There’s nothing in this world quite like a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. Whether you’re topping off a slice of pecan pie, finishing off a peach cobbler or adding it to a bowl of freshly picked raspberries…real, honest-to-goodness whipped cream is one of life’s true pleasures.
Simple though it may be, there are a few things you should know if you want to get your topping technique whipped into shape.
Tips for perfectly whipped cream:
- Start with a cold bowl and beaters (or a cold balloon whisk, if you’re whipping by hand). It’s the fat in cream that helps trap the air bubbles that make it light and fluffy. If it gets too warm, the fat melts and the air escapes. Put your bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes before whipping and keep your Hiland Dairy Heavy Whipping Cream in the fridge until you’re ready.
- Use a metal mixing bowl. Ideally you should use a bowl made of stainless steel. It will chill easily and help keep everything cool during the whipping process. Avoid aluminum or electroplated bowls, as these can deteriorate over time, leaving tiny flakes of metal in the cream. If you don’t have a metal bowl, a glass bowl will do. Just avoid using plastic if you can. And while a copper bowl is great for mixing egg whites, it should not be used for whipping cream.
- Don’t over-whip it! You should stop whipping your cream when it has reached the firm peaks stage (or slightly before, if you prefer). That means that when you remove your beaters or whisk and hold them upright, the cream’s peaks will remain firm and not soften immediately. This can take up to seven or eight minutes of whipping, so stick with it! If you whip it much past this stage, you’ll end up with butter!
- Finish whipping by hand. Many cooks prefer to stop at the soft peak stage (peaks form but quickly soften) and then finish whipping by hand, either using a whisk or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer (an electric mixer’s beaters are not ideal for this). This will give you greater control and avoid over-whipping.
- Use Hiland Dairy Heavy Whipping Cream…it’s got 40% fat. Hiland Dairy Heavy Whipping Cream has a 40% fat content. Anything less than 30%, and there won’t be enough fat to trap the air bubbles necessary for the cream to whip.
- If you use powdered sugar, don’t add it until peaks have formed. Powdered sugar, also known as confectioner’s or icing sugar, contains a small amount of cornstarch, which can help stabilize whipped cream, but it needs to be added at the end of the process for this to occur. If you’re using regular granulated sugar, add it at the beginning so that it has time to dissolve.
- If using an electric mixer, start slowly. Whether you use a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer, starting on a slower speed will help prevent splattering. You can up the speed to medium once the cream begins to thicken.
- Make it in advance. Whipped cream can be make in advance. In fact, whipped cream can be stored for several hours in a refrigerator. When it comes time to serve it, a few strokes with a whisk will help bring it back to life.
- Add flavors to the whipped cream. Many people like to add a drop or two of real vanilla extract at the beginning of the whipping process. Some folks even like to add a tablespoon of rum or bourbon to their whipped cream to take fruit desserts to the next level. Mint extract, too, is great to add to whipped cream that’s going to be paired with chocolate.
What works for you?
We’d love to hear if these tips worked for you. Or, if you have any tips of your own! Whether it be a unique flavor you add to your whipped cream, or the best dish to serve with your whipped cream, we welcome your comments below.