This gratifying – and photogenic – treat can help stave off the blues during self-isolation because it fulfills a desire for a rich coffee experience. It also happens to be practically instant to make.
Whipped coffee has been around for several years. I had it in South Korea, where it is called dalgona coffee, after a Korean sweet candy. Frappé in Greece is similar. But until now, it was not part of our coffee lexicon.
It is a cinch to make. All you need is instant coffee, hot water, sugar and milk. A hand mixer works best, but you can also use an immersion blender. (If you want to get in an arm workout, it can be made with a whisk, but you will be looking at about 15 minutes of whisking!)
Any instant coffee will do (I used Nescafé), but ground coffee won’t work. The mixture does not thicken enough. The sugar can be granulated, brown or coconut. You can use stevia or other sugar substitutes, but it won’t whip up quite as well. You can also cut back the amount of sugar or omit it altogether, although the product may be bitter. I use regular milk but have also tested it with oat milk, and it was excellent. Of course, you can use almond or soy.
This recipe is enough for one large cup or two smaller coffees. Mix 2 tbsp instant coffee, 2 tbsp very hot water and 2 tbsp sugar in a high-sided bowl, a safety measure to guard against spatters. Beat the mixture until it gets very thick and pale, about 4 to 5 minutes (sometimes it takes longer). Spoon the mixture on to 1 cup of heated milk for each serving. (If you use half, refrigerate the remainder for another cup.) Instantly, you have whipped coffee! (For iced coffee, my preferred way to make it, add a couple ice cubes to cold milk before spooning on the mixture.) It looks beautiful with the thick mixture on top, but it’s hard to drink. Stir the milk and coffee mixture together – after taking a photo, of course – to make it easier.
Alternatively, omit the milk and use the thickened mixture on its own or by stirring in ¼ cup whipped cream. Try as a topping for cakes, brownies or pancakes. I like it with a breakfast scone.
There is a fantastic chocolate mousse to be made using a similar technique, which originated through experiments with molecular gastronomy. Credited to Hervé This, one of the originators of this approach to cooking, it is especially good because of its light texture and lack of sugar or cream.
Place 200 g chopped chocolate (70 per cent) and 3/4 cup water in a small heavy pot. Stir over medium-low heat until the chocolate and water are combined and smooth.
Transfer the chocolate mixture to a high-sided metal bowl. Place that bowl in a larger one filled with ice cubes and water to chill the mixture. Using a handheld electric mixer set to high, beat chocolate mixture for about 5 minutes or until it is thick and glossy, about the texture of buttercream icing. Serve in dollops with fruit or whipped cream. Serves four.
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