Japanese Fruit Sandwich: Strawberry Sando Recipe

The Japanese iconic squishy strawberry sandwich can be yours, no plane ride to Japan needed!

Japanese Fruit Sandwich: Strawberry Sando Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

If you love sandwiches, you should go to Japan – I love Japanese sandwiches! Those uniquely Japanese sandwiches really get my heart racing. Sandwiches like katsu sando: crispy panko breaded pork with tonkotsu sauce and mustard tucked into fluffy slices of crustless bread. Or perfectly simple yet unmistakably good egg salad sandwiches. I even dig a good yakisoba pan: fried noodles stuffed inside a squishy sweet bun. But, if you had to ask, which sandwich is the one that I would fly to Japan for, it would be a strawberry sando.

Yup, a strawberry sandwich. Once strawberry season begins in Japan, you’ll start to see strawberry sandos popping up everywhere: at the convenience store, at the grocery store, in the food halls at department stores, and in the ultra high end fruit parlors. It sounds weird, but really, is it any weirder than a jam sandwich? It’s essentially a fresh jam sandwich with some bonus softly whipped sweetened cream.

What is a fruit sandwich?

Am I getting ahead of myself? Have you guys ever heard of strawberry sandos before? Or fruit sandos? Think: perfectly ripe fruit suspended in barely sweetened whipped cream between two slices of squishy, luscious, almost cake-like milk bread. It’s a sandwich, it’s dessert, it’s both! I don’t know the history of fruit sandwiches – yes, they come in all fruits, not just strawberries – but I do know that they taste good.

They are satisfyingly squishy and sweet and they remind me of all that is good in the world. Like all good things in Japan, you can get them cheap at 7-11 or Lawson’s, or you can get absurdly expensive (I’m talking $20 for a fruit sandwich). Or, if you happen to have a hand flown loaf of one of the most sought after loaves of bread in Japan, you can make your own!

What is the best bread for fruit sandwiches?

Really though, you don’t have to have special bread from Japan, but it is best if you use shokupan or milk bread. Most Asian bakeries sell it, it’s the perfectly square loaf with the small crumb. The squareness makes it easy to cut the crusts off and the tight crumb means it’s just sturdy enough to support the cream and fruit.

The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe

The Elusive Japanese Mr. Cheesecake: Tokyo’s No. 1 Cheesecake

The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting Japan, you’ll notice that if there’s one thing that people are willing to line up for, it’s good food. Be it chewy udon noodlesfluffy shokupan, or crispy gyoza, if it’s good there’s going to be a line. We’ve joined many lines in Tokyo and the results were almost always out of this world.

The best Japanese cheesecake

Promised to be one of the greatest cheesecakes in Tokyo is Mr. Cheesecake. Mr. Cheesecake is touted as Tokyo’s most elusive and exclusive cheesecake. Ironically, there are no lines…but only because they don’t have a physical store. The creamy rectangular shaped cheesecakes are sold online for just two days a week and sell out in minutes. Japanese food fanatics have started calling it the phantom cheesecake. Even if you do manage to be one of the lucky ones who get to purchase a cheesecake, you can’t choose the date or time of delivery.

The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Behind Mr. Cheesecake is chef Koji Tamura. His cheesecakes are made with an indulgent combination of cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, yogurt, tonka beans (a super fragrant bean with warming flavors like vanilla, cherry, almond, and cinnamon), white chocolate, vanilla beans, and lemon. The result is an incredibly creamy yet light cheesecake that’s reminiscent of Basque cheesecake, but much more delicate. Tamara recommends having it three ways: frozen, straight from the fridge, and at room temperature. The different temperatures affect the taste and texture.

Unfortunately we never had the chance to order a Mr. Cheesecake while in Tokyo, but luckily chef Tamura released an official recipe online in light of Covid. The recipe, while having several different steps, is really simple to execute. And the result is delicious: super creamy, super luscious, lightly sweetened, tangy cheesecake.

I made the cheesecake twice, once in a regular loaf pan and once in a mini pan. I didn’t quite get the height that I wanted in the regular size loaf pan or in the mini, so I suspect that they must use a Japanese standard size. Nonetheless, I love this cheesecake. I froze some for the sake of doing three side-by-side taste tests.

What makes this cheesecake so delicious?

The frozen cheesecake from the fridge had a firm frozen custardy texture with the lemon really shining through. From the fridge the cheesecake had that classic melt in your mouth texture with a hint of vanilla and balance of sweetness. Room temp was my favorite with a melty almost creamy middle that was velvety and soft, almost reminiscent of a creme brûlée but cheesecake-y and a bit more firm.

