want to goof around and use decaf instant, instant chicory, Postum, Pero, honey, coconut sugar, 
Sucanat, Stevia, Xylitol, brown rice syrup... go for it! However, if it doesn't work for you, don't look at me. I followed the original recipe and used the real stuff. 


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