This recipe is how to make the best whipped cream for any occasion. You cant go wrong with our simple instructions.
- 1 cup thickened or double cream
- 1½ tablespoons icing sugar mixture (confectioners' sugar)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour the cream into a well-chilled bowl and add the sugar and vanilla.
- Using an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk, beat the cream to the desired consistency. For soft peaks, the cream will be just thick enough to hold its shape in soft billows. For stiffly beaten cream, the beaters or whisk wires will leave distinct traces on the cream and stand in firm peaks when the beaters are lifted.
Use high-quality pasteurised cream with a high butterfat content, which whips up thick and fluffy and has better flavour.
Room-temperature cream won't incorporate air, so use well-chilled cream straight from the refrigerator. Use a chilled metal bowl or place the bowl in a larger bowl of iced water.
For sweetening, icing sugar mixture (confectioners' sugar) is preferred to granulated sugar because the small amount of starch in the former discourages the weeping that occurs when whipped cream stands for longer than a few hours. A hint of vanilla is imperative. If you are gluten intolerant, be sure to choose pure icing sugar over icing sugar mixture.
Learn to distinguish between the stages of whipped cream; it doesn't always have to be stiff. As a garnish for a dessert, the goal is softly beaten cream that barely mounds. When used for piping, cream should be whipped to the stiff stage. Of course there is an in-between stage, too, used for when the cream is the base for a torte filling. Take care not to over-whip the cream, at which point it has a coarse, grainy texture and is well on its way to becoming butter.
A balloon whisk will give you the most control over the whipping process, but most people prefer an electric mixer. A hand mixer is best, because the strong motor of a standing mixer makes it difficult to gauge the whipping progress and can quickly over-whip the cream.