How to make Mr. Cheesecake

  1. Cream. Stir the cream cheese along with the sugar over a double boiler until smooth.
  2. Melt. Heat the cream with the chocolate until the chocolate is melted.
  3. Mix. Combine the cream cheese mix and chocolate cream mix.
  4. Make the batter. In a seperate bowl, mix together the sour cream, yogurt, egg yolks, and vanilla. Whisk the cornstarch in until smooth.
  5. Combine. Stir everything together.
  6. Bake. Pour the batter into a lined baking tin and bake in a water bath. Let cool completely and enjoy!

Hope you get a chance to try this cheesecake out! It’s the easiest and simplest way to get a taste of Tokyo right now 🙂

PS – I excluded the tonka beans because they’re quite difficult to find but if you want to add them in and have them, you need 1/2 a tonka bean, grated. It’s added into the white chocolate mix.

PPS – I thought the lemon was a bit too bright so when I made the second mini cheesecake, I left it out and loved it even more.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 365°F. In a bowl over a double boiler, mix together the cream cheese and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the cream cheese is smooth. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • In a small saucepan, heat the cream just until the edges start to bubble. Take it off the heat and add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Pour the cream and chocolate mixture into the cream cheese mixture and combine until smooth. Stir in the vanilla bean, if using.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • In another bowl, mix the sour cream and yogurt together. Mix in the egg yolk, lemon juice (if using), and vanilla extract. Whisk in the cornstarch.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Stir the yogurt mix into the cream cheese mix, whisking until smooth. Strain through a sieve to remove any lumps (and the vanilla bean). Transfer the batter to a standard size loaf pan lined with baking paper.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Place in a large baking dish and pour hot water into the dish to create a water bath. Bake for 25 minutes at 365°F then rotate and reduce the temp down to 300°F and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Broil slightly for a charred golden top, if desired.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Remove the pan from the water bath and cool on a rack for 30 minutes before removing the cheesecake from the pan and chilling in the fridge to cool completely.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Enjoy either from the fridge, frozen, or at room temp. From the fridge the cheesecake will have that classic melt in your mouth texture with a hint of vanilla and balance of sweetness. Frozen tastes a little bit like frozen custard with lemon and room temp tastes velvety and soft.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Notes

I’ve included cups and tablespoon measures here for convenience, but I strongly recommend using the weight measures as cream cheese, yogurt, and sour cream don’t lend themselves well to being measured with dry measures.

The Best Baked Potato

The best kind of magic: comforting complex carbs!

baked potatoes | www.iamafoodblog.com

Why don’t people get more excited about baked potatoes? I mean, they’re good! They often get over looked for mashed or roasted, but a perfect baked potato is a thing of beauty. 

Crisp and salty potato skins with the fluffiest potato-y insides?! Oh my gosh, they are the epitome of pure. Add some toppings on and seriously, they might be the most perfect easy-to-make and even easier-to-eat potato out there.

Confession: I was that weird kid that ordered Wendy’s baked potatoes. I mean, I get why no one gets excited about those baked potatoes – they’re often wrinkly and not at all fluffy inside – but a proper baked potato? Those are perfection!

In my books, there are three things you need to have to be considered a perfect baked potato: crispy salty skins, fluffy insides, and piping steamy heat. A proper baked potato is so incredibly easy you’ll wonder why you’ve overlooked them your whole life.

perfect baked potato | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to bake a potato

  1. Wash and dry your potato. Give it a good scrub and then make sure it’s completely dry.
  2. Poke. I have never had a potato explode on me but I also don’t want to clean up exploded potatoes, so I always give my potatoes pokes with a fork.
  3. Rub with oil. No foil jacket here – all you need to do is loving rub your potato with a bit of oil.
  4. Salt. Chanel your inner salt bae and make it rain salt. The oil will help the salt stick to the skin.
  5. Bake. Bake your potato, on a rack in a very hot oven. Give it a flip half way through to encourage even baking.
  6. Make Fluffy. After your potatoes are baked, use clean oven mitts (or a clean kitchen towel) to squeeze and massage your potato a bit.
  7. Slice and serve. Cut a little opening, use a fork to fluff, and serve! I like them pure with a pat of really good grass-fed butter and flaky sea salt, but I never ever say no to baked potato toppings!

carbonara baked potato | www.iamafoodblog.com

Honeynut Squash

honeynut squash | www.iamafoodblog.com

Do you like butternut squash but sometimes think it’s a bit too big? If so, super sweet and personal-sized honeynut squash is here to save the day!

The other day Mike and I were wandering down the leaf strewn streets – getting into the fall spirit – when we randomly ran into some old not-quite-friends, but not really acquaintances. I’m pretty sure we could end up being good friends if one of us made the move to get together, but you know how life is – everyone always says they want to hang out but life gets in the way and it never happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What did end up happening was a half hour chat about the different merits of all the boba tea houses in town. It was a serious discussion.

