Fall is coffee season. Well, coffee season is year-round, but fall inspires us to crave those comforting seasonal flavors like apple, cinnamon, caramel and – the champion of autumn – pumpkin.
But this ride through the pumpkin patch is avoiding the PSL (sorry, Starbucks) and following a new trend: Dalgona coffee.
Dalgona coffee, aka whipped coffee, is made by whipping equal parts instant coffee, sugar and hot water to velvety stiff peaks and spooning the meringue-like mixture over hot or cold milk.
It is lusciously delicious and even keeps its fluffy, frothy texture when stirred into the milk. The name Dalgona is derived from a Korean candy of the same name, to which a Korean actor likened its flavor.
It gained popularity during quarantine with people making their own whipped coffees and sharing it on social media. However, whipped coffee has been around for decades and is a staple in many countries.
While it is known as Dalgona in Korea, in Greece it is called frappe, in India beaten coffee and in South America batido.
Using a hand mixer makes this effortless to whip up. I mean, you could grab a whisk and work those arm muscles, but reaching those pale, firm peaks would be exhausting.
This recipe makes a single serving but can easily be doubled. Or you can even make a small batch and keep it refrigerated for future use, as the mixture will hold its fluffy shape for three to four days.
The pumpkin spice is not overwhelming – it is just a hint of flavor. You can adjust that to your liking, or leave it out, as well. Vanilla extract, caramel, cocoa powder or cinnamon are other options to whip into the coffee mixture.
And be sure to use instant coffee, as fresh ground coffee will not work. Other sugars, or sugar substitutes, are fine to use if they are granulated.
Dalgona can be served over any milk (almond, soy, coconut or even chocolate, too), or buzz it up with a splash of Irish cream.
Pumpkin Spice Dalgona Coffee
1 tablespoon instant coffee or instant espresso
1 tablespoon hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and more for serving
1 cup milk, or desired amount depending on glass size
Ice, if making iced coffee
Add the instant coffee, hot water, sugar and pumpkin pie spice to a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until firm peaks form. Mixture should be thick and pale.
If serving cold: Add ice into a glass and pour in the milk, leaving ½-inch of space at the top of the glass. Spoon the whipped coffee mixture over the milk. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and stir before drinking.
If serving hot: Pour the milk into a microwave-safe glass, leaving ½-inch of space at the top of the glass, and heat to desired temperature. Spoon the whipped coffee over the milk. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and stir before drinking.
Audrey Alfaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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