Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Whipped Cream Icing and Filling

My brother, Chris, recently asked me for a chocolate cake with whipped cream icing. No problem. I mixed up the cake batter, poured it into layer pans, baked it, removed it from the oven. It was perfect. Then I added some powdered sugar to heavy cream and whipped it up. Not so perfect. I guess I over whipped it, which I seem to do all the time. It seems to me that there's only a small window between "ok, just a little bit more" and "oops! it's over whipped." I hate when that happens. The result is a whipped cream that tastes great but looks kind of clumpy and isn't smooth the way you want it. Clearly, I needed to find a way to prevent this from happening again. This recipe is the answer. It's the commercial recipe used by bakeries, and it makes that window a little bigger. You'll still have to be careful not to over whip it, but the gelatin helps prevent that from happening. Feel free to add other flavored extracts to switch things up. You could do lemon, orange, or even coffee liqueur to flavor your whipped cream. Decadent!

1 tsp unflavored gelatin
4 tsp cold water
1 c heavy whipping, very cold
1/4 c confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine gelatin and cold water in small saucepan. Let stand until thick.
Place over very low heat, stirring constantly just until gelatin dissolves.
Remove from heat and cool slightly. Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until
slightly thickened. While beating slowly, gradually add gelatin to cream mixture. Whip at high speed until stiff peaks form.

Whenever you fill or top a dessert with whipped cream, be sure to store it in the refrigerator.

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