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Published July 31st 2021
Whipping up an Instagrammable decaf
Please note: 1/3 a cup of instant coffee; 1/3 a cup of boiled water and 1/3 a cup of caster sugar makes two to three serves when poured top a glass of cold or hot milk.
Dalgona coffees - high angle
This recipe is a Dalgona coffee guide and is based on making Nescafe and Coles decaf versions. As this photogenic recipe is just a bit of whipping and blending, it is actually more of a discussion and some photos. The recipe has an interesting story and it was nice to try with some decaf, make both the coffee as the base and the coffee as a topping versions and show my earlier Nescafe version to show some ways the recipe can work with less blending - but blending more does markedly thicken it to an Instagrammable rendition!
The origin of the drink is really fascinating. According to matadornetwork.com, it's a complex story evolving over many decades in Asia but then really accelerating its fame when South Korean drinkers made it famous and now it's world-famous. It is a novelty and sweet coffee - hence understandably its Asian origin is quite unsurprising given the association of very sweet coffees and Asian coffee culture - although that idea does not imply an overall tendency to a sweeter taste for food and drink in a place that has some claims to health and longevity.
Making Dalgona Coffee
It can be made with a stick blender, as seen below. I under-whipped my first go, which I used in a review about fun lockdown meal ideas but practice makes perfect, and I really got it done right with a decaf inspired recipe at the top of the page photo. It's so simple, yet like most things, it doesn't always go to plan, at least my photos show that if you whip it enough, it goes tan-coloured and super thick and light increasing in volume but feeling very lightweight.
Instant coffee is the vital ingredient as a property of its chemical makeup helps it foam and stiffen when whipped with equal amounts of fine white sugar and hot or boiling water. It's supposed to be done with an electric mixer or whisk, but I used a stick blender for near-identical to exemplar results. Stick blender is a bit rushed - the first few goes it splatters, so it takes some practice to gain control when first dipping the blender into the liquid sugar and coffee. I realise stirring at the start should result in less splatter.
I poured/tried both versions so a pre-viral coffee as the base and a post-fame coffee as a topping, but didn't get a symmetrical effect. This makes sense though, as I doubt it originated with art or photos in mind. It, in fact, is a drink based on a pick me up with a good texture, in other words, the coffee mixes a bit with the poured milk and rises to the top (see photo at top of page).
Thus with the stick blender potential, the decaf not affecting the result, and the possibility of not whipping the coffee well enough, the recipe is surprisingly complicated for such a simple idea - that along with history, fame and novelty.
Dalgona coffee - high angle with Nescafe, slightly under-whipped.