Anyway, our friends mentioned the fall farmers’ market nearby and I got incredibly excited because how did I not know about it?! Mike and I headed there immediately, after picking up some takeaway banh mi. It was AMAZING. I mean, we ended up going at the tail end of the market, but I still managed to buy some apples and…a honeynut squash!

honeynut squashes | www.iamafoodblog.com

What is honeynut squash?

Have you guys heard of honeynut squash? I’ve seen it floating around on menus and the internet, but the first time I saw one in real life was at that market. It felt so special – apparently I’m nerdy like that. Honeynuts are kind of rare, like a unicorn squash: they’re are on their way to being sold in grocery stores, but right now they’re still kind of a farmers’ market kind of thing.

Honeynuts are essentially tiny butternut squashes that were created to be a better tasting, tinier squash. A chef (Dan Barber) met up with a squash breeder (Michael Mazourek) and asked him why he couldn’t make a smaller, tastier squash. After a couple of years, honeynuts were born.

Honeynuts are not just smaller than butternuts, they’re also sweeter. You don’t need to peel the skins, and when roasted, they take on a caramel, almost malty flavor. The flesh is smooth and tender without any of the stringiness you get from larger squashes. They’re the perfect personal-size squash and are absolutely delicious.

After exclaiming “wow, they’re SO CUTE!” about 16,000 times, I picked through the box of honeynuts to find my forever honeynut and carefully cradled him home. I cracked him in half, scooped out his insides, roasted him to a deep golden honey color, then ate him with yogurt, pickled shallots, and honeyed walnuts. So GOOD. I felt truly blessed.

honeynut squash | www.iamafoodblog.com

What does honeynut squash taste like?

If you love squash, honeynut squash tastes like the best gosh darn squash you’ll ever eat. It’s flavorful, sweet and nutty, with a hint of caramel and malt. They’re what butternut squash dream of being. Plus they have twice the amount of beta-carotene of butternut squash!

How to roast honeynut squash

  1. Heat the oven. Heat the oven to 425°F. We’re going for high heat so that the squash can caramelize and become soft and tender.
  2. Halve the honeynut squash. Wash and dry the honeynuts then use a large sharp knife to cut them in half lengthwise from stem to base. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulpy insides.
  3. Roast. Drizzle the cut sides with a bit of oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast, skin side up on foil lined baking sheet for 20-30 minutes (depending on size) or until fork tender.

Where to buy honeynut squash

Honeynut squash season is late September to early October. You’ll find honeynut squash at local farmers’ markets, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and sometimes even your regular grocery store. They’re very seasonal, so when you see them, pick some up! They’re getting more and more popular so you’ll probably see them popping up more and more.

How to pick a good honeynut squash

Honeynut squash are orange when they’re ripe so look for a squash with no green. You want a firm squash with no soft spots and the stem attached. They’ll keep for quite some time (a couple of months in a cool dark spot) but you should eat them when they start to wrinkle because that means they’re starting to dry out.

roasted honeynut squash with yogurt | www.iamafoodblog.com

What’s the best way to cook with honeynut squash?

The best way to eat a honeynut is to roast it! Roasting it brings out its intense sweet flavors. Because they’re so tender, you can also cook them on the stove top, like I did in this Pan-Roasted Honeynut Squash with Creamy Garlicky Pasta.

Can I eat the skin?

Yes, the skin is completely edible, just like a delicate squash. This is the best part because it means no more peeling squash!

What can I use instead of honeynut squash?

If you can’t find honeynut squash, its closest cousin is a butternut, although butternuts aren’t as sweet and a tiny bit stringier. You can also use any other winter squash.

If you love honeynut squash, try this pan roasted honeynut squash with pasta! It’s fall in a bowl: creamy, cozy, garlicky pasta with honeynuts and swiss chard.

Have you guys had honeynuts? Do you want to? Tell me all your honeynut dreams.
xoxo steph

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 425°F. Carefully halve your honeynut squash and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with a bit of oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven, skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet, for 25-30 minutes, or until browned and tender.
    roasted honeynut squash | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • While the squash is roasting, make your side dishes if desired.

    Quickly pickle your shallots: Place thinly sliced shallots in a small bowl with vinegar, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir and let sit while you make the honeyed walnuts.

    Honey roast your walnuts: In a small non-stick pan, melt your butter along with the honey over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toss with the honey and butter until it bubbles and caramelizes. Remove the nuts from the pan and let cool completely.

    walnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, cucumber, and a pinch of cumin. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Swoosh onto a plate and add the squash on top. Garnish with the shallots and honeyed walnuts. Enjoy!
    roasted honeynut squash with yogurt | www.iamafoodblog.com

Estimated Nutrition

Dalgona Coffee Recipe

dalgona coffee recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Dalgona coffee is having a moment. This whipped coffee is viral on TikTok, trending on Twitter, and blowing up my insta feed. It’s pretty, it tastes good, and it’s probably the best way to to spend some time while you’re at home during the stay home covid campaign.

