I used to work in a restaurant where we had to whip cream by hand. Every night. Sometimes more than once. In August. It would be ungodly hot. My arms would burn. I would whine. And complain. After what felt like forever, the cream would finally come together and make soft peaks. It was a beautiful thing. I am not sure why the chef was so adamant about the cream being whipped by hand, but he was. He was sort of crazy. Like the Soup Nazi from Seinfield. But I loved working there and learned so much about food from them.
Anyway, back to whipped cream. Whipped cream is pretty much the perfect accompaniment for any dessert. It is light and fluffy and sweet and full of vanilla or whatever flavor you want it to taste like. It is perfection on ice cream, a pie, cobbler, a bowl of berries. Or straight up on a spoon.
Whipped cream is a beautiful thing. You can keep it simple. Or you can dress it up. Add some citrus, spice, cocoa, liqueur. It can really take something simple and make it elegant and over the top.
Apple pie with cinnamon whipped cream? Yes please.
Blueberry cobbler with a lemon cream? Oh yeah.
Pumpkin pie with bourbon whipped cream? Bring it on.
I know what you are thinking. Do we really need a recipe for whipped cream? No, of course you don’t. But for some reason, I didn’t know that you could make whipped cream even better than it already is. You can make it last longer. You can stabilize it to keep its shape and so much easier to work with. Why didn’t someone tell me this ages ago?
There are a few ways that you can do this. You can use a packaged stabilizer like Whip-it. I happen to love this product. You just sprinkle the Whip-it over the cream and let it go. It works some sort of magic.
Or you can go the cornstarch method. Add a Tablespoon of cornstarch to every cup of cream and add the cornstarch after the cream comes to soft peaks.
Or you can use the gelatin method. Add one teaspoon of bloomed gelatin to peaked whipped cream.
Here is the recipe that I am using for this particular whipped cream:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 Tablespoon cold water
1 cup cold heavy or whipping cream
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whichever method you choose, the technique is pretty much the same.
What do you mean by bloomed gelatin? Gelatin needs to be heated to go from the granulated form to the liquid form.
Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water.
Let the gelatin stand for a minute or so until the gelatin is absorbed by the water.
Microwave the gelatin for about 30 seconds at high heat. The gelatin will be clear and melted. Now you can use it to stabilize your whipped cream.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream until it gets thick and starts to form peaks. Gradually make your way to high speed otherwise you will be wearing it. And so will your counters, ceiling, floors, you get the idea.
Gradually add in your sugar. I used confectioners sugar here, but usually I am too lazy and use plain old granulated sugar.
Add in your stabilizing agent of choice. (If you are using Whip-it though, that goes in first.)
Flavor it however you want. I am loving vanilla bean paste right now so I am using it in everything. You use the same amount of paste as you would extract. I love seeing vanilla bean specks in everything. There is something so extravagant about vanilla beans. Maybe because they are just so expensive?
Look at all of those gorgeous vanilla bean flecks. Oh my. When the cream holds peaks it is done. Do not over whip or it will start to curdle.
From this point, you can either just dollop it on things, or you can be fancy and put it in a pastry bag and pipe it on things. When you stabilize the whipped cream, you get more time out of it before it starts to get watery.
Seriously, why didn’t anyone tell me about this years ago?