I know that you wanna whip it real good to get those stiff peaks of cream. However, there is such a thing as too much enthusiasm when it comes to making whipped cream. First of all, even though it's a simple dessert to whip up, it still takes patience.
If patience is not your virtue and you are set on having your whipped cream STAT, then I might advise that you just buy a grocery store can of aerosol cream. Even I will admit that it has its time and place.
However, nothing will dress your pies and fresh fruit like the silky, rich taste of homemade whipped cream.
So spend 15 minutes learning how to make it. Once you know how, you'll get a perfect batch every time. Just learn to avoid these 5 pitfalls.
1. You Don't Chill Your Bowl
This is the cardinal rule of whipped cream. Always make sure that you chill your bowl before you pour in your cream. I know it's common knowledge that baking ingredients are better at room temperature, but this is the one exception to the rule.
When it comes to dairy, having your ingredients chilled helps the fat emulsify faster and stay emulsified longer giving you those characteristic peaks that you look for in a good whipped cream.
Just pop your bowl into the freezer for 10-15 minutes and you'll be good to go.
2. You Don't Chill Your Cream
For the same reason you need to keep your bowl cold, you need to keep your cream chilled.
Cold ingredients equal a pert and perky result.
3. Don't Under- or Over-Sweeten
Whether you are putting a dollop on your pie, giving your berries a bed of clouds to rest on, or simply enjoying it out of the bowl, whipped cream is almost always going to be a dessert. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to its sugar content.
Most desserts are already sweet, so you don't want to hyper-sweeten your cream that will go on top. The result will be a teeth-achingly, palate-killing, mono-flavor desert. Yes, there can actually be too much of a good thing.
Likewise, you don't want your cream completely unsweetened.
To find a happy medium start with about 1 tablespoon of sugar per cup of cream. Once you know how that tastes, you can adjust up or down depending on your sweetness preferences.
4. Do Not Over-Beat Your Cream
The only thing you should beat into submission is well, nothing. So be gentle with your whipped cream. You are not trying to make meringues here people! Over beaten cream will result in some dairy concoction that is half butter, half cream and none of what you want on your pie.
Therefore, be vigilant when you're whipping. If you're using an electric mixer don't walk away. Keep your eyes on the texture of the cream, and when it starts to set and look dense, stop your beaters and test it.
Really, the best thing to do when it reaches this point is to finish it up by hand with a balloon whisk. However, if you want to continue with your electric mixer, pay strict attention and test your cream every few seconds.
If you accidentally take it too far and end up separating the milk fat solids, don't worry, you can fix it.
Just drizzle some liquid cream into the bowl and incorporate that into the already-whipped cream.
5. Use Organic Cream at Your Discretion
If you dedicatedly buy local or organic ingredients to feed yourself and your family, I applaud you. However, when it comes to whipped cream, I will urge you to consider breaking your habit and purchase conventional UHT (ultra-high temperature) pasteurized whipping cream.
This three letter designation is the key to having impeccably smooth, bright white result. Organic options will work, they just may not look exactly as you expected.