The best part about it is that you only need three ingredients, two of which you probably already have at home so that means no need to put in a delivery order or go to the grocery store. If you have instant coffee, sugar, and milk, you’re fluffy coffee ready. It’s super simple: mix equal parts coffee, sugar, and hot water, then whip until it turns into a luxe and silky thick creamy foam. Spoon it on to some iced milk (which is literally just milk with ice in it) then enjoy, no Starbucks run needed.

Dalgona coffee, fluffy coffee, frothy coffee, whipped coffee – whatever you want to call it, here are all your questions answered right here!

dalgona coffee | www.iamafoodblog.com

What is dalgona coffee?

Dalgona coffee is a whipped frothy coffee that’s made from instant coffee and sugar, then put on milk. It’s called dalgona because the fluffy creamy coffee looks like dalgona candy, a candy from South Korea that’s just like honeycomb toffee or sponge toffee. You’ve probably eaten honeycomb toffee before, covered in chocolate. I haven’t had it in years but it’s good.

What about whipped coffee?

Whipped coffee is what they call dalgona coffee on Tiktok! They also call it Tiktok coffee, frappe coffee, beaten coffee, hand beaten coffee, and a myriad of other names.

Dalgona coffee’s origin:

The popularity of dalgona coffee mostly stems from South Korea where it started trending because of social distancing/isolation. Everyone was stuck at home and Instagramming their daily lives and dalgona coffee caught on, probably because you don’t need much to make it and it’s really cute. Whipped coffee exists elsewhere in the world too – apparently it came to the Korea consciousness via a big Korean actor discovering it in Macau, but they also have it in India and Pakistan. Apparently it comes from Greece where a Nescafé guy figured out that instant Nescafé whips up nice. They call it frappe!

dalgona coffee origin | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make dalgona coffee

  1. Boil. You need just off the boil hot water to instantly melt your coffee crystals. Just bring a small pot of water to a boil.
  2. Mix. In a bowl, stir together equal parts instant coffee and sugar.
  3. Fluff. When the water has come to a boil, immediately add the water to the bowl of coffee and sugar and start to whip. Use a whisk or hand mixer to whip until light, frothy, and thick.
  4. Pour. Fill a glass (or two) with ice and pour in cold milk.
  5. Top. Top the glasses of milk with the fluffy dalgona coffee. Stir and enjoy!

Whipped coffee ingredients

  • Instant Coffee: You want granulated instant coffee crystals without any add-ins or flavors. Some people have reported a certain brand or another not working. I keep it simple and use Nescafe Clasico Instant Coffee.
  • Sweetener: I use sugar here, but you can use any you want, including stevia in the raw, splenda, or something else. It’s really bitter without a sweetener though (duh) so you should definitely include this. The sugar also helps the fluffy coffee part stay fluffy.
  • Milk: Any milk is good! I use 2% here. You can substitute your favorite milk: almond milk, soy milk, oat milk. It’s the biggest part of the drink so make sure it’s a milk you like!

dalgona coffee ingredients | www.iamafoodblog.com

Do I have to use instant coffee?

Yes, it has to be instant coffee. There’s something about instant coffee crystals that creates the right frothy texture to whip up. You can use decaf too if you’re sensitive to caffeine – I’m pretty sure it’ll froth up the same way but I can’t guarantee it because we don’t have any decaf instant coffee at home. I used Nescafé – apparently Nescafé are the ones who invented frappe coffee so it’ll definitely work the best, but I have a friend who made it successfully with both Maxwell House and Starbucks instant espresso (although the espresso wasn’t as frothy).

what is dalgona coffee? | www.iamafoodblog.com

Can you make dalgona coffee without sugar?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, not really? The sugar really helps the instant coffee whip to a fluffy meringue-like texture that holds its shape for a while. But, I’ve also made it using stevia in the raw and that worked too (I assume other granulated sweeteners will as well), but it wasn’t as fluffy. If you’re really sensitive to sugar, you can reduce it down, just know that your fluff won’t be as fluffy.

Do I have to use a hand mixer?

You can use your arm muscles and a whisk, like I did. It didn’t take long at all, but maybe I have a lot of experience whipping cream and meringues. If you have a hand mixer, stand mixer, frother, or whisk you can make dalgona coffee. I use this milk frother and it works amazingly.

What kind of milk can I use in dalgona coffee?

You can use any kind of milk or milk substitute you like: almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk, cashew milk, macadamia milk, essentially any milk that has a creamy mouth feel.

