Creamy Dalgona 달고나 coffee, the coronavirus isolation drink blowing up on TikTok. Image: Youtube

Isolation Eats: Metro makes TikTok's favourite drink, whipped (Dalgona 달고나) coffee

With dining out no longer an option (or takeaways, or Uber Eats) there's no better time to whip out an apron and start cooking. The Metro team is going to start sharing what we're calling our "isolation eats", either as recipes or stories on our website, or just by sharing little videos and pics on our Instagram. Tag us @metromagnz and hashtag #isolationeats on your own creations and we'll repost it. Metro cooking community, ya'll! First entry": Jean Teng makes Dalgona coffee, the Korean instant coffee that's blowing up TikTok.

Last week my screen time went up to an average of 6 hours, 20 minutes a day. Two things: it was my first week in years (possibly my whole life) of not dining out, and my MacBook Pro of six years gave up on me after I accidentally spilled some leftover sauce on it. The stars had aligned for a TikTok addiction.

One major TikTok trend as a result global self-isolation is whipped, or 'Dalgona', coffee (달고나, as it’s called in Korean) (Dalgona is a toffee-like candy). You make it at home by whisking instant coffee, sugar and water together into creamy foam (like when you whip egg whites for meringues) and pouring it over cold milk and ice cubes.

Having been deprived of barista-made coffee for a total of one (1) day, and stuck inside with nothing but a Nespresso machine and a plunger, my desire for sugary whipped coffee had never been stronger. Plus, watching it being made on TikTok is an unexpected little joy – like, the fact that so many of us are making this same, very  specific thing, while not physically interacting is actually extremely reassuring? I don’t know. Points of connection are important. I wanted to be part of something. Also, it looks really cool.

What it should look like after mixing coffee, water and sugar.READ MORE: New Zealand's instant coffees, ranked

The recipe:
2tbsp of instant coffee
2tbsp of water
of sugar
1 glass of milk
Ice cubes

My tip - cut down on the sugar if you don’t have a sweet tooth; I did one and a half and it was still a tad too sweet.

Whip the coffee, water and sugar using a whisk or hand beater until it becomes stiff (tip the bowl and if it doesn’t move and you’re good to go). Seeing it come together is, in my opinion, extremely satisfying and if you’re staying at home feeling unproductive, this is one neat trick to help you feel productive. Spoon the fluffy mixture out into a glass filled with one cup of milk (any milk) and ice cubes. I would recommend using a glass that has a wide top, and not a stemless wine glass like I stupidly did (for the aesthetic, babe).

Keep beating it til it looks somewhat like this. A whisk is fine!

The texture of the Dalgona is the best part. Even when it's mixed together with the milk it feels like air in your mouth. As for the taste, it’s remarkably toffee-like: sweet but bitter, with a caramel quality to it all. Best of all, it feels like a proper afternoon treat, like it would be $7 if you paid for it on The Outside. But it’s made using instant coffee! Metro recommends! 

Dalgona cofee against a classic NZ backdrop. Photo: Alex Blackwood

Have you made your own whipped coffee, or something else even cooler at home? Post it to your Insta story, tag us @metromagnz and hashtag it #isolationeats. We’ll post it on our story to give everyone a little inspo during lockdown. Stay home, and stay safe.

Follow Metro on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and sign up to our weekly email