How to Whip Cream

Fans of whipped cream know that homemade whipped cream is very different than then stuff that comes from an aerosol can.  It tastes better, looks nicer, and it has no preservatives, which is always a plus.

The following is a step-by-step guide on how to create your own perfectly light and smooth whipped cream:

  1. First things first, do not over-whip your cream!  It happens fast, so watch for it.  You’ll know by the texture and taste.  Over-whipped cream is grainy and tastes heavy.  Really, REALLY over-whipped cream starts to separate and form butter.  You want your whipped cream to create soft peaks, and is light and billowy.
  2. Start with cold heavy cream, granulated (or fine) sugar, and vanilla extract.  You can also flavor the cream with vanilla sugar.  You’ll need a whisk (if you’re up for some vigorous wrist action) or a hand mixer.  A standing mixer is good for larger amounts of whipped cream, but you risk over-whipping.  Your bowl should be big enough to accommodate the expanding cream.
  3. Being whipping the cream.  Rotate the beater around the bowl at a medium speed.
  4. When the cream starts to thicken into the first hints of soft peaks — you’ll see little wave-like streaks through the cream., add a small amount of sugar and a few drops of vanilla.  Add the sugar to taste.  If you like barely sweetened whipped cream, use about 1 teaspoon per cup of cream.  Load up to 1 Tablespoon per cup if you like sweeter creams.  1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract per cup of cream should do it.
  5. Reduce speed (to medium-low) and watch carefully.   It’s almost done at this point.  Note that with an electric mixer, a half-cut of cream will whip in under 2 minutes.
  6. The whipped cream is done when it holds together enough to hold a dollop shape.  Use it right away if possible.  Spoon and enjoy!

Note: For a stiff and stable whipped cream (for decorating a cake), soften a little gelatin in cold water and then heat it to a simmer until the gelatin dissolves.  Let the mixture cool to room temperature and add it to the cream, along with the sugar and vanilla.

Thanks to Kumiko of Recipe Interrupted for these tips!

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