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Whip It Up!

May 7, 2012

I’m a huge fan of whipped cream.  I love Reddi Whip in a can.  I even love Cool Whip in the plastic tub.  I know, I know, most people think it’s disgusting and processed and blah, blah, blah.  But I love it.  I fold Cool Whip into the filling for my Chocolate Banana Creme Pie and I think it’s heavenly.  I put Reddi Whip on top of ice cream and hot chocolate, and anything else that I can get my hands on.  When I go to Starbucks, I love the whipped cream that they put on their hot and cold drinks.  I’ve seen the baristas there make their own whipped cream and put it into the whipped cream dispenser with the CO2 bottles and I always wondered how hard it is to make your own whipped cream.

Awhile back, I was trying to come up with some different menu ideas to incorporate new flavors and one of the items I wanted to make involved whipped cream.  I thought that this would be as good a time as any to see if I could make my own home-made whipped cream rather than going to the store and buying a tub of Cool Whip.  What I discovered was that it was easier than I ever thought it would be and it only takes 3 simple ingredients, 2 of which I already had in my pantry.

What you will need are: heavy whipping cream, confectioner’s sugar (better known as powdered sugar), and pure vanilla extract.

Making whipped cream requires the use of heavy whipping cream or heavy cream, they are one in the same thing.  Heavy whipping cream is easily found in the dairy section of your grocery store.  As heavy whipping cream is highly perishable, it’s a good idea to use it soon after purchasing or else it will spoil.  So, I only buy some when I know I will be using it.  Heavy whipping cream is made of milk fat content between 36 and 40% and is perfect for whipping.  Because there is so much milk fat the cream is denser than regular milk or cream and will become light and airy when whipped.  In fact, heavy whipping cream, when whipped properly will double in volume.  One cup of heavy whipping cream whips into 2 cups of whipped cream.

You can either beat the whipping cream with a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer.  Since a stand mixer can do all the work I need it to do without me having to hold the mixer, I went in that direction.  In order for whipping cream to “whip” it needs to be cold.  So, store your heavy whipping cream in the coldest part of your refrigerator and do not take it out until you are ready to use it.  If the heavy whipping cream is too warm, it will “churn” like butter rather than whip.  The colder the cream is when you start, the easier and faster it will whip up.  Another thing you can do before making whipped cream is to store the mixing bowl you will be using in the refrigerator for a few hours before using so that both the cream and the bowl are as cold as can be.  Pour the heavy whipping cream directly into the bowl of the stand mixer.

For one cup of heavy whipping cream, you need 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.  The vanilla extract will give your whipped cream that very subtle undertone of vanilla flavoring.  Remember, the heavy whipping cream itself is mainly all milk fat and really doesn’t have any flavor.  Pour the vanilla extract right into the mixing bowl with the heavy whipping cream.

Attach the whisk attachment to the stand mixer and start up the mixing process.  Set the mixer at medium speed and give it a few minutes to start whipping the heavy cream and vanilla extract.  This beats air into the whipping cream which causes the cream to double in size and become light and fluffy.  It’s very similar to whipping up egg whites to create meringue or souffle.  Whip the cream until you get soft peaks.  You should be able to visually see that the cream has doubled in size, become fluffy and light.  When you lift the whisk out of the mixing bowl, the cream should fall into lazy curls, or soft peaks.  Be careful not to over beat the cream, we are not looking for stiff peaks.

When you have achieved soft peaks is when it’s time to add the sugar.  The sugar will give the whipped cream the little bit of sweetening that it will need.  The reason for adding the sugar at the end of the process is so because the sugar tends to weigh down the mixture.  If you added your sugar before you began the whipping process, you’d end up with whipped cream with a lot lower volume.  If possible, confectioner’s sugar should be added to the whipping cream because of the fact that it’s very fine sugar in an almost powder-like consistency it is quick dissolving, and therefore won’t weigh down the cream.  Add 2 teaspoons of confectioner’s sugar and whip it only until dissolved into your cream.  Again, do not over whip.

Once the confectioner’s sugar has dissolved and incorporated, you are done!  You have yourself homemade whipped cream.  Light, airy, fluffy and subtly flavored with vanilla and a touch of sugar.  It’s much healthier than processed Cool Whip and Reddi Whip.  And you have the satisfaction of having made it yourself!

You can add the whipped cream to all sorts of items, dollop some into a mug of hot chocolate, use it as a dip for fresh-cut berries and fruit, or use it in making Angel’s Delight!

This whole process literally takes 5 minutes or less to create.  So go ahead, go home and whip it up!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    May 8, 2012 8:29 am

    I LOVE whipped cream, but I’ve never really tried to make it myself. You should ask my aunt Doris about making it sometime. I love it though, but I always use the Reddi-Whip which to me tastes “real,” versus the Cool Whip, which I hate. I’m not sure what the difference between those 2 products are. I will eat Reddi-Whip out of the can, even.

    • May 8, 2012 8:32 am

      Your brother told has told me that Doris makes amazing whipped cream. In fact, I’ve heard that she’s just an amazing cook all around! Your brother is the same way though, he likes Reddi Whip, but not Cool Whip. I actually like both. And cool whip is great if you need to mix it in with instant pudding mix to make a pie filling. It gives it some extra creaminess and volume that regular pudding won’t.

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