Were we really all whipping coffee just a year ago?
Last week unofficially marks the anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic for many Americans who, at the beginning of March 2020, canceled vacations, said goodbye to their offices and headed to their kitchens to find peace of mind through cooking.
In addition to stress-relieving tried-and-true classics like banana bread and meatloaf, dishes also got creative in quarantine, with creative concoctions exploding in popularity on TikTok.
From Dalgona coffee to cloud bread, here’s a look back at some of the wackiest cooking trends to go viral during our past year of pandemic life.
Remember when we all took out our collective quarantine stress in March by furiously whipping instant coffee in a bowl with water and sugar? Even Lizzo attempted the viral TikTok trend in April.
Here’s how Dalgona coffee is made:
- 2 tbsp instant coffee
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp hot water
- Add 2 tbsp instant coffee, 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp hot water to a bowl.
- Whisk until you get stiff peaks
- Pour it over milk, and enjoy.
Later that spring, a new trend emerged: pancake cereal.
The dish was, well, exactly what it sounded like. Mini (and we mean really small, like quarter-size) pancakes were cooked and poured into a bowl with additives like butter and maple syrup. Some people added milk, though that was a point of contention.
Summer was the season of cloud bread. As its name suggests, this dish is an easy, three-ingredient bread that comes out of the oven looking like a fluffy cloud.
The bread got its rise on social media at the beginning of August, with people sharing videos of themselves ripping the bread in half to reveal a cotton candy-like texture. Most users added food coloring to make it extra pretty.
By the week of Aug. 17, the dish had inspired more than 2.2 billion TikTok videos and more than 35,000 Instagram posts tagged with #cloudbread. Though recipes varied from video to video, this one seemed to be the consensus:
- 3 egg whites
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- Food coloring (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Beat egg whites until bubbly.
- Add sugar and cornstarch and whip the ingredients until you get stiff peaks.
- Add food coloring (optional).
- Shape your whipped concoction into a dome and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Hot chocolate bombs
As the weather (and summer’s cloud bread craze) started to cool, a new trend emerged just in time for fall and winter: the hot chocolate bomb.
These neat treats, also called hot cocoa bombs, are basically hollow chocolate balls filled with marshmallows and hot cocoa mix.
In TikTok videos, users dropped the bombs into cups of hot milk and watched as the candy spheres melted, releasing the cocoa mix and marshmallows. And thus, a very ordinary cup of milk was turned into a very quick cup of hot cocoa.
Basically, it’s a bath bomb you can eat.
Recipes varied slightly but weren’t complicated. Here’s how it’s done, according to TikTok user @honeybobear:
- Melted chocolate
- Hot cocoa powder
- Melt chocolate in the microwave.
- Spread the melted chocolate into a baking mold.
- Once the molds are filled, refrigerate until the chocolate is solid.
- Fill the bottom half of your chocolate molds with hot cocoa powder and top with marshmallows.
- Melt the edges of the top halves of your molds and attach them to the bottom halves.
- Refrigerate again to seal your hot cocoa bombs.
Tortilla wrap hack
TikTok isn’t just the place for recipes — it’s also a beacon for food, kitchen and general life hacks. One popular trick that emerged on the site around January was the #tortillawraphack, which involves a new way to wrap a burrito or quesadilla.
To do the hack, slice your tortilla from the center through the outer edge and place the contents of your quesadilla into each of your tortilla’s quadrants. Then, fold each section of the tortilla onto the other, as demonstrated by food influencer Nicole Renard:
Though it’s been over a year, the pandemic still isn’t over. So what are the next quarantine food trends going to be?
Other dishes that have gone viral on TikTok in recent months include birria tacos and fufu. One dish, baked feta pasta, has inspired over 738 million videos on the site, all tagged with #fetapasta. Here’s how it’s made, according to user @feelgoodfoodie:
- Olive oil
- 1 block of feta cheese
- Add tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper to a baking dish.
- Place a block of feta cheese in the middle of the dish.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.
- When it’s done baking, add fresh garlic and basil, and mix.
- Add cooked pasta and mix again.
Contributing: Rasha Ali