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Whipped Dalgona Coffee

One Beautiful Cup of Coffee

I admit that I am late to this game. I had not even heard of Whipped Coffee until a few weeks ago when I spied a stunning photo of a gorgeous glass filled with shades of mocha, caramel and cream. The headline called it Dalgona Coffee.

A quick search confirms that Whipped or Dalgona Coffee is nothing new. Photos are readily available on social media. Dalgona Coffee has been posted about again and again, especially in the last few weeks. Normally I would let that discourage me, give it a faint “pfft!” and go about my business.

But these are different times. There is little in the way of “my business” to go about these days, confined to the house as we continue to shelter in place and all. And there was that amazing photo, rising through my news feed, of a beautiful cloud of rich coffee foam piled high above a pool of iced milk in a slender glass. I couldn’t deny I was drawn to it. It looked impressively delicious!

Do Try This At Home 

I imagined the care that must have been taken to create such an alluring refreshment - and then, to quickly snap that gorgeous photo before the whole foamy confection deflated and ran down the sides of its slim glass like tears. I assumed it was the product of a complicated procedure. I felt sure it required some specialty ingredients I was unlikely to have on hand. Sadly, I allowed that it was something I would enjoy on the page only and never taste in real life.

 But then I read on...

Turns out I was wrong on all counts! In fact the whole splendid creation is so simple and straightforward it begs to be tried at home.

Four Simple Ingredients

Four ingredients. That’s all this takes. Four humble staples of a common kitchen, so elemental that they are things my native kitchen was never without: Instant Coffee, Sugar, Water and Milk. 

Plus three basic pieces of equipment. That’s all we need to make it work – a bowl, an electric mixer (or whisk if you are a hearty soul) and a cup or glass to serve it in. It couldn't get much simpler than that. 

First Ingredient: Instant Coffee.

This is an absolute must! Here you need the real stuff, instant crystals or powder that, when mixed with hot water, produce a strong black cup of Joe. It can be instant espresso or instant decaf. These are okay. I have read the “coffee” cannot be chicory based and it shouldn’t be a presweetened mix, at least not for these directions. I am picturing basic Folger’s crystals here, the stuff that fueled my family’s morning routine and after dinner conversation for decades as I was growing up. 

While I can get nostalgic over instant coffee I hesitate to suggest that, in this era of coffeehouse commerce, a jar of Folger’s instant is necessarily a part of everyone’s pantry. Even I was caught off guard by this spur of the moment opportunity to try something new. After a little digging though, I found several packets of Starbuck’s Via Decaf in the drawer beside my coffee maker. I also found a tired old jar of Medaglia D’oro instant espresso that I use for baking more often than drinking. Either of these work fine if you don’t keep Folger’s crystals on hand. 

Second: A Little Sugar. 

Again, several packets will do, though I think more people are likely to have sugar in their pantry than instant coffee. I used pure cane granulated white sugar but I suspect brown sugar, natural sugar, possibly even honey, molasses or agave would work instead. No guarantees but that’s my guess. 

Third: Hot Water. 

Hot is the key here. You want the instant coffee and sugar to easily dissolve. 

Combined, in equal measure, these three ingredients sound common and unimpressive. It is easy to imagine them stirred together into a potent sweet syrup. It is harder to imagine that syrup being something we would chose to consume. That doubtful expectation, however, falls far short of what is actually produced when the mixture is not merely stirred but beaten, preferably with an electric mixer.

Beating the thick instant coffee mixture for a minute or two is a proof of the possibility. Beating it for another minute or two is surprising and delightful. Continuing to beat it for a full five minutes makes you wonder what you really know about coffee, really know about staples, really understand about the chemistry of any of the consumables you store in your kitchen! The result is a mixture as thick, expansive and full of body as the freshest cream or most expertly prepared meringue.

Fourth: Cold Milk. 

This goes beyond the amazing and acts to balance the beverage. For contrast, dilution, and as a canvas to display our airy creation, we need a little ice and a little milk. Or we could use straight up ice cold milk. If you don’t do dairy, use your favorite substitute here. Almond, soy, oat, coconut, whatever. It will dilute and soften the Whipped Coffee as you stir it in, spoon through or sip it, however you like.

Beyond that, we are free to garnish as desired. A dusting of cocoa powder, cinnamon or powdered sugar might be pretty. Chocolate curls or Cocao Nibs take it up a notch. Or keep it simple and skip the garnish. There’s nothing wrong with that.

And Now: Enjoy At Your Leisure! 

Feel free to linger with this clever beverage. There is no need to rush. This lovely coffee foam won’t keep long but neither is it quick to deflate. Dipping the thick layer of coffee foam into the milk is like spooning gelato from its espresso bath in an affogato, but without the urgency. An affogato begs to be consumed with attention focused on balancing the hot and the cold so that it is enjoyed before the espresso overwhelms the frozen gelato and melts it into a uniform dispersion.

With our Whipped Coffee the foamy texture gently resists dilution and remains resolute until you purposefully stir it into, or gently spoon it through, the cold milk. This is a polite drink that waits for you, optimally abiding long enough for you to fine tune your place setting, post to Instagram, turn the page of your book or adjust your Zoom settings. So enjoy.

Here’s to a beautiful day!

Whipped Dalgona Coffee 

  • 2 Tablespoons instant coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons hot water
  • 1 cup milk
  • Several ice cubes, if desired


In a small mixing bowl, stir together the coffee and sugar. Add the hot water stirring quickly.

