Whipped Cream (Soft Peaks and Stiff Peaks)
Nothing can replace the taste and creaminess of real whipped cream! Follow these simple tips to whip thickened cream into soft or firm peaks.
Use cream that has either a 36 to 40 percent milk-fat content (heavy cream) or 30 to 36 percent (light whipping cream).
1. First, make sure you've chilled your mixing bowl and beaters by putting them in the freezer for about half an hour. If possible, use a big glass bowl.
For best results, prepare an ice-bath in which to place your bowl of cream during whipping.
2. Use the cream straight from the fridge: The colder it is, the easier and faster it’ll be to whip. Pour the cream into your bowl.
One cup of whipping cream makes about two cups of whipped cream
3. Use a balloon whisk or an electric beater to whip cream. Start at low speed and gradually increase it to medium, do not whip on high as it's very easy to over-whip your cream, and once that happens it will turn into butter, making it unusable. So go slow and steady.
4. When the cream starts to thicken, just before soft peaks form, add sugar and vanilla or flavoring of your choice and continue to whip. A good rule of thumb is 2 tablespoons of sugar for every cup of cream; adjust the sweetness to your own taste. You can use icing sugar instead of regular sugar.
For vanilla-flavored whipped cream, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. For a chocolate flavor add 2 tablespoons cocoa with 2 tablespoons of sugar. For coffee-flavored cream add 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules and 2 tablespoons sugar.
5. Continue beating the mixture until soft peaks form. You can whip until the cream makes stiffer peaks if desired, but be careful: You don’t want to turn the mixture to butter.
For soft peaks, whisk until cream just clings when the whisk or beater is lifted. This is useful when making mixtures, such as mousse.
For firm peaks, continue to whisk until the cream holds firmly to the whisk or beater. This is useful for serving with desserts.
Use as required!
If it starts to look grainy, you've over-whipped it - try folding in some more cream