For the first time I made real whipped cream recently. And I think that's what I'll do on Thanksgiving and Christmas from now on! So much better than the stuff you can buy. I had difficulty getting it to whip up right, but it's really worth it. Really delicious and I can add just the reduced amount of sugar I want! BTW, about leftover whipped cream...is it good or not after being frozen? I'm seeing contradictions as far as the info on the net.
Welcome to the amazing world of whipped cream: a dying culinary art, if ever there was one. Why whipped cream has joined the ranks of puff pastry, beef Wellington, coulibiac and homemade demi-glace sauce is beyond me. I guess those frozen tubs of whipped topping have something to do with it. However, those imposters have nothing to do with whipped cream. Whipped cream is cunningly simple and therein lies its greatest pitfalls.
First, there is the matter of sweetening it or not. I sweeten it with Splenda, to the tune of 1 tablespoon sweetener per cup of heavy cream before beating. If noone is watching his sugar intake, I will use 2 tablespoons confectionner's sugar in place of the Splenda.
Second, you must address the matter of weeping. Whipped cream that has to sit in the refrigerator will lose small amounts of liquid. That is easily fixed by adding 1/2 teaspoon corn starch for each cup of heavy cream before beating.
Third, there is the very important step of flavoring the whipped cream. I add a good teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to each cup of heavy cream just after I begin beating the cream.
Old cookbooks will recommend that you keep unused whipped cream in a sieve sitting over a bowl in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Any liquid that seeps out will fall through the sieve and into the bowl. It's great advice. Why would one have to keep whipped cream for a couple days in the fridge is beyond me, since it is so easy to make fresh whenever you need it.
However, I can tell you right now that whipped cream may NOT be frozen, lest you be confronted with a containerful of horrible goop when you thaw it.
Then, there's consistency. You may whip heavy cream until it turns into butter, whip it just right until it is fluffy but not hard or whip it just until barely keeps its shape. The choice is yours.
I love real whipped cream and only use the tubs of whipped cream when I am absolutely forced into it. It takes no time to pour cream into a bowl and whip it up.
What gets me is that we have a generation of people that know no difference and think the tubs are whipped cream. It is like the commercial I see on tv occasionally where they want to bake cookies and pull out the already made dough from the refridge and put it on a cookie sheet and throw it into the oven. To me, it is not the same thing --I understand we all get into time crunches with work and the kids, however, cooking is an outlet and a form of creativity that we are losing as a society.
Now that I am finished with my rant... Yay for you Linda.
One more thing Linda - I do have an old recipe for chocolate whipped cream if you are interested.
Thanks for the input, you all! Chocolate...I only eat pieces just on occasion with very high cacao % (I have 70%...healthier for me or hot chocolate with that also). Personally, I wouldn't like chocolate whipped cream...but I know some people would love it! Vanilla is more my thing usually.
WHIPPED CREAM - Stabilized
There are three ways to stabilize Whipped Cream when using it for frosting.
The most common way is to use gelatin. For each cup of cream (1/2 pint) to be whipped, you will need 1 t. gelatin and 2 T. of cold water. Add the gelatin to the water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir over low heat 'til melted. Allow to cool, then begin whipping cream. As soon as cream barely mounds, begin pouring melted, cooled gelatin in a slow, steady stream into the cream, with beaters still running. Continue to beat the cream 'til it is stiff enough to use as frosting or for piping through a pastry tube. Put cake in a cool place. Serve chilled.
Another way is to beat a little confectioners' sugar into whipped cream. The sugar absorbes some of the excess liquid in the whipped cream; it also contains cornstartch, which acts as a stabilizer. Whip cream 'til stiff, then fold in 3 T confectioners' sugar to each cupful of whipped cream. (Each 1/2 pint of whipping cream yields 2 C of whipped cream.)
A third way is to let it drip 'til it is stiff from loss of moisture. Buy heavy whipping cream the day before you plan to use it, and put it into the coldest part of your refrigerator. Whip 2 C of cream in an electric mixer, or use a rotary beater 'til it begins to thicken. Then add 1/4 C sugar and continue shipping 'til thick, taking care not to over beat. Fold 2 t vanilla into cream.
Rinse a triple layer of cheesecloth in cold water and wring out well. Use to line a colander or large strainer. Pour whipped cream into cheesecloth-lined colander. Set in a pan with raised sides, then drape remaining cloth over the top. Let sit for 24 to 48 hrs. in the refrigerator. As liquid drips out of the cream, the cream will get dense and very stiff. Makes 4 C. Use within 24 to 48 hrs.
Left over fresh whipped cream??!! Doesn't happen around my house! Personally I wouldn't freeze it, the texture would be completely different when thawed. In general, milk products by themselves don't freeze well unless either cooked first or stabilized with other ingredients (like ice cream). The only tip I can add here is chilling the bowl and beaters before whipping the cream - it really does make a difference.
As for the amount of whipped cream to make so you don't get leftovers, experiment! If the amount you made was too much, just whip less next time. If you made too little, it is easy enough to make more!