BT Cuisine Takes on TikTok Food Trends

BT+Cuisine+Takes+on+TikTok+Food+Trends

Photo by Luxe Palmer

By Luxe Palmer, Co-Editor-in-Chief

I don’t have TikTok.

I feel I should start with that, as a qualifier. That being said, I do consider myself fairly well-versed in the ways of the popular social video app, through the means of the Instagram Explore page and being a teenager in America who is forced to not live under a rock by general social expectations. 馃檪

I have familiarized myself with The Renegade, unintentionally and regrettably memorized most of the TikTok music catalog, and happened upon many a recipe for creative and colorful food trends (partially fueled by the Quarantine Baking Boom, I suspect). The most popular of these recipes are cloud bread (differing entirely from the keto bread substitute), a three-ingredient cr猫me br没l茅e (using melted ice cream instead of the laborious process of making a custard), and possibly the most revolutionary discovery of all of 2020, whipped, or dalgona, coffee.

Whipped/Dalgona Coffee

Dalgona coffee, originating from South Korea, hit the TikTok For You Page like a storm of caffeine and timely bliss. Every influencer, aesthete, and coffee aficionado whipped out (no pun intended) their Kitchen Aid mixers and milk frothers, making whipped coffee one of the most recognizable and aesthetically pleasing trends of the entire app. This being said, I just had to make it.

It took two attempts, I’ll be honest. The first try, I doubled the recipe and used an instant coffee with added creamer in it (simply because it was what was in our pantry at the time), which was inadvisable. I don’t think the doubling of the recipe had anything to do with the final result; I feel it has more to do with the instant coffee I used. The final result was amazingly, incomprehensibly delicious coffee (yes, this coming from a notorious coffee skeptic), but alas, it was not whipped coffee. The mixture did indeed get quite thick, but it wasn’t thick enough to dollop onto the iced milk like Cool Whip. But seriously- if you imagine what the nectar the gods drink in Percy Jackson, that is what the “failed” dalgona coffee tasted like. If you don’t believe me, just buy some Alpine Start instant coffee (see photo below) and experience the magic of the heavens.

On the next attempt, I didn’t double the recipe (I singled it…?) and bought some plain old instant coffee without any flavor or creamer additives. It whipped!!! I will admit, it looked pretty aesthetically pleasing. I had a sudden urge to sit on a window bench and read The Picture of Dorian Grey. The taste, on the other hand, simply reminded me why I hate coffee. Maybe it was because I used coconut milk as the base (an odious alternative, in my utmost humble opinion), or possibly because I just remembered that coffee is equivalent to drinking the devil’s soul. (Are Cuisine articles supposed to be unbiased? I forget…) Everyone else in my family liked it, though. So I suppose I can recommend whipped coffee, if you trust the palates of my coffee-fiendish family.

The first batch’s ingredients (only use the Alpine Start coffee if you want to make liquid gold, not dalgona coffee.)

Recipe for Whipped Dalgona Coffee

I used Tasty’s Whipped Coffee Recipe, also listed below:

Ingredients
for 1 serving:

  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • milk, to serve
  • ice, to serve

Directions:

  • “Add the hot water, sugar, and instant coffee to a bowl.
  • Either hand whisk or use an electric mixer until the mixture is fluffy and light.
  • To serve, spoon a dollop over a cup of milk with ice in it and stir. Enjoy!”
Whipped Dalgona Coffee: 3 out of 5 stars (because my family testified for it).

Cloud Bread

Because my parents tried the Keto diet a few years back when the meal plan was in its prime, I sort of associated the phrase “cloud bread” with the popular keto-approved bread alternative. This version of the phrase was not (yet another) aesthetically-founded TikTok trend in the form of an incredibly soft and plush loaf of bread, but a flat-ish, wrinkly loaf without any sugar or carbs. Both variants, though, use some form of egg as their primary ingredient. You may be shocked, but cloud bread is not actually bread. Like, at all. It’s a glorified form of a meringue, which is a French dessert technique of whipping egg whites and sugar until they form dense, glossy peaks. Cloud bread (**I will be referring to the TikTok food trend whenever I say “cloud bread” from now on.**) is simply this, plus a bit of cornstarch or tapioca powder and some food dye. Not to brag, but I do consider myself quite well-versed in the ways of meringue, as I’ve made it countless times for multiple recipes.

This being known, making cloud bread was far easier than making whipped coffee. However, eating cloud bread was far more disastrous than drinking whipped coffee. After it came out of the oven, it took forever and a half to cool down enough to touch. By “cool down,” I’m not referring to heat, really; rather, I had to let it set enough so the “crust” of the bread dried enough that it didn’t stick to my fingers. Even after waiting multiple hours, it was still too sticky to take it off the parchment paper I had baked it on, and instead of being able to tear the loaf in half to reveal the amazingly adorable cumulonimbus-like angel-food-cake-resembling creation, I had to cut it in half with a knife and some difficulty. It was not as great as a reveal as the TikTok influencers promised. This was fairly disappointing.

