I was asked by my friends I was having coffee with what this edition’s article was going to be. I had a few things working around in my head, but I wasn’t really sure. A lot of the ideas seemed great, but I would have wanted to do a little testing first to get my version of the recipe down. And then one of our group came to the table with extra whipped cream on her cocoa.
I asked them if any one of them would be interested in a recipe for whipped cream. I didn’t get much of a response until one friend asked about Chantilly Cream. She informed me it was one of her favorite foods, but she could never get it exactly right. That was when I finally agreed to write about what I consider to be one of my easiest recipes to date.
So the first question is: Is there a difference between whipped and Chantilly cream? The answer is: kind of. When most people talk of whipped cream, they are usually referring to Chantilly cream. That is, they are talking about sweetened whipped cream used for desserts. Whipped cream is just that — cream that has been whipped. It does not always have sweetener added. One example of how you would use unsweetened whipped cream is in oysters Rockefeller; whipped cream is combined with hollandaise sauce on top of the oyster and browned under a broiler. Chantilly Cream is always sweetened and usually flavored with a touch of vanilla or some other flavoring.
Someone else then said that Chantilly Cream is always lightly whipped to just a soft stage. Although some people, including some chefs I’ve known, think Chantilly Cream is only cream sweetened and softly whipped, that does not have to be the case. Sweetened cream whipped to a stiff enough consistency to pipe through a pastry bag in order to decorate a dessert is still Chantilly Cream. All you need for the cream to be considered Chantilly Cream is the sweetener. If you whip it a little too much, just fold in a little cream to bring it back. If you whip it to butter, about the only thing left is to try it on a piece of toast.
Some people swear by powdered sugar because it will dissolve and incorporate into the cream easier. That is true, but I have noticed that powdered sugar gets old much faster than granulated sugar. It will actually pick up the flavor of the plastic bag and taste bad. Because whipped cream is such a delicate flavor, I will normally go with whatever I happen to have around and use the fine granulated sugar if there is any available. Just be sure to taste the powdered sugar before using it to make sure it is fresh. For a simple dessert, try a small bowl of fresh berries with Chantilly Cream and enjoy.
1 C heavy cream
2 to 3 T sugar
1 t pure vanilla extract (or other flavoring to taste)
Place the bowl in the freezer for a little while. Use an oversized bowl because the cream will double in volume and the extra room will make whipping easier.
Add the ingredients into the bowl and whip together until it is at the desired consistency you like. Look for silky consistency unless you are going to pipe it out of a bag for decorating, in which case you will want it a little stiffer.
You can add a little more sugar or vanilla, so taste it just as it starts to thicken.