Hot Milk vs Cold Milk Dalgona Coffee

You can use hot milk or iced/cold, it’s up to you! I went with iced because it makes the milk go farther and I need to stretch out my milk for as long as possible because I’m literally frightened to go to the grocery store. You can also use evaporated milk (which comes in cans, perfect!), either watered down a bit or not.

dalgona coffee from tiktok | www.iamafoodblog.com

What does dalgona coffee taste like?

It’s velvety and creamy and full of sweet coffee flavor. Kind of a like a non-icy frappuccino. It’s full of strong coffee flavors and pretty darn sweet. But if you’re not so concerned about getting that picture perfect fluffy cap, you can ease up on the amount of fluffy coffee you put on top of your milk.

Hope you guys give this a try. I absolutely loved it when I made it with just 1 teaspoon of coffee and 1 teaspoon of sugar. As long as you go with equal parts coffee, sugar, and water, you can make the fluffy coffee of your dreams. In the recipe below I kept it at 2 tablespoons of each and made 2 coffees, but feel free to adjust as needed.

Why won’t my whipped coffee whip?

I’ve been getting lots of comments asking why won’t the coffee fluff up. I have two tips for you guys:

  1. Make sure your have enough volume. Having a small amount of anything makes it more difficult to whip because you have to work that much harder to whip the air into a tiny amount of volume. If you’re having difficulty whipping, try doubling the recipe, which will most likely help. Also, don’t use too big of a bowl.
  2. Use very hot water which will help dissolve the coffee and sugar instantly. Having the sugar fully dissolved will help the mixture froth up more.

how to make dalgona coffee | www.iamafoodblog.com

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best equipment for whipped coffee?

  1. Hand Held Electric Mixer – This is probably the easiest way because you can press your whisks right up against the mixture and you don’t need to use any arm strength.
  2. Stand Mixer – This is hands free but you need to make sure you have enough liquid in the bowl so that the whisks actually touch the mixture. You’ll probably need to do a triple or quadruple batch.
  3. Small Whisk or Matcha Whisk – This is the cheapest way to whip and what I personally do. It works and it works well and you don’t have to get a machine out to do it. It takes some time but hey, it’s not like I’m getting much exercise right now, so I think this is my number 1 choice even though I put it down as number 3.
  4. Hand Held Frother – You can use a hand held frother but it needs to be very very powerful and you need to do it for a LONG time and you will probably get frustrated. If you do use a frother, put the mixture in a jar or cup instead of a bowl, it’ll make it a tiny bit easier.
  5. Jar – You can put everything in a jar and shake it up. This is actually how they make frappe coffee in Greece. It doesn’t get as thick but it does get foamy.

    Can I put other stuff in my whipped coffee? Yes, here are some variations:

    • Mocha: whip up the dalgona, but then add 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and you have a mocha!
    • Matcha: Follow our Dalgona Matcha recipe!
    • Maple: use maple syrup instead of sugar for a maple dalgona
    • Pumpkin spice dalgona coffee: stir in 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree into your milk and whip 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice up with the dalgona fluff. This tastes best with hot milk but goes with cold milk too.
    • Gingerbread dalgona coffee: add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ginger when you add the sugar to the dalgona and whip up. Stir in 1 teaspoon of molasses into the milk.
    • Honey: use honey for a honey dalgona
    • Less sugar: you can adjust the sugar content to your preference, if you like it sweeter, add more sugar, if you think it’s too sweet, add less
    • Keto: you can use zero calorie sweetner and drink it over watered down cream instead of milk
    • Vegan: use alternative milks like almond, oat, soy, etc.
    • Caffeine Free: Just use decaf coffee
    • Hot: Yep, you can have this hot or iced, whichever you prefer!

    Can I make it ahead of time?

    Dalgona coffee can keep for a long time, especially if you whip it up well. I put a dollop in the fridge to experiment and it’s been there for four days, no joke and it looks exactly the same as the day I made it.

    Can I make Keto Whipped Coffee?

    Good news keto people! You can totally make keto dalgona coffee. Just use your favorite granulated sweetener, I’ve made it with stevia in the raw, monkfruit, and swerve. Instead of milk, use heavy cream watered down with water. Use 1 and a half tablespoons mixed with water for the milk portion.

    What else can I use it on?

    It’s so fluffy you can put it on anything! I made a small batch of brownies recently (recipe here!) and topped one off with dalgona coffee. You can also put it on ice cream or baked goods like cakes, loaves, cookies, basically anything!

    Let me know if you have any other questions! May your dalgona be fluffy and thicc!

