Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Whipped Cream

Whipped cream for cakes, pies and other desserts that can hold up to holiday travel and buffets if stabilized with a bit of gelatin.  A touch of gelatin prevents the cream from separating and “weeping” into a puddle, much like the sad look of an aging snowdrift. 

Adding gelatin is an easy step and mostly relies on having some plain gelatin powder in the pantry.  The technique is detailed below and if you don’t have the necessary ingredient, I’ve just discovered that mixing some softened cream cheese into whipped cream has a similar stabilizing effect (and tastes divine with chocolate or pumpkin desserts.  (Good with fruit pie too.)

Your whipped cream will hold up for hours but still needs to be refrigerated since it remains a dairy product. 

Cream Cheese Stabilized Whipped Cream
Makes about 1 cup (recipe may be doubled)

1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 ounce cream cheese, softened

Method
  1. Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and whip with a balloon-style wire whisk or a hand held mixer until cream is thick and holds a peak. 
  2. In a small bowl combine softened cream cheese with a large spoonful of whipped cream.  This will lighten the cream cheese and allow you to fold it into the whipped cream more easily. 
  3. Gently fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream.  Refrigerate until ready to use. 
Activated Gelatin
 Gelatin- Stabilized Whipped Cream
Makes 2 cups
(This is a commercial recipe used by bakeries).

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 teaspoons water
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (add more to taste, up to 1/4 cup)
1/2 -1 teaspoon vanilla

Method
  1. Combine gelatin and cold water in small saucepan and let sit until thickened. 
  2. Once gelatin has thickened, place pan over low heat, stirring constantly just until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly while you whip the cream.  
  3. Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and whip with a balloon-style wire whisk or a hand held mixer until cream is slightly thickened. 
  4. Lower the speed and gradually add gelatin to whipped cream mixture (or fold in gelatin if whipping by hand). 
  5. Raise speed and whip at high speed until whipped cream becomes stiff and holds peaks. 
Cakes iced with whipped cream must be kept refrigerated.

Now that you have mastered softening and using gelatin, you may be interested in making you own fruit gelatin and mousse desserts.  Just follow the directions on the box.