Whipped cream can arguably be one of the best dessert condiments and certianly brightens any dish with its wispy peaks and delightful disposition.
What is whipped cream?
Whipped cream is made when heavy cream is aerated, meaning air is added to it, and it chemically changes.
Aeration can happen one of two ways. The first is by whipping, hence the name. The second is by injecting high pressure gas. They come in little tanks and are commonly called Whip-Its.
Most people add a small amount of sweetener, powdered sugar, and other flavoring like vanilla or almond.
Can You Flavor Whipped Cream?
Sure! Whipped cream is usually flavored with a small amount of vanilla, but you can also use any extract you’d like. Almond, peppermint, butter and espresso are some of my favorites.
You can also color whipped cream. It is best to use a gel food coloring and add it while the cream is still in liquid form.
How Do You Stabilize Whipped Cream?
Read more about this in our homemade whipped cream recipe, but in summary, you will add powdered skim milk, cornstarch or cream of tartar to help stabilize.
Without one of these, your whipped cream will fall shortly after being infused with air. With a stabilizer, whipped cream can stay frothy for days.
Should I Use Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream?
The answer may surprise you, but it is heavy cream. The name “whipping cream” is actually a little deceiving.
Despite being used interchangeably quite often, there is a difference. Heavy cream has a 36% milk fat while and whipping cream is only 30%.
Heavy cream is better for stabilized homemade whipped cream and thickening sauces because it has a higher milk fat and thicker texture, but only slightly.
Both can make whipped cream, but heavy cream is actually better than whipping cream. Confusing, I know.
Heavy cream whips well and holds shape better. It’s best for piping, pastry fillings and anything that needs to be thick and creamy. This also makes it better as a thickening agent and for creamy sauces.
Whipping cream will still whip and in fact, most people use it merely because of the name, however it is lighter and tends to lose shape become liquidy.