    Stay safe and healthy at home 🙂

    dalgona coffee recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

    Instructions

    • Bring small pot of water to a boil. While the water’s coming to a boil, make the dalgona coffee fluff: In a bowl, mix together the instant coffee and sugar.
      dalgona coffee ingredients in a bowl | www.iamafoodblog.com
      • Once the water comes to a boil, carefully add 2 tablespoons of the hot water to the coffee sugar mix and whisk or use a hand mixer to whip until light and frothy.
        dalgona coffee whipped up | www.iamafoodblog.com
      • Fill two glasses with ice and pour in the milk. Top the glasses with equal amounts of the fluffy coffee. Stir throughly before enjoying!
        dalgona coffee recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

      Notes

      Estimated nutrition facts based on 2% milk

TikTok Hot Chocolate Bombs

Hot Chocolate Bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com

What is a hot chocolate bomb?

Hot chocolate bombs or hot cocoa bombs are cute lil balls of chocolate that you put into a mug. When you pour hot milk into the mug, the chocolate melts and magically releases the marshmallows and cocoa hiding inside.

It’s super cute and fun and you can make SO many flavor variations! They sell hot chocolate bombs/hot chocolate balls at the store, but around here I haven’t seen any so I decided to make my own. You can too!

snowman peppermint hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com

What you need to make homemade hot chocolate bombs

peppermint hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make homemade hot chocolate bombs

  1. Melt your chocolate. Use the microwave to melt the chocolate melts or chocolate stirring in between until everything is smooth and pourable.melted chocolate | www.iamafoodblog.com
  2. Fill the molds. Scoop some chocolate into the mold and use the back of a spoon or pastry brush to push the melted chocolate around the molds, making it thick enough along the sides and edges. Pop the molds into the freezer for 5-10 minutes to set.making hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com
  3. Remove the chocolate from the molds. Gently push the half spheres out of the silicone mold.chocolate domes for hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com
  4. Melt the edges. Microwave a microwave safe plate for a minute, you want the plate to be just hot enough to melt the chocolate. Pick up the empty half of the chocolate bomb and place it on the warm plate for a couple of seconds, just until it melts.
  5. Fill. Add 1 tablespoon hot cocoa powder and mini marshmallows (and any other add-ins you want) to half of the spheres. Pick up another half and melt the edge on the warm plate then push the two sides together to seal.filling hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com
  6. Decorate. Drizzle on some extra chocolate, decorate with crushed cookies, candy, or sprinkles!hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.comIf you don’t have a mold, wrap two eggs in saran wrap and dip them in the melted chocolate. Place on a plate and let set. Dip them again (so the shell is slightly thick), then melt the edges, add the insides, and seal.

    What if I don’t have a silicone mold?

    Don’t worry, you can still make chocolate bombs without a mold! You can wrap eggs in plastic wrap dip them and let them set. They don’t end up completely round, but it still works.

    Which mold should I get for hot chocolate bombs?

    The best mold for is a half sphere silicone mold. You can easily push the mold to pop the chocolate out. Silicone molds are cheap (compared to professional acrylic molds) and easy to use. The molds I use are 2 inches, but you can use up to 2.5 inches.

    silicone half circle mold | www.iamafoodblog.com

    What chocolate can I use for hot chocolate bombs?

    I went the easy route and melted down chocolate chips, but you can also use candy melts which are easy to work with but don’t taste as good. There is also chocolate called couverture chocolate which is formulated to be easy to melt and set.

    How can I tell if my chocolate is high quality?

    Take a look at the ingredients. You’ll want a chocolate with 65% or more cocoa. The cocoa percentage that you see on chocolate packaging tells you how much of the chocolate is made from actual cocoa beans. Your chocolate should also have cocoa butter in it, which creates the melting quality of chocolate. Couverture chocolate (as I mentioned above) has a high percentage of cocoa butter, which is why it melts smoothly making it an excellent chocolate for making hot chocolate bombs.

    hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com

    Help! My hot chocolate spheres keep breaking!

    If your spheres keep breaking, you want to double check three things:

    • How you melted your chocolate/chocolate tempering.
    • The edges.
    • How long you let it set.

    peappermint hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com

    How to temper chocolate

    Tempering chocolate is a fancy way of saying melting chocolate, but it’s a bit more than just melting, it’s making sure that it doesn’t get too hot. If you don’t temper chocolate properly, it will melt at room temperature, it doesn’t really hold it’s shape, and it’s as shiny. Here’s how to temper chocolate.

