Grab your hand mixer and start whipping! Photo by Robert Matic | IST.
If you’re putting whipped cream on a very sweet dessert, such as pecan pie or double chocolate cake, you can halve the sugar in the whipped cream or eliminate it entirely.
An unsweetened or just slightly sweet whipped cream provides a better counterpoint to the sweetness of the dessert. Otherwise, the sweet-on-sweet can be cloying.
Another tip: Make your own whipped cream. Once you see how easy it is and how much better it tastes, you’ll never go back to store-bought aerosol cans.
Just look at the ingredients comparison:
Reddi-Whip contains cream, nonfat milk, corn syrup, sugar, natural and artificial flavors, carrageenan (a thickening agent), mono- and diglycerides (emulsifiers, to preserve the texture of the product) and nitrous oxide as a propellant.
Homemade whipped cream contains cream, sugar and natural flavors (vanilla, almond extract) and no other additives. (If you use a cream whipper, then you are using nitrous oxide as a propellant.)
The amount of heavy cream you use—one half or one pint—yields up to five times as much whipped cream.
Here’s how to whip the cream in a bowl with beaters; however, if you you want an even easier way to make whipped cream that you can prepare days in advance, consider a cream whipper, also called a whipped cream maker or canister.
RECIPE: CLASSIC WHIPPED CREAM
You can also make flavored whipped cream, from bourbon to salted caramel; chocolate whipped cream (recipe below); and savory whipped cream for meat and fish.
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1. CHILL the bowl, beaters and cream thoroughly before beginning. Using an electric mixer whip the cream, vanilla, and sugar in the chilled bowl until soft peaks form (3-5 minutes). Makes about 2 cups.
We’ve used a cream whipper for many years. They last forever—we still have our mother’s unit from the 1960s.
You simply pour the cream into the canister, add the sugar and flavoring, and then aerate instantly with a nitrous oxide charger instead of whipping for 5 minutes with the beaters. All of the whipped cream is good to the last drop; it stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
In addition to whipping cream, you can use a cream whipper for espumas (foams), gravies, sauces and soups. In fact, there’s a thermal version that keeps the contents cold for up to eight hours with no refrigeration needed, or hot for three hours—on the kitchen counter or the buffet for people to help themselves.
The differences between a cream whipper and beater whipped cream: The cream will be more highly aerated (airier, not thick) and will emerge from the nozzle of the whipper in a thin ribbon, as opposed to a rounded mound as large as you like, from a spoon.
RECIPE: CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM
You can use dark, milk or white chocolate.
4 ounces chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
A pint whipper from iSi. Don’t buy a half pint whipper to save money. It’s a lifetime purchase, and you’re likely to want a larger batch at some point. (Note that a half liter equals a pint).
1. MEASURE the chocolate into a medium bowl; set aside.
2. HEAT the sugar and 1 cup of the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.
3. POUR the cream mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted. Let cool.
4. ADD the remaining cup of heavy cream and beat with electric beaters (or in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) on medium speed, until thick and fluffy.