How to Make Whipped Cream from Scratch So You Can Ditch The Not So Cool Whip Topping - The Rising Spoon

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to Make Whipped Cream from Scratch So You Can Ditch The Not So Cool Whip Topping

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How to Make Whipped Cream From Scratch in Five Minutes

Nothing excites me more in my self-taught cooking journey than learning to make things from scratch. Especially foods that are deceptively simple, like homemade whipped cream.

In fact, homemade whipped cream is so easy to make I'm baffled I didn't learn how to do it growing up. Am I the only one that thinks elementary school kids should be taught basic cooking techniques? 

It's not like they need to eat whipped cream every day, but imagine the smiles on their faces watching a bowl full of creamy liquid transform into pillowy whipped cream. That's pretty darn close to magic for us Muggles. (Harry Potter reference, for those of you who aren't privy to the word.)

What Do I Need to Make Homemade Whipped Cream?


Here's the good news: homemade whipped cream doesn't require any fancy equipment, although if you have electric gadgets you might as well use them. 


To my knowledge, there are four basic ways to make whipped cream from scratch at home. (If you know of any more, please leave a comment letting me know!) They're all easy, but two of them require a bit more elbow grease.

Four Different Ways to Make Whipped Cream:
(All methods take about 5 minutes on average, although it'll depend on how cold the equipment is and, in the case of the by-hand methods, how fast you're moving your arm.)
  1. Electric Stand Mixer
  2. Electric Hand Mixer + a Bowl
  3. Wire Whisk + a Bowl (metal works best to keep the cream cold, but I've made it without)
  4. Large mason jar with a tight-fitting lid 

The first two are easiest only because the equipment does all the work. However, the last two are just as easy (and arguably more fun), BUT involve a hefty arm workout as you're either stirring a whisk or vigorously shaking a jar for several minutes non-stop. 

The secret sauce to easy homemade whipped cream is making sure ALL of the tools + cream are VERY cold. This is especially important in the hot summer months when you're kitchen's already plenty warm. 


For best results, stick any bowls, jars, or utensils in the freezer for 15-30 minutes prior to making the recipe and only pull the heavy whipping cream out of the fridge right before you're ready. 


Whipped Cream Versus Whipped Topping


Many proponents of the "whipped topping" claim it's much more convenient to pull a blue tub of Cool Whip from the fridge and dollop it on whatever they're fixing at the time. Or, that this faux whipped cream holds up better for picnics or hot outdoor activities where genuine whipped cream would melt.  

Please let me dispel those myths.

Myth #1: Running to the Store For a Tub of Cool Whip is Faster Than Making Homemade Whipped Cream


As I mentioned above, you need only one ingredient (heavy whipping cream) and a mason jar with a lid to make a basic whipped cream in as little as five minutes (1-4 minutes if you have a strong arm).

So, it's actually faster to keep a pint of cream in your fridge & make it at home rather than run out to the store grab a tub of whipped topping.


Myth #2: Fresh Whipped Cream Falls Apart Quickly In The Fridge

You can make homemade whipped cream 1-3 days ahead of time, keep it covered, and store it in the coldest part of your fridge until you're ready to use it. Bonus: You can even freeze it to use later, so that negates needing to keep a tub of the whipped topping in your fridge or freezer for quick uses

Myth #3: Whipped Topping Is Better For Baked Goods Because It's More Stable

If you're making a batch of homemade whipped cream to use in a dessert (a cake or trifle for example) and need it to be thick and hold it's form while it's sitting out at a party, it's as simple as adding a one extra ingredient to stabilize it.

Here are three different recipes for making stiff or stabilized whipped cream (take your pick):



If you're interested in trying the gelatin technique, my favorite brand is this high-quality bovine gelatin from 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised cows. They also sell high-quality hydrolyzed collagen that is tasteless and dissolves easily for cold recipes like smoothies.

(
Bonus: If you want to order my favorite collagen in the previous links, I have a coupon code just for my readers! Enter RISING10 at checkout for 10% off your total.)

Ingredients in Popular Whipped Topping


Because I blog about real food, I have to point out the laundry list of additives and who-know-what ingredients in the most popular brand of whipped topping. Let's take a gander at the ingredients list for an eight-ounce tub of Cool Whip Original:

WATER, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, SKIM MILK, LIGHT CREAM, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SODIUM CASEINATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).

And for Cool Whip Lite:

WATER, CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), LESS THAN TWO PERCENT OF SODIUM CASEINATE (FROM MILK), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, SODIUM POLYPHOSPHATES, BETA CAROTENE.

See the single item highlighted with blue? That's the sole ingredient in both products that resembles the main ingredient in whipped cream. You'll notice that in the "lite" version, there isn't a drop of cream. Sigh.