    1. Chop your chocolate. Chopping up your chocolate with a knife makes sure all the pieces are small – smaller pieces means it melts more evenly. If you get couverture chocolate, it will come in wafers, you don’t need to chop this.
    2. Put the chocolate in a heat safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. It won’t look melted but don’t put it in for any longer! Use a rubber spatula to move the pieces of chocolate around. Some of the chocolate will be more melty and you’re going to use that heat to help melt the rest of the chocolate. Once you’ve stirred, it’s time to put it back in the microwave.
    3. Microwave the bowl again for 15 seconds, then remove and stir from the outside in. The outside pieces of chocolate will be more melted than the inside. Use the heat from the outside chocolate to help melt the pieces in the middle. If you have an instant read thermometer, check to see if your chocolate is between 88-90°F. That is the ideal range for tempering chocolate.
    4. If your chocolate isn’t smooth yet, microwave it again for 15 seconds and stir. Keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted and smooth. It’s best to underheat the chocolate because the residual heat from the bowl and the rest of the chocolate will help you will the melting.
    5. Spoon a bit of your smooth tempered chocolate onto a piece of parchment and put it in the fridge for 5 minutes. If it looks shiny and snaps when you break it in half, your chocolate has been tempered properly!

    snowman hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com

    What if I heated up my chocolate too much?

    If your chocolate is bendy and doesn’t snap when you do the test in the fridge, it’s okay! Just add some more chopped chocolate to the bowl with your melted chocolate and stir it until it melts. Aim for 90°F and then do the fridge and snap test again.

    How to temper chocolate on the stove/How to temper chocolate without a microwave

    To temper chocolate on the stove:

    1. Chop your chocolate into small pieces
    2. Make a double boiler by placing a heat proof bowl on top of a small pot. Fill the pot with just an inch or two of water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Turn the heat on to low.
    3. Add 2/3 of chopped chocolate to the bowl and stir, while the steam from the simmering water melts the chocolate.
    4. When the chocolate is smooth and melted, carefully remove it from the double boiler and stir in the remaining chocolate. This will help the melted chocolate cool down to the right temperature, 88-90°F.

    How to fill the molds for hot chocolate bombs

    If you’re having problems with your spheres breaking or not releasing, I have tips!

    • Clean your mold. Use a lint free-paper towel and make sure the inside of your silicone mold is nice and shiny. If there’s lint it in it or any residue it will come out on your chocolate.
    • Use a (clean) paint brush. I used the back of a spoon to push the chocolate around but if you use a paint brush you’ll have a lot more control. Paint the inside of the mold generously, let set for 5 minutes in the fridge, then apply a second coat being sure to paint extra along the edges so they edges are reinforced.
    • Make sure you let the chocolate set enough in the fridge. When the chocolate is set, it will be shiny and snappy and release easily from the molds.

    hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com

    Even more tips!

    If you’re having problems with your spheres breaking or not releasing, I have even more tips!

    • Clean your mold. Use a paper towel and make sure the inside of your silicone mold is nice and shiny. If there’s lint it in it or any residue it will come out on your chocolate.
    • Use a (clean) paint brush. I used the back of a spoon to push the chocolate around but if you use a paint brush you’ll have a lot more control. Paint the inside of the mold generously, let set for 5 minutes in the fridge, then apply a second coat being sure to paint extra along the edges so they edges are reinforced.
    • Make sure you let the chocolate set long enough in the fridge. When the chocolate is set, it will be shiny and snappy and release easily from the molds.

    Will it be chocolate-y enough?

    Some of you are worried that there won’t be enough hot chocolate mix inside the the hot chooclate bomb. The outside of the bomb melts down and adds a HUGE chocolate hit. You can also add hot chocolate instead of milk to melt your hot chocolate bomb if you want a double hot chocolate!

    For snowman hot chocolate bombs:

    1. Melt some white chocolate.
    2. Make the spheres as outlined above.
    3. Fill with hot chocolate mix and marshmallows.
    4. Seal the hot chocolate bombs.
    5. Pipe on eyes and a mouth with melted chocolate.
    6. Pipe on an orange nose with orange candy melts and enjoy!

    snowman hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com

    For peppermint hot chocolate bombs:

    1. Melt some white chocolate
    2. Make the spheres as outlined above.
    3. Fill with peppermint hot chocolate mix and marshmallows.
    4. Seal the hot chocolate bombs.
    5. Drizzle with extra white chocolate.
    6. Sprinkle on crushed candy canes and enjoy!peppermint hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com