With an electric mixer, beat the coffee mixture at high speed for 5 minutes.

Pour milk into cups or small glasses. Spoon the whipped coffee mixture on top.

Garnish as desired with cocoa powder, cinnamon or chocolate curls.

Aunt Hen's Chocolate Angel Pie

Parenthetical Notes

Aunt Hen was my guardian. I always felt that was an interesting title. As a child I sometimes turned that word over in my mind thinking about what it meant. I knew it was official because it was something she would write down on paper and my Aunt Hen wouldn’t write down anything if it wasn’t true.

My Dad was out of town at least one night every week on business and when he was gone my aunt would sometimes have to sign papers for school or a note for the bus driver. When she signed those notes she sat down at the head of her dining room table and carefully wrote out her whole name. At the end, in parentheses, she would add the word guardian.

In some ways I was troubled by that parenthetical note. The formality of that designation seemed to add an unnecessary weight to the process of gaining permission. It suggested someone might question my aunt’s authority on it’s own. What’s more those parentheses seemed to point me out as being different. No one else I knew of had anyone to sign papers with parentheses at the end of their name. All I really wanted in those days was to blend in and be like everyone else.

On the other hand, having a guardian was always a comfort. While I wasn’t really sure what all of the legal implications of having a guardian might be, if nothing else, having a guardian meant I had someone to go to in times of need. It meant someone had my back.

Angels in the Kitchen

Throughout the years Aunt Hen continued to have my back. Even after I passed the age of needing a legal guardian she was there for me. When I was scared or lonely or just needed advice she was only a short walk or, later, a phone call away. Whenever I had a nagging question about what or how something should be done she was usually the one I would turn to, especially when it came to matters of the kitchen.

Angel Pie is a recipe Aunt Hen sent to me in one of her frequent letters a few years after I moved away from home. She recommended it highly and knew I would like it. With only some slight variation, it combines two of my all-time favorite recipes: Aunt Hen’s Chocolate Bar Pie nestled into a crust of my mother’s crunchy sweet Meringue Cookies. The result is a pie that strikes an elegant balance between light and satisfying.

Today would have been Aunt Hen’s 102nd birthday. It has been nearly two decades since she passed on to dwell with the angels. That doesn’t mean I don’t still take those matters of the kitchen to her for advice. When I wonder what to make for dessert and need a recipe that is classic, dependable and not too complicated I know where to turn. Usually the answer is right there in Aunt Hen’s own handwriting.

Chocolate (Guardian) Angel Pie

2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup sugar
½ cup sliced almonds
½ teaspoon vanilla

4 ounces chocolate (I used dark chocolate)
3 Tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cream

Preheat oven to 300F.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar. Continue beating until soft peaks form.

Add sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in sliced almonds and ½ teaspoon vanilla.

Turn meringue mixture into a lightly greased 8-inch pie plate. With a spoon, make a sort of nest of the meringue, building up the sides to the rim of the pie plate, forming a thick pie shell. Bake in a slow oven, 300F, for 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

In a small saucepan or the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate, stirring over moderate heat until the chocolate is soft. Add 3 Tablespoons hot water and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Blend until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer until stiff. Fold the cooled chocolate into the whipped cream. Spoon mixture into the meringue pie shell.

Garnish with chocolate curls, if desired.

Serve and enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Meringue Cookies

A Demanding Recipe

I don’t cook as much as I used to. In the past year or so I have posted about it even less. Times change, as do circumstances. I have fewer mouths to feed these days and my kitchen remains in transition. Yet sometimes I still happen across a new recipe that demands to be shared. Chewy Chocolate Meringue Cookies is one of those recipes.

It caught my attention in Parade Magazine as I looked through the pages of the AJC one Sunday morning. A photo of beautiful dark chocolate cookies drew me into the text. Like many of the best recipes, on first read it struck me as both familiar and totally new.

Taking It to a New Level

On the one hand, these cookies are not all that different from the Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies I have been making most of my life. That was my mother’s recipe and a family favorite made from just a few ingredients that could be found in even a sparsely stocked kitchen most of the time.

On the other hand, this recipe takes those ingredients to a new level of intensity and relevance, producing a cookie that is denser, chewier, more flavorful and that satisfies on a whole different level. Besides that, it is gluten free adding to its general appeal. All told, it has become a personal favorite and is an excellent cookie to share with someone special this Valentine’s Day!

Chewy Chocolate Meringue Cookies
Slightly adapted from a recipe in Parade Magazine

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

4 egg whites, at room temperature
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon espresso powder
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
pinch of salt
¾ cup sugar
12 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
½ cup toasted chopped walnuts
walnut halves for garnish

Preheat oven to 325F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Beat together egg whites, lemon juice and vanilla until foamy. Add sugar gradually, beating until stiff peaks form.

Stir espresso powder and chipotle pepper into cooled chocolate. Fold chocolate mixture and chopped walnuts into the beaten egg whites.

Scoop the batter into a gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bag. Seal it, then cut a ¾-inch opening across a lower corner of the bag. Use it as a pastry bag to pipe 2-inch cookies onto the parchment lined cookie sheets. Top each cookie with a walnut half.

Bake at 325F for 15 minutes, or until outside is set and dry. Cool on pans. Remove from parchment sheets and store in an airtight container.