You’ve Been Making Dalgona Wrong The Whole Time — Here’s How This Korean Candy Is Made

The Dalgona coffee trend has made its rounds on the TikTokVerse and it has practically taken over Instagram the past couple of weeks. You see your friends struggling and whining about whipping foam up with their whisk for over an hour, while others are busy customising their own versions of the Dalgona coffee with a hand blender, which is, of course, the fastest way to make the drink. 

The simple 3-ingredient recipe demands no more than an equal ratio of coffee, water and sugar — which makes it an accessible and easy-to-learn way of taking your barista skills up a notch — even for kitchen noobies who can’t cook a proper dish without making a mess, like me. 

Still, while many assume that “Dalgona” is linked to the trendy coffee-based recipe, these drinks actually have very little to do with Dalgona itself — according to popular Seoul-based cafe, Cafe Cha, that is. Here, they’re schooling us on how the real Dalgona is done.

DALGONA CANDY

Traditional Dalgona from a street stall in Seoul
Traditional Dalgona from a street stall in Seoul

First off — dalgona is a dessert, or an old-school honeycomb sugar candy. Dalgona is actually a Korean word that refers to the sweet treat that has garnered popularity over the years in South Korea, adored by children in the 60s after the Korean War. For those of you who have travelled to South Korea in recent years, you would have probably seen this hard candy being sold on the streets, especially in popular areas such as Myeongdong. A dessert that takes after the taste of toffee, the candy gives a unique blend of sugary sweetness with a slight bitter aftertaste, thanks to the caramelisation process.

How, then, did the coffee-related recipe get popular? Well, we just might have Cafe Cha to thank. Before this year, the closest thing to the trendy “dalgona coffee” was probably one of the drinks served by the Korean milk tea bar, which all look just as Instagram-worthy. With its large following of customers, the Cafe recently added 6 locations to its original Seoul branch, including in Aoyama, Tokyo — no thanks to its heavy demand for its original dalgona-inspired recipes. Here, the cafe has shared with us their original Dalgona candy recipe which you can make at home by yourself. 

HOW IT’S MADE

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What’s incredible about Dalgona candy is that it requires lesser ingredients than your Dalgona coffee itself! We’re talking about a two-ingredient recipe that includes just a tablespoon of sugar, 1 pinch of baking soda and nothing more. How mindblowing.

Besides the two ingredients — a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of baking soda — the recipe requires a few tools to be used which includes a pan, parchment paper, scrape, metal press, cookie cutters and wooden chopsticks. Yes, we know, it might seem like you have to wash a lot more dishes but it’s definitely worth it. 

KITCHEN TOOLS REQUIRED: 

— Pan
— Parchment Paper
— Scrape
— Metal Press
— Cookie Cutters
— Wooden Chopsticks

INGREDIENTS:

— 1 tablespoon of sugar
— 1 pinch of baking soda

STEP 1:

Now that you’ve prepped all your tools, take your tablespoon of sugar and melt it in the pan over low heat — adjusting it accordingly so you don’t burn it. 

STEP 2: 

Once the sugar has melted in your pan, add a pinch of baking soda and whip it with a pair of chopsticks until the mixture becomes thick and foamy.

STEP 3: 

Then, pour the mixture onto the parchment paper and press it down with the use of a metal press or any metal utensil that has a flat surface — flattening it into a circle. 

STEP 4:

Once it’s still hot on the surface, press a shape into the surface with a cookie cutter and attach a lollipop stick to it before it hardens. And, voila!

Dalgona Scones from Cafe Cha
Dalgona Scones from Cafe Cha

Now that you have your Dalgona candy sorted, you can have it on its own or even pair it with other sweet offerings just like Cafe Cha’s Dalgona Scones. 

L — R: Cafe Cha’s Assam Black Tea and Dalgona Scones

Or, switch it up and modify your Dalgona coffee by adding the candy as a topper for your latte or milk tea. Take, for instance, this Dalgona Assam Milk Tea, a richly-flavoured Assam black tea, combined with milk and crushed Dalgona, or the Dalgona Latte by Cafe Cha, made with freshly-poured latte paired with crushed Dalgona. 

At first glance, you might feel like making Dalgona at home might be a little tough to some. But if you’re up for it, we challenge you to make this toffee treat at home during this CB period! 


Cafe Cha is located over at Seongsu (2, Seoulsup 6-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea), Iksun (17-17, Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea), and Shibuya (Shibuya, Shibuya-ku Tokyo Japan 150-0002). Visit Cafe Cha on Instagram or Facebook for more updates. 

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