Transform your home from an office into a cafe for a change of scenery as the quarantine continues
With stricter policies restricting gatherings of more than four people being implemented and social distancing being reinforced, people are choosing to stay home in hopes of flattening the coronavirus curve. But being home doesn’t mean you need to give up all of your routines and comforts.
Turning your home into its own cafe has been a recent social media trend, with personalities such as @f.o.v_ creating beautiful homemade treats that are often found in coffee shops. If cooking is not your cup of tea, however, there are still ways to support your favourite local cafes, as many of them have established delivery services that will bring much-loved staples such as coffee and bread right to your door.
Here are a few home cafe essentials that you can recreate at home as well as recommendations on where to get these treats once restaurants open up again:
Experiment with pancake flavours
The go-to breakfast staple requires only a handful of ingredients and very little prep time. The trick to a fluffy pancake is buttermilk, which can be store-bought or easily made at home with just two ingredients. This recipe will give you a fluffy old-fashioned stack but The Kitchn’s easy pancake recipe is a go-to when you want no-fuss pancakes. Experiment with different flavours such as orange blossom, banana chocolate chip or strawberry lemon ricotta.
Tatler Tip: Upper House's Café Gray Deluxe's Hazelnut Dutch pancakes are a popular breakfast option.
Upgrade your avocado toast game
Avocado toast is a brunch staple that is easy to replicate at home. While picking exactly the right time to open an avocado is challenging enough, the real key to a good avocado toast is the bread. Avocado on store-bought toast is fine, but the popular fruit on freshly baked sourdough bread is better. Fineprint delivers homemade breads to neighbourhoods surrounding both its Central and Tai Hang locations, ensuring both freshness and flavour.
Tatler Tip: Fineprint's avocado toast is one of the best in town.
Spice things up with Shakshuka
If you are looking to spice up your egg game, try making Shakushuka, a North African dish that is popular in the Middle East. It consists of poached eggs in a mildly spicy tomato and pepper sauce. A go-to recipe is none other than Ottolenghi’s from his cookbook Jerusalem. Personalise yours by adding fresh herbs, feta, za’atar or substitute the harissa for red pepper flakes if your spice tolerance is low. You can find spices such as za’atar at bulk store Live Zero.
Tatler Tip: Blue Supreme's shakshuka with dill and feta is a true delight.
Dress up your tomato salad
To add a little colour to the table, opt for Alison Roman’s tomatoes dressed in toasted fennel seeds and anchovies. The anchovies give a salty bite to the tomatoes flavoured with toasted fennel seeds, a combination you will not be able to forget.
Tatler Tip: After its Wanchai outpost, Apt Coffee is opening a new location in Central which will be serving a beautiful tomato salad on toast.
Recreate your favourite afternoon tea scones
Afternoon tea in Hong Kong is a popular activity amongst friends and family and while nothing can beat your favourite hotel’s afternoon tea scones with clotted cream and jam, you can use what you have in the pantry to make your own scones with the help of Smitten Kitchen’s dreamy cream scones recipe.
If you do not own an oven, consider ordering your scones, jam and other afternoon tea treats from the Four Seasons’ e-shop which offers self-pickup with a 48 hour advanced purchase.
Tatler Tip: Though the Peninsula and Four Seasons' scones are some of the best in town, Teakha also makes scones with exotic flavours such as strawberry basil, fig, and almond apricot that are available for delivery.
Make the trending Basque cheesecake
We have seen burnt Basque cheesecake pop up on Instagram lately, and after a deeper dive into its history we found out that somewhere in the town of San Sebastián in the Basque country is restaurant La Viña, where people travel from all over the world to try its signature burnt cheesecake. Though the original recipe remains a secret, here is the closest way to recreate it.
Tatler Tip: Doubleshot by Cupping Room serves a creamy Basque cheesecake based on La Viña's .
Keep things light with a chiffon cake
If a lighter cake is more of your preference, a Japanese-style chiffon cake would make the perfect addition to the table. To achieve the perfect balance of fluffiness, follow Just One Cookbook’s simple recipe which includes a list of tips and techniques as well as troubleshooting questions and answers.
Tatler Tip: Jomo has a delicate Earl Grey chiffon cake, which can also be ordered online.
Bake insta-worthy cookies
Fill your home with a chocolatey and caramelised aroma by baking Sarah Kieffer’s insta-famous pan-banging giant crinkled chocolate chip cookies. By banging the pan to create ripples, these cookies add a fun element to your average cookie recipe.
For high-end chocolate chip cookies, earl grey cookies or pecan cookies, turn to Rosewood’s e-shop which will deliver your cookies in batches of 6 to 9 cookies, along with tea-infused jams or beautiful whole cakes.
Tatler Tip: You can never go wrong with Bakehouse's double chocolate or oatmeal raisin cookies.
Brew your own coffee
While many coffee shops are taking safety measures by not accepting reusable cups, encouraging contactless payment and removing communal sugar or silverware, there is also a way for you to get your favourite coffee without leaving your home. Coffee shops such as Artista Perfetto and Elixir have implemented delivery services to bring their ground coffee to your door. If you own a foamer, you can even make your own cappuccino or latte.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try the latest at-home coffee craze: Dalgona Coffee. The coffee went viral on social media as it only uses 3 ingredients and takes 5 minutes to make.
Tatler Tip: Check out our updated list of our favourite coffee shops in Hong Kong.