      Instructions

      • Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave. Use 15 second bursts, stirring in between until everything is smooth and pourable. It will take about 1-2 minutes.
        melted chocolate | www.iamafoodblog.com
      • Scoop some chocolate into the mold and use the back of a spoon or pastry brush to push the melted chocolate around the molds, making it thick enough along the sides and edges.
        making hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com
      • Place the molds into the freezer for 5-10 minutes or in the fridge for 30 minutes to set. A couple of minutes into them setting, take them out and brush/spoon extra chocolate on the top edges to make it thicker. Let set completely, then carefully pop the chocolate dome out of the mold and set aside on a cold plate.
        chocolate domes for hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com
      • Microwave an empty plate for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until warm, but not hot. Take one chocolate dome and place it on the plate for a couple of seconds to melt the edges. Working quickly, flip it around and add 1 tablespoon hot cocoa powder and mini marshmallows and any other add-ins you want.
        filling hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com
      • Take another dome and melt its edge on the warm plate. Join the two domes together into a sphere and hold until sealed. Let set in the fridge or freezer while you make the rest of your spheres.
        hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com
      • To serve: Put into a mug, pour on warm milk (or hot chocolate!) and watch the magic! Stir everything up and enjoy.
        hot chocolate bombs | www.iamafoodblog.com

Keto Soufflé Pancakes

Why should regular fluffy pancakes have all the fun? Keto soufflé pancakes can be friends too!

If you’re doing keto January and are looking for a bit of food inspiration, these keto soufflé pancakes are here for you! Have you ever seen those giant, fluffy Japanese jiggly pancakes floating around the internet? They’re soft and sweet and incredibly jiggly. If you’ve had the pleasure of traveling to Japan maybe you cheated on keto and tasted them? They’re wonderful, I have to admit! Well, you can have them too, with just a couple of tweaks!

What are soufflé pancakes?

A soufflé pancake is a pancake made using soufflé techniques. They were popularized in Japan where you can find all sorts of jiggly, fluffy pancakes topped with just about anything. They’re made by whipping up egg whites with sugar into a glossy thick meringue then mixed with a batter made with the yolks. Soufflé pancakes are fluffy, jiggly, sweet, soft, and so, so delicious. They taste like you are eating a sweet pancake cloud, with butter and syrup!

How are these keto soufflé pancakes?

Regular soufflé pancakes have sugar, flour, and milk, all which are on the no-eat list for keto. We’ll do a couple of simple swaps to make these low carb and keto-friendly!

Instead of sugar, we’re going to use swerve, which is my favorite one-to-one sweetener. You can use whatever kind of sweetener you have on hand, but you’ll need to adjust the amount accordingly if it isn’t a one-to-one swap. As for the flour, there is such a tiny amount in regular keto soufflé pancakes, that swapping it out for fine almond flour works perfectly. The milk is simply switched out for cream with a bit of water.

How to make keto soufflé pancakes

  1. Mix. Mix the egg yolk and sweetener until frothy, then mix in the cream and water. Sift in the almond flour and baking powder, making a smooth batter. Set aside.
  2. Whip. Make the meringue by beating together sweetener, egg whites, and cream of tartar. When the egg whites hold their shape and are stiff and glossy, they’re ready.
  3. Incorporate. Fold the egg yolk batter into the whites, being careful not to deflate.
  4. Cook. Heat up a pan (or a crepe maker) on very, very low heat. Lightly oil the pan then scoop out a large dollop of batter, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove the lid then pile some more batter on and add a couple drops of water. Cover and cook. When the bottoms are golden, very carefully flip, add a couple more drops of water, then cover and cook. Remove from the pan and enjoy immediately with butter, keto-friendly syrup, and keto-friendly powdered sugar. The pancakes will deflate as they cool down.

    Keto Pancake ingredient notes

    • Eggs. Eggs make up the bulk of the pancakes. It’s best to use room temp eggs.
    • Sweetener. Swerve is my go to sugar-free alternative and it adds just the right amount of sweetness.
    • Cream. We’ll thin the cream out with a touch of water so it becomes the consistency of milk.
    • Almond flour. You need just the tiniest amount of almond flour to help your pancakes hold their shape. Superfine almond flour will give you the best results!
    • Baking powder. Baking powder is what makes the pancakes rise tall and fluffy.
    • Cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is a stabilizer that will help your egg whites whip up to their potential. Stable fluffy egg whites are the key to successfully making soufflé pancakes. If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can sub in 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
    • Tips for successful keto soufflé pancakes

      Make a proper meringue. Make sure your utensils are clean and there is absolutely no oil or fat residue on your whisk or bowl. Any possibility of oily residue will make it hard for your eggs to whip up properly. Whipping egg whites takes time, so don’t be surprised if it takes a while for them to whip up. Properly whipped whites are what make the keto pancakes fluffy, so be sure to take your time.

      Be careful while incorporating the meringue and the rest of the batter. Over mixing can lead to deflating the pancakes, so do a gentle scoop and fold motion when mixing.

      Cook on low! You’re almost steaming the pancakes. If you cook them on high, the outsides will burn and the insides will be raw. Patience is key.

    • Notes

      Unless you have a very large pan with a lid, it’s probably best to make these two or even one to a pan. If you have a crepe maker or griddle with a lid that will cover the entire thing without touching the pancakes, use that on the lowest setting.