A couple months ago, one of my favorite cooking channels (emmymadeinjapan) delved into some molecular gastronomy and made a "magic" coffee whipped cream. This winter, we spent a ton of time mastering vegan meringues with aquafaba and we learned a lot of things along the way. When Emmy posted her video, I had a lightbulb moment and had to test it out. Here are the results of these tests. Note: we used Folgers the first time and they were awful and bitter. Nescafe is good. Google to find more suggestions for the best tasting instant coffee. I haven't tried anything else because Nescafe was a win.
CAST OF CHARACTERS: 20 Grams of Nescafe instant coffee crystals (a generous 1/4 cup) 160 ml of ice cold water (about 2/3 of a cup) 200 grams of superfine sugar (about a cup) 1/4 tsp xanthan gum + 2 TBSP superfine sugar (just scoop a bit from the measuring cup and set it aside)
Xanthan gum is a stabilizer you often see in gluten free baked goods. I usually find it in packets (like yeast) at the grocery store. You can omit it (the javafaba will taste the same) but it will start to soften and deflate a bit after an hour or so. Still fun to eat, so don't sweat it too much if you don't have any. Just use 1 cup of superfine sugar and omit the last line.
That said, when you add xanthan gum to a liquid it starts to activate (thicken) very quickly. If you add it by itself, it will sometimes make a blob that doesn't incorporate. This is why we mix it with a little sugar to add at the very end.
Speaking of sugar, if you don't have superfine sugar, you can zip it through a blender or food processor. Not too much. Just enough to break it into smaller pieces, we're not making powdered sugar here. If you don't, it'll be a little gritty. No biggie. METHOD:
Add water and coffee crystals to the bowl of a stand mixer and turn it on medium-high. Let mix until frothy, about 3 minutes. You can walk away. It'll be fine.
Come back in 3 minutes to look in the bowl with shock and awe at the volume of whip this makes.
Turn the mixer down to low and add the sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time, mixing for 10 seconds between each addition. DO NOT ADD THE XANTHAN GUM MIXTURE YET.
Okay now that all the sugar is mixed in, you can add the xanthan gum. Just sprinkle it in slowly. Since you mixed it with sugar before adding, it shouldn't give you any grief. After you've add it all, you can turn the mixer up to medium-high again. It will start to get glossier, thicken (stabilize), and stick to the sides of the bowl a bit like this:
That's it! You're finished!
It makes a great, light icing and has a creamy, almost fatty, mouth feel. You won't believe it's dairy free, for sure. The slight bitterness of the coffee balances sweet desserts perfectly. You could also add a big scoop to your coffee (or hot cocoa), in place of whipped cream. We've had it in the fridge for a couple days and it's equally delicious when frozen! If you give it a try, let me know, or tag me on instagram @intolerantvegan!