Whipped cream transforms the ordinary into the extra-special in just a few quick moments. Flavored whipped cream adds an extra zing and is easy – just don’t overdo it. A couple drops are all you need. Any of the commercial flavorings or extracts like vanilla, mint, maple, or lemon; commercial or home-made fruit syrups; or powders like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cocoa blend well. Adding confectioner’s sugar or brown sugar makes excellent sweetened whipped cream for tart desserts or drinks. Try whipping with flavored gelatins or puddings to make beautiful dishes. Some ideas are listed below.
Basic Whipped Cream – makes 2 cups
1 Carton [8 ozs] heavy whipping cream
1 deep mixing bowl
1 electric mixer
1. Pour cream into bowl.
2. Place bowl and beaters into freezer for a few minutes to chill. Do not let cream freeze.
3. Beat on medium-high until peaks form. Whipped cream should be stiff, but not dry.
4. Add any desired flavorings or sweeteners, a drop or a pinch at a time; beat just until blended.
5. Use immediately, or store in refrigerator. Keeps for several days.
Use As Toppings
Flavor with a few drops of anise, almond, or maple extract; spread on butter cookies or your favorite nut bars. Use a few drops of mint and spread on fudge or brownies. Try vanilla extract and tsp cinnamon, and dollop into a mug of hot chocolate or on apple pie. For coffee lovers, a few drops of crme de menthe or your favorite liqueur makes a special delight. Try adding thick fruit syrup or flavored yogurt and dollop onto thick slices of French toast.
Use As Fillings
Whip together equal amounts of whipped cream and chocolate pudding to fill cream puffs. Classic lemon bars with a lemon/whipped cream topping smoothed on top is extraordinary. Pudding-flavored fillings are perfect for clairs in place of the classic Bavarian cream.
Quick Chocolate Mousse
This is an elegant dessert and very easy to make. You will need:
1 box chocolate instant pudding mix, prepared and chilled.
2 cups prepared whipped cream, chilled. Flavor with tsp cinnamon if desired.
4 small dessert glasses or cups. Wine glasses work nicely.
Baker’s chocolate, shaved.
Reserve cup of whipped cream for garnishing. Combine pudding and remaining whipped cream. Use electric mixer, or whisk rapidly and thoroughly, until smooth. Pour into dessert glasses. Top with a dollop of reserved whipped cream and a shaving of chocolate. Chill well.
Classic Gelatin Parfaits and Molds
Choose your favorite flavored gelatin. Two small boxes and the above whipped cream recipe will make 4 tall parfaits.
1. Chill parfait glasses in freezer until ready to use.
2. Dissolve gelatin in 2 cups boiling water. Stir until dissolved.
3. Add 1-1/2 cups cold water or crushed ice. Stir until blended.
4. Divide in half. Chill in refrigerator in two separate bowls, until just beginning to thicken.
5. Remove one bowl. Add whipped cream. Whisk until well blended.
6. Pour into parfait glasses, alternating the gelatin and the whipped mixture.
7. Garnish with a berry or a mint leaf. Chill well.
Create molded gelatin desserts in pretty bowls or forms, using the same techniques as for parfaits. When whisking the whipped cream and gelatin, you will get different results depending on how firm the gelatin is. Adding it when the gelatin is just thickening will result in a smooth color and texture, like a mousse. Adding it when the gelatin has set will result in a light, fluffy concoction with ribbons or chunks of color. With a little practice, you can use both, along with the plain gelatin, to create pretty deserts.
Try using two or three flavors of gelatin. For instance, strawberry gelatin for the bottom layer, lemon/whipped cream mousse for the middle layer, and lime gelatin on the top, garnished with dollops of the lemon mousse.
Add your favorites; fruits, berries, raisins or dried currants, marshmallows, or nuts. Use in the gelatin and also as garnishes.
The above recipes are made with real heavy whipping cream. You can use the dry-box type or refrigerated ready-to-serve types with equal success, but the taste and sweetness will be a little different. Be willing to experiment, and add any flavoring in minute amounts to get the taste you are after. Then, let your imagination guide you, and have fun creating!
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