Whipped cream is one of those little joys of life that goes unnoticed. It is a dessert maker’s dream to have such a useful ingredient on hand. It is an extremely versatile ingredient and you can whip up a good amount of recipes with it. You can use it to make the classic favorites such as cheesecakes and mousse or opt for Italian delights such as tiramisu and pannacotta. You can also use it a garnish for hundreds of desserts and it will add just the perfect topping even to your pies and Frappuccino.
Having store bought whipped cream in your fridge is always not the case. You may have guests coming over suddenly and require a quick fix. In addition, store-bought whipped cream is always not as good as the traditional one. Making whipped cream the traditional way may sound daunting to you. Let us ensure you that making it is very quick and easy.
Below are the best tricks, tips and recipes for you to whip up the best whipping cream you can ever dream of. These will be perfectly suitable for your mind-blowing dessert recipes and is sure to impress anyone!
Tips for Making the Best Whipped Cream
- Buy your ingredients right
First, start perfecting your ingredients from the beginning; from the grocery store. Look for the best quality cream that is available. Buy from your famous local brand if you have a favorite. Or, if you fancy an imported brand go for it. Whichever brand you prefer, make sure it is full-fat heavy whipping cream. The fuller the fat, the better your whipped cream will turn out.
Be sure to check the content because there are many types of whipping cream out there. Not all brands sell the good stuff, so be careful.
For the perfect whipped cream, you will require fine icing sugar. Icing sugar goes by many names varying from country to country. Powdered sugar, caster or castor sugar, superfine sugar and baker’s sugar are a few examples. Icing sugar is finely ground up granulated sugar. It is similar to baking powder in texture and color. Icing sugar is available at supermarkets or grocery stores. You can also make it at home with granulated sugar; here is a quick method.
How to Make Icing Sugar at Home
To make this, you will need granulated sugar, a food processor, a sieve, fork and bowl. When you have them ready, follow these easy steps:
Step 1: Start with a clean and completely dry food processor. You must ensure the food processor is completely dry because the sugar will mush up if it is not.
Step 2: Take little amounts of granulated sugar, start with half a cup. The amount of granulated sugar will increase in volume once it is processed so take adequate amounts. Pour it in the food processor.
Step 3: Start by blitzing it for a few seconds and then pausing. Repeat this five to six times before going for a full blitz. Occasionally you have to stop, open the lid and scrape the bottom with a fork. Large granules of sugar can be stuck at the bottom and remain there.
Step 4: Do this little at a time and continue doing so until you are done with all the sugar. You can also make extra and store it in an airtight container for months. Storing them with a couple of vanilla beans will give them an amazing vanilla flavor.
Step 5: Finally sieve the icing sugar you just made. Take in small amounts and gently shake your sieve so the sugar dusts onto a bowl. This step is very important because there can be unnoticed lumps in your icing sugar, so do not skip it.
There you have it; your icing sugar is ready!
There are three types of vanilla you can use for your whipped cream. These are liquid vanilla essence or extract, vanilla bean paste and vanilla pods. You can use whichever you find easier to get your hands in but the three do have different impacts in terms of texture and flavor.
Vanilla essence is found everywhere and are inexpensive. It is not very strong in terms of flavor. No matter how much you use it, you will just not get the intense vanilla flavor that you would from the other two. You cannot also use it much because it is bitter in taste and the liquid will make your whipped cream less firm. Therefore, this is your least desirable choice.
The second option, vanilla bean paste is a good option. It has the intense and authentic vanilla flavor in the paste. It has a thick beany texture and not much of it is required. The only trouble is it is very hard to find. Not all countries and all grocery stores have it in stock. It is less common than the other two options and their rarity makes them expensive.
The third and last option is vanilla bean pods. These are vanilla in the rawest and purest state you can find. Most grocery stores offer it but they are slightly on the expensive side. To use them, you have to split the vanilla bean in two, lengthwise, and use a sharp knife to scrape out all the seeds on the inside. However, they will leave your whipped cream with the inevitable effect of thousands of visible specks of vanilla. It does not look bad but it is something that might bother you.
Prepare your utensils and tools
This is a very important part to get the perfect whipped cream, every time. Firstly, you must note that it is not a good idea to whip cream using your hands and a whisk. You can try but it will require a lot of time and elbow grease. Furthermore, you will surely end up with more muscle mass by the end of the procedure. In most cases, you will also not end up with the type of whipped cream you hoped for thus this is not a good option.
Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer. A stand mixer is multipurpose and if you are a regular home cook or baker, investing in one will prove to be very useful for you. These come with many attachments such as the paddle attachment for creaming, a dough hook for kneading and balloon whisk for whisking. This makes your life a lot easier. However if you are not financially ready to invest in one as they can be expensive, or are in short of space, you can also do the job with a handheld mixer.
In order to prepare your utensils, you need to chill everything. This includes your whisk attachments and the bowl you will be whipping in. Chill everything in the freezer for an hour prior to whipping your cream. It may sound weird to put an empty bowl and whisk in the fridge but it makes a ton of a difference. Chill your ingredients, except sugar, in the refrigerator as well. It will prove to be very helpful because as you whip your cream, the effect of residual heat from the machinery will be lesser.
How to Make the Perfect Whipped Cream
Now that all your utensils and ingredients are ready, you can start making your whipped cream. Keep everything near you within your hands reach. This includes the measured cream, vanilla, confectioner’s sugar, chilled bowl, mixer and a spatula. The following is a strategic guide to attaining the best whipping cream you can imagine.
- Ice Tub
If you want to make your whipping cream at the coolest temperatures possible, then here is another tip, but this is optional. You can use an ice bath. Simply take a large bowl and drop many cubes of ice to fully cover the bottom of the bowl. It should be large enough to fit your chilled bowl and still have area left around it.
Place the chilled bowl on top of the ice and there you have the optimum temperatures to whip cream. Taking this extra effort will give you blissful results and you will forget the canned or spray whipping creams for life.
- Keep everything measured
Having your ingredients ready near you is crucial. You do not want to walk away after whipping it halfway. By doing this, you will ruin all the air and volume you incorporated to make it so fluffy and it will become rather sloppy. One thing to note is that, whipping cream doubles in volume. Say, for example, if you start with one cup of liquid heavy cream and whip it, you will end up with two cups of whipped cream. So measure your ingredients according to what the recipe calls for. The raw to whipped state ratio stands at 1:2.
You should also keep your sugar ready and measured. If you want it very sweet then adding half a cup of sugar to one cup of heavy whipping cream will do. If you want it less sweet, then a quarter cup of sugar to one cup of heavy cream will be optimum. We suggest not adding much sugar as this will undermine the flavors you add.
Now comes the flavorings. We discussed vanilla but there are many other flavors you can choose from. You can also add liquor in small amounts such as brandy or rum. These flavors will intensify in the whipped cream. If you want a fruity or zesty flavor then you can opt for lemon, lime or orange zest. All these will add a zingy punch to your whipped cream. This will be perfect to top citrus desserts.
Honey and maple syrup are also popular options. You can also mix and match flavors but do not overdo them. Such as, coconut and peppermint extract make a good duo but on the other hand, chocolate and strawberry extracts will be a disastrous flavor combination. We do suggest not adding something too much on the liquid state because it will make your whipped cream droopy. Measure your flavors according to what your recipe calls for.
- Get into action
Finally, start whipping! Pour the heavy cream into your bowl and start whipping. Set your mixer to the highest speed. Whip for about 3-4 minutes like this and then start adding your sugar. Do not drop all the sugar at once; this can affect the volume you created. Rather, go slow and add a teaspoon at a time, mix, and add again. Gradually incorporate all the sugar in this way and continue whipping.
Now is a good time to add your flavor. Drop it all at once and continue to whip. You will have to scrape the edges of the bowl at intervals and mix everything in the center. Do this carefully and do not flush the air out.
- Keep check of time
How long you should whip depends on two factors; the flavor you add and the stiffness of your peeks. After whipping for about 10-12 minutes, you should get to the soft peak stage. You want this type of peak if you want to top sundaes or Frappuccino. Upturn your whisk and you will see it holds up but has a sloppy point. If you take it further to whipping for 15 minutes, then you will have stiff peaks. This is the kind of peak you want if you are using this recipe in a mousse, cheesecake, piping or frosting. It will hold its shape and peak upright.
When it comes to the second factor, the flavor, if you are adding any liquid then you will have to whip a little longer. This will be about 17 minutes. Otherwise, if your flavor is solid like vanilla pods or lemon zest then 15 minutes should be enough. Whatever you do, do not over whip it. Doing so, you will end up with butter and that is not what you want. This is likely to happen if you cross the 20 minutes mark so be careful.
So there you have it, your perfect homemade whipping cream from scratch. Now, this is ready to be used in a plethora of recipes or just scoop it and enjoy it with a spoon.
- How to whip cream – BBC goodfood