What was even more disappointing was the actual process of eating the bread. Unlike actual bread, which involves biting and chewing, eating the cloud bread was more akin to slurping Jell-O. Ah yes… disgusting. The consistency and texture of it were nothing compared to the flavor: slightly sweetened egg whites. Every foodie’s favorite. The other three members of my family (they were heavily involved in the tasting of all three TikTok recipes) took one bite and declined any more, like any other reasonable person would do. I, on the other hand, had had nothing to eat for quite a while, and was starving. When one is starving, they tend to eat anything and everything put in front of them. If you haven’t already come to the conclusion, I ate the entire cloud bread. Nay, I slurped the entire cloud bread. I regret this decision wholeheartedly. You could compare this decision to the time I thought it was smart to lick the chalk before drawing on the blackboard, to “soften” the chalk. Consequently, I now have an iron deficiency from licking chalk and a seemingly-permanent stomachache from eating the entire cloud bread.

I do not recommend cloud bread. Maybe I made it wrong, maybe I chose a bad recipe, maybe I was delusional from the fumes of the egg whites, but I doubt it. TikTok has lied to the masses.

The cloud bread’s ingredients (bake at your own risk).

Recipe for Cloud Bread

If I have still not dissuaded you from making the disaster known as “cloud bread,” here is the recipe I referenced, also included below:

Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites (about 6 tbsp)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar ~30g
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch ~10g
  • food coloring optional, see note

Directions:

  • “Heat the oven to 300掳F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the whip attachment to whip the egg whites on medium high until frothy.
  • Add the sugar slowly, 1 tablespoon at at time and whip on high until small bubbles start to form.
  • Sift in the cornstarch and continue to whip on high until the whites are whipped up into a glossy thick meringue that holds a peak, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Scoop out the meringue on to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and shape into a fluffy cloud or mound.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. The outside will be a light golden brown. Let cool and enjoy the fluff!”
Cloud Bread: 1 out of 5 stars (one star for the aesthetic appeal, none for the flavour or actual experience of eating it).

Melted-Ice-Cream Cr猫me Br没l茅e

Cr猫me br没l茅e is, of course, an iconically delicious French dessert consisting of a pudding-like egg yolk custard topped with a shell of caramelized sugar. Cr猫me br没l茅e is notoriously difficult to make, and I can testify to this fact. The custard itself is hard to not over-mix or over-bake, and the sugar shell can prove to be another obstacle, as it’s tricky to get an even layer of granulated sugar on top of the custard and then evenly broil it with a microtorch.

Apparently, as with everything else, TikTok has a solution. Using melted ice cream and egg yolks as the custard ingredients, it’s as easy as [cr猫me br没l茅e], evidently. I will admit, the process was far quicker than the first time I made the dessert with a traditional recipe, though the sugar shell was equally difficult. Ah, well.

The flavor of the final product, on the other hand, is up for debate. I used leftover dairy-free coconut vanilla ice cream (as pictured below), which is certainly subpar to cow’s milk ice cream, in my opinion. (Vegans, please refrain your objections. You can have your coconut ice cream and I’ll stick to dairy, with all due respect.) My sister and I found the overall flavor of the cr猫me br没l茅e to be irretrievably tainted by the use of the coconut ice cream, though my parents, fair enjoyers of dairy-free alternatives, thought the cr猫me br没l茅e to be adequate, but a bit too sweet.

In conclusion, for those in a pinch, the ice-cream cr猫me br没l茅e is a sufficient substitute, but if you have the time, I’d suggest going in for the real thing.

The cr猫me br没l茅e’s ingredients (in my humble opinion, dairy ice cream is far more suited for this recipe, but the choice is up to you, I suppose).

Recipe for Cr猫me Br没l茅e

Using whichever ice cream option best suits you and your dietary or political needs, here is the recipe I referenced, also quoted below:

Ingredients
  • 陆 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Directions

  1. “Preheat the oven to 325藲F (160藲C).
  2. Scoop the ice cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the ice cream for 30 to 40 seconds or until completely melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg yolk into the melted ice cream and whisk well.
  4. Pour the mixture into a ramekin. Place the ramekin in a pan. Pour hot water into the pan to come roughly halfway up the sides of the ramekin.
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes. The cr猫me br没l茅e should be set, but still a little jiggly in the middle. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan, allow to cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 3 days.
  6. Remove the cr猫me br没l茅e from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before browning the sugar on top.
  7. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top of each cr猫me br没l茅e. Using a torch, melt the sugar to form a crispy top. If you don鈥檛 have a torch, you can broil the cr猫me br没l茅e to melt the sugar. Keep an eye on it, to make sure you don鈥檛 over cook it. Allow the cr猫me br没l茅e to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  8. You can also make various flavor by using different ice cream flavors. If you are using flavored ice cream, use 1 egg instead of 1 yolk.”
Cr猫me Br没l茅e: 4 out of 5 stars (based on the opinion of my fellow taste testers, as well as the subjected ease of its making).

TikTok, I’m a little disappointed. In the app? In the recipes? In myself? Unknown. The three recipes I tried are clearly for aesthetic purposes and aesthetic purposes only, though two thirds of the subjects had an added bonus of a good flavor (or so I’m told). I have a hypothesis that some of the recipes would be far better had I used the intended ingredients (no duh, Luxe) and that other recipe trends on TikTok cannot be wholly judged based on my experiences with these three. I’m willing to give pancake cereal a run.

In accordance with the theme, I attempted to make some TikToks in relation with the recipes. Except, they aren’t actual TikToks because I don’t have TikTok, so I simply filmed and edited the clips with my phone camera and the Clips app, and I also compiled all three into a 48-second-long Instagram video, available at instagram.com/prhs_bear_truth. Can I call myself a TikToker now?