What you're basically eating is whipped vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup & emulsifiers. If that doesn't gross you out, I don't know what will!


Ingredients in Real Whipped Cream


In contrast, the only two ingredients needed to make whipped cream are:
1. heavy cream (a.k.a. heavy whipping cream) and
2. a bit of sweetener (like maple syrup, honey, powdered sugar, or cane sugar)
.

Some people stir in additional vanilla extract or cacao powder to make it fancy, but that's totally optional.


That's it!

Note: If you'd like to learn more about the "ingredients" in Cool Whip, read these articles by Organic Authority, Fooducate and Snack Girl. 

Homemade Whipped Cream vs Cool Whip | www.therisingspoon.com

Dairy-Free Whipped Cream


I promised I'd provide a dairy-free whipped cream option using coconut milk. And who better to consult than The Coconut Mama herself? 

Here's her homemade, dairy-free coconut milk whipped cream recipe. 

Never tried coconut milk before? It's downright delicious! This BPA-free canned brand of coconut milk is extremely popular.

Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe
Ditch the over-processed ingredients and additives in store bought whipped topping and make your own homemade whipped cream from scratch in five minutes with only heavy whipping cream, sugar, and a little elbow grease.

Ingredients
1 pint (2 cups/16 ounces) of heavy whipping cream (I prefer raw and/or organic & grass-fed)
2-4 tablespoons (1/8-1/4 cup) of real maple syrup or powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (optional - get my homemade vanilla extract recipe here)

Recommended Tools
large metal mixing bowl, chilled 
wire whisk, chilled (get one here)
OR
electric hand mixer, optional (chill the whisk attachments)
OR
stand mixer with whisk attachment, optional (chill the bowl and whisk)

Want more real food & gadget recommendations? Check out my shop page

Directions
Chill the bowl and whisk in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. If you're using a stand mixer, detach the metal bowl and whisk attachment and place them in the freezer. I threw mine in a couple hours before I made the whipped cream, but it doesn't have to be in there that long. This helps keep everything cold and you DO NOT want the whipped cream to melt. Trust me, chilling your tools will make things much easier. 

Method #1: By Hand
Pour the cream into the cold bowl and immediately start whipping it briskly with the whisk. Do this continuously for several minutes. Once the cream has doubled in thickness, stop and gently fold in the sweetener and vanilla extract. Whip it for another minute and taste. Taste it and add more sweetener or extract if you want a stronger flavor or more sweetness.

Keep whipping at a fast pace, switching the whisk between hands so your arms don't get too tired until the cream has formed soft peaks and looks like whipped cream. To test it, dip the whisk into the cream and hold it upside down over your bowl. Does it slide off? If it's firm and doesn't move, it's done. If not, keep whipping. 

Be careful not to get too zealous with your whipping. If you whip too long, the cream will turn into butter! Don't worry, you won't go instantly from whipped cream to butter. It takes several more minutes before you achieve the butter stage.

All in all, I would say making it by hand will take somewhere between 5-10 minutes depending on how quickly you can whip.

Method #2: Electric Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer 
Pour the cream into the cold bowl and turn the speed to 2 for about 30 seconds. Switch to a 4 or 5 speed for about 3 minutes or until the cream has doubled in thickness. Turn off the mixer and gently fold in your sweetener and vanilla extract. Taste it and add more sweetener or extract if you want a stronger flavor or more sweetness. Whip it for another minute on 4 speed then stop again. 

Starting low, increase the speed to 5 or 6 and whip the cream for 2-3 minutes more minutes, or until it has formed soft peaks and looks like whipped cream. To test it, dip the whisk into the cream and hold it upside down over your bowl. Does it slide off? If it's firm and doesn't move, it's done. If not, keep whipping. 

Be careful not to get too zealous with your whipping. Especially, if you're using a stand mixer. Do not walk away while it's mixing. If you whip too long, the cream will turn into butter! Don't worry, you won't go instantly from whipped cream to butter. It takes several more minutes before you achieve the butter stage. 

Once you've formed the perfect whipped cream, use it immediately or store in a tightly covered container in the coldest part of your refrigerator (probably the back). It should keep 2-3 days before going liquidy. I've heard you can also freeze fresh whipped cream but haven't tried that myself. 

Ready to make a batch and use it right away? 

Homemade whipped cream is excellent scooped on top of hot cocoa made with cacao powder or pumpkin spice lattes!


I'd like to hear from YOU! 

What's your favorite way to use fresh whipped cream in a recipe? Are there any ingredients you love to pair with it? 

Homemade Whipped Cream Versus Cool Whip Topping


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    Elaina Newton is the creator, writer, and foodie behind the blog, The Rising Spoon. She's a self-taught cook and passionate about spreading basic cooking skills and information about real foods. She loves reading fiction, crafting, video games, dark roast coffee, cats, and rainy days. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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