Whipped cream… Oh, yummy! Even the thought is!
It may not be the most popular dessert, but it sure makes an excellent addition to teas, cakes, and other light treats.
Perhaps you’ve come across or eaten it a few times and liked it. Maybe you’d like to do it yourself at home for your special visitors or just a casual treat for your family. But you’re not sure how it’s made or what even makes up this delectable treat.
Come along, and let’s get you up to speed!
What exactly is whipped cream?
Whipped cream is heavy cream beaten (whipped) until it becomes light, voluminous, and fluffy. You can achieve that by whipping the cream with a mixer, fork, or whipped cream charger.
Most times, confectioners’ sugar or vanilla flavor is added to whipped cream to enhance the sweetness. When you’re making it at home, it all depends on your tastes whether to add any sweeteners. However, if you’re adding sugar, the granules will dissolve completely and leave no grainy texture. So what you’ll have is extremely smooth, yummy cream.
Whipped cream containing vanilla flavor is typically called Chantilly cream. Different names and flavors but the same product. So if this is what you came across at the restaurant, it’s whipped cream all the same.
Notably, Chantilly cream is very rich and goes perfectly well with many foods and drinks. It’s used as cake frosting, a spread for cookie sandwiches, and even chocolate toppings.
How it forms
Made from heavy cream, which has a high butterfat content, whipped cream has soft, light peaks higher than most other dairies. Air is forced into the cream as you whip it, forming bubbles inside because of the high-fat content. These pockets of air that form throughout the mixture causes an increase in volume while also stabilizing it.
When you’re done beating the mixture, it will be around two times the size of the original heavy cream due to the bubbles.
A thin film of water and protein surrounds each bubble.
Avoid using low-fat dairy products to make whipped cream because the end product will be watery and thin rather than stable and firm. You can whip whole milk till it creates bubbles, but they don’t hold up for long because of the lower fat content.
So you want to ensure you always use heavy cream.
Difference between whipped cream and whipped topping
Many people are quick to use whipped cream and whipped topping interchangeably, but you’ll be amazed they’re not the same.
Here’s a major difference: while whipped cream is made from heavy cream sweetened with sugar or vanilla, whipped toppings typically use an alternative to cream, most often products you wouldn’t readily want to use at home.
Whipped toppings also contain more sugar and sometimes artificial sugars and flavors.
Whipped toppings are precisely the kind of recipe you don’t want to do at home. They’re considered more expensive but less tasty than actual whipped cream.
So, if you’ve not tried making your whipped cream at home, it’s something worth trying. You would never want to go back to those fake substitutes ever again.
How to make homemade whipped cream
Below are the things you’ll need:
There’s no whipped cream without heavy cream. Although there are alternatives, avoid settling for those containing less fat because you may not get the expected result. The cream should contain at least 30% fat to whip properly.
Now, you want to go for confectioners’ sugar rather than granulated one due to cornstarch. The cornstarch in confectioners’ sugar prevents whipped cream from liquefying when it sits out. Sugar adds to the whipped cream’s taste, offering you a mouthwatering dessert you’d want to have every evening.
This ingredient is optional as you only need it if you’re a vanilla fan or just desire something extra. Of course, a touch of vanilla takes the creamy experience to whole new heights.
You’ve got all your ingredients; next, you need your tool to aerate the mix. Apparently, you’d need a bowl for the mixture.
You can use an electric or stand mixer or even a hand to whisk your cream, but this takes a lot of time. If you want to save time, consider ordering a cream charger delivery. A whipped cream charger works as an instant whipping agent by injecting nitrous oxide (N2O) into the mix, aerating it immediately.
Cream chargers aerate the cream in a closed system, so the mix chills instantly and doesn’t require any extra ingredients to maintain its volume and fluffy texture. This enables you to enjoy the full, undiluted taste of the cream, as some stabilizers tend to mask the true flavor of your handiwork by adding their own tastes.
Another reason to use cream chargers is their ability to preserve the bubbles fresh for a long time, enabling you to store your homemade whisked cream for over a week. So you can prepare a large quantity this way so you can enjoy it for a whole week without having to repeat the process whenever you long for the treat.
How to make whipped cream step by step
- Combine the cold heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla flavor in a metal bowl.
- Whisk the ingredients by hand, in a low-speed mixer, or save time with a cream charger. Do this until the cream becomes thick, foamy, and puffy.
- Verify if there are stiff peaks. Do that by removing the whipper and turning it upside down. If the peak that forms on the whipper holds its shape when turned, then you’ve achieved stiff peaks.
- At this point, the mix will feel very fluffy and more difficult to whisk than when you started. However, beat it (or infuse it with the cream charger) just a little more to ensure it remains stable for longer. Try not to go overboard, though, as excessive whipping may do more harm than good.
- Enjoy your homemade whipped cream with or without dessert.
As with every other recipe, your first time may not be perfect, but it will teach you a lesson or two. Leverage that experience into subsequent trials, and pretty soon, you’d become a pro.