Making whipped cream yourself from scratch, as opposed to using those cheesy canisters, is a basic kitchen skill. (And please don’t let me get started on imitation whipped cream, often sold under the name whipped topping. Take a glance at the ingredients label and you’ll see why I say it’s bad for you.)
Whipped cream is sometimes called Chantilly cream or crème Chantilly. If you see those terms in a recipe, they mean whipped cream.
Although you can use a wire whisk to whip cream, most people use an electric mixer for this job. (You may also use a whipping siphon, though why bother? Once you have this skill mastered, it’s quick and easy. And you don’t have to pay for cartridges.)
When shopping, look for heavy cream. The cream MUST contain at least 30% butterfat, in order to mix with air and get all light and fluffy.
Whipped cream is often sweetened, though it’s not in the least necessary. If you’re cutting sugar, don’t bother. Cow’s milk actually tastes very sweet once your taste buds get acclimated to less sugar. (Do they really do that? According to this study, yes. But it does take a few weeks.)
Flavorings for Whipped Cream
Whipped cream is often flavored with vanilla, coffee, chocolate, or other flavorings. I have used various liqueurs, such as creme de menthe (minty flavor that goes great with the chocolate cream pie recipe here), or Grand Marnier (a French liquor that imparts an orange flavor). You could also try Frangelico for a hazelnut flavor, or Chambord for a raspberry flavor.
There are many liqueurs with a coffee flavor, here’s a list.
I highly recommend using a stainless steel bowl, and putting it and your mixer’s beaters in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Then just follow the directions below.
You will impress yourself!