Coffee as a drink by the side of a full English breakfast is an idea most of us can get behind. Coffee with the egg actually in it though – sounds revolting, no? In Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, thousands of locals and tourists would beg to differ as they sip their cà phê trúng (egg coffee). The drink was invented in the 1940s during a milk shortage, when an enterprising barman was looking around something else to put in the coffee.
Now, it’s a Vietnamese staple and can be served hot or cold. Adding the egg makes the hot version very thick, so it’s usually served with a spoon on the side. It’s sweet-tasting, but tastes creamy rather than like a coffee omelette.
Nguyen Van Dao, whose father invented the drink by adding whisked egg yolk to coffee, still serves cà phê trúng in his Cafe Giang, although it’s available all over the city. Mr Nguyen’s secret mix involves coffee powder, condensed milk, butter and even cheese but the exact recipe is a closely-guarded secret.
To make your own version at home, you’ll need per person a measure of hot, very strong black coffee, one tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk and one egg yolks. Put the coffee in heatproof jug and stand it in a bowl of boiling water to keep warm while you prepare the topping. Using an electric whisk, combine the egg yolks and condensed milk until very thick and foamy – this will take several minutes.
Pour two thirds of the coffee into a heatproof glass, and add all of the egg mixture. Pour the remaining coffee over the top – this will help to cook the egg topping through. Serve with a sprinkle of vanilla sugar on top.
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