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Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to Stiffen or Stabilize Whipped Cream

To prevent whipped cream from separating over several hours, you need to add a whipping cream stabilizer. A stabilizer helps the cream hold piped rosettes and stiff peaks when presentation is key. While you can buy a commercial stabilizer to do this (check the baking aisle of your nearest supermarket or a bakery supply store), you can make your own stabilizer with only minimal fuss. 
To stiffen 1 c. of heavy cream, soak ½ tsp. unflavored gelatin in 1 tbsp. cold water in a very small bowl for 5 min. Dissolve gelatin by placing the bowl over a small pot of simmering water (I use a jar lid to elevate the bowl above the water). Stir gelatin until fully liquid and set aside to cool. Whip cream until it starts to form soft peaks. Add cooled, melted gelatin and continue whipping until cream reaches desired consistency for piped or swirled garnishes. Use as recipe directs.

Note: Cover your eyes and ears, children, because this is a true story. When my dear friend Lorna - innocent as a lamb - dropped a glop of whipped cream onto the crotch of a mans pants, she grabbed a damp cloth, saying: Let me wipe that up before it stiffens! In the hysterical laughter that followed, no one remembered whose face turned redder - hers, or the mans.

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