Whipping Or Beating Cream
Double cream or whipping cream is often used to top sponge puddings, fruit flans, trifles and desserts etc. Its flavour blends well with many others
and the taste complements that of the traditional trifle, those fruit and jelly
teatime treats, not forgetting the luxurious filling for those fabulous jam and cream scones.
In order to thicken it and bring it up to a more manageable consistency you will need to beat in air to expand the cream, thus enabling it to
double in volume and hold its shape.
If you have only partial or no sight like myself, just a little extra care needs to be taken to ensure that you achieve a perfect result.
Take your carton of cream straight from the fridge and pour it into a fairly large bowl, remembering to allow plenty of room for the cream to expand in volume
as you beat it. Now, using a hand whisk or electric mixer on a medium
setting so that the cream doesn’t splash too much, whip it until it forms soft
peaks. Check it every 20 seconds or so. With the beaters or
whisk switched off, move them around gently in the cream, and, as
it begins to thicken you should feel a gradual increase in resistance. The
whisks will make less of a liquid, watery sound too, the more you beat, and the thicker the cream becomes.
When the cream is thick enough, the bowl will sound hollow and deeper in pitch if you gently lift it and tap the outside of the base or sides, this
change in sound is due to the air trapped in the cream, helping it to hold its volume and shape. When you start to beat you might think that the cream
isn’t going to thicken, but it will after a couple of minutes and its then that you must check it regularly, as once it starts it will reach its correct consistency quite quickly.
To test for the correct consistency, (to form soft peaks), scoop up
a teaspoon of cream and gently shake it over a clean saucer or tea plate, it should drop easily onto the plate, holding its shape gently but it will
not feel as firm to the touch as something like a set jelly or custard.
Be very careful not to over beat the cream though, because if you get it too thick it will separate out into liquid beneath and solid fat on top.
p>Now, you can either spoon the whipped cream on to your prepared pudding or
dessert if its ready to go straight to the table, or, chill it in the fridge
where it will set a little more, then use it to top and decorate your pudding when you are ready.
Try and keep the whipped cream chilled, as cool as possible, to help it hold its volume and shape, which will make it easier to spoon out and serve.