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I know it may be shocking to people who have seen my recent, healthy posts, but I love whipped cream. I’m not talking about that funny stuff from a can or the whipped vegetable oil in a tub – I mean real whipped cream that transforms even the simplest dessert of plain strawberries into a decadent treat. Thanksgiving and Christmas aren’t far off, and whipped cream is a must-have at the holiday dessert table. Uh…dinner table, I mean. It’s also perfect for fresh spring and summer berries, so it’s really a year-round recipe! Making your own whipped cream is remarkably easy, and can actually cost less than purchasing pre-made whipped topping. Oh, and it won’t deflate and shrivel up after you plate your dessert. Excited yet? Check out this simple recipe!
It may sound weird, but ‘heavy cream’ actually whips up far better than cream marketed as ‘whipping cream.’ It has a higher fat content, which is part of why it whips up so nicely. The other key to reliable whipped cream is chilling your bowl and whisk for at least 10 minutes ahead of time in the freezer- the colder the better.
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of white sugar
- ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Place a metal bowl and whisk, or whisk attachment for an electric mixer, in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
- Remove the bowl and whisk from the freezer, add all three ingredients, and whisk. If you're using an electric mixer, start on medium-low power, and whisk until the cream starts to form soft peaks that dissipate when you stop whisking. Then increase the speed slightly, or just keep whisking if you're working with a hand whisk.
- Continue whisking until the whipped cream forms hard peaks, or peaks and ridges that don't go away when you stop whisking, and then stop. You can over whisk whipped cream and make it deflate! When you're using hand whisk, you should be whisking for about 3 minutes total. It should take slightly less time with an electric mixer. You can see an example of peaks that last in the photo below.
- Serve and enjoy!
This whipped cream can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a day or two. Make sure there is as little air space as possible in the container to prevent unnecessary dehydration and don’t just put an uncovered bowl of whipped cream in the fridge or it will end up tasting like fridge! If it needs a quick revitalization, you can whisk it a little bit after taking it out of the fridge, just don’t whisk it into submission or it will begin to collapse.
I know those whipped cream cans come with a hand decorative nozzle, but you can easily make a creative pastry/icing bag with a ziplock bag. Simple spoon the whipped cream in, cut off the corner, and decoratively plate until you’re heart’s content! Or you can use one of those decorative holiday cookie presses that seems to sit neglected in closet for most of the year.
As mentioned above, homemade whipped cream does not deflate like canned whipped cream. Hooray! I realize that Cool Whip (and other similar products) don’t deflate, either, but have you ever looked at what’s in them? Here’s the ingredient list: water, hydrogenated vegetable oil (including coconut and palm oils), high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, skim milk, light cream, sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), natural and artificial flavor, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, and beta carotene. You know what’s in homemade whipped cream? Cream, sugar, and whatever else you choose to add.
Speaking of things you can add to whipped cream, you can easily customize this recipe by adding more sugar a little something extra (how about some brandied whipped cream for that special dessert? Or creating a Bailey’s whipped cream for the Irish coffee?).
What’s your favorite way to use whipped cream? Have you made it for yourself before? Ready to try now?