Whipped cream is a fresh alternative to heavier icings, especially when it’s warm outside. Its lightness lends a refreshing uplift to cakes and desserts. There is just one challenge: heat is not a friend of airy, light toppings.
Whipped cream is used for more than topping slices of pie and ice cream sundaes. Often, layer cakes, shortcakes and cupcakes use it as a filler and a complement to fruits. We particularly like recipes like our Margarita Cake and Hot Milk Sponge Strawberry Shortcakes, where the whipped cream brings together complex, luscious flavors.
We reached out to Chef Eddy to determine the best ways to get a stiff and stable whipped cream for decorating. Here are his top tips:
- Use real whipping cream – not half and half or milk.
- Ensure that the bowl you’re whipping in is cold. Swirling a handful of ice cubes in the bowl beforehand or placing the bowl in the freezer for several minutes before you start is a good idea.
- To get lots of volume in your cream, whip it on medium speed.
- Whip just until stiff peaks form. If you over-whip, the cream will break down and taste greasy.
While some recipes call for adding gelatin to help the cream maintain its stiffness, Chef Eddy advises to avoid adding anything to your whipped cream. “Adding gelatin is very difficult even for professionals, as gelatin sets in a cold environment. Thus, adding melted gelatin into cold cream usually spells disaster and you end up with lumps.”
So, just stick with the essentials — whipping cream, sugar, and perhaps some vanilla. You can follow our Creme Chantilly recipe for the basics.
Once your cream is whipped and your cake decorated, what’s next? Storing is of the utmost importance. The best way to store whipped cream is in the refrigerator. Generally, it’s best to serve any dessert with whipped cream the same day it was decorated. Past that, the whipped cream can begin to take on an oily consistency or lose some of its volume.
Whipped cream can certainly be a finicky frosting, but it’s incredibly refreshing. Keep it simple and smart by using only a few ingredients and maintaining your cool throughout the process.
Be sure to visit our website for more frosting, glazes and syrup recipes.