Stabilized Whipped Cream Tutorial

Whipped cream is a great addition to any dessert and even though I am allergic to dairy, once in a blue moon I choose to suffer the consequences just to be able to eat some. I figure the swollen eyes and headache are just temporary and since I don’t eat it all the time I can handle the temporary pain. Lol

One of the problems you will find with whipped cream is that it’s not stable. You can use it at the time you make it but it won’t stay fluffy for long. It starts melting. With Stabilized Whipped Cream you can cover a cake and use for piping on the cake or desserts.

There are a few ways to stabilize it. Some people use cornstarch for a quick fix. I am not a big fan of the taste but the others options used also run along the cornstarch idea. These other options include Powder Milk and Powder Pudding Mix. All of these contain cornstarch. Even if you use just confectioners sugar, you will find that there is cornstarch in it. For me the most stable one is the gelatin recipe, but as you know, I am all about giving you guys all the info.

Making whipped cream is not really difficult, but I do hear people that encounter problems like lumps, whipped cream that’s too runny and other issues. I’ll try to offer some tips that might help, but if you have a fail, just keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day. My advice is to try again. Maybe you used the wrong ingredient, took a wrong step, or missed something. Try again! This is not a new recipe and it works for many, so don’t give up, and try to figure out what went wrong for you.

First for the gelatin, you will need unflavored gelatin. Knox Brand is the most easily found in supermarkets. Great Lakes has another one that is Kosher. A bit more difficult to find but you can always try Amazon. As an added bonus, gelatin is a good source of collagen. Great for skin, nails and hair. If you can’t eat gelatin, you can try Agar-Agar as a thickening agent. For Agar-Agar you really don’t need water. Just dissolve it in milk and make sure that it’s mixed well and then strained to avoid lumps.

Usually you want to sprinkle the gelatin evenly over water.  I don’t know about you guys, but somedays I am just not in the mood to take it slow and I just drop it too fast on the water. Unfortunately, if done improperly, it won’t soak evenly and you will get some lumps. These days I just take a fork and lightly move it to make sure it’s fully mixed. Once the gelatin blooms, it looks like hard jelly. If you want to be safe and properly melt the gelatin without burning it, you can cook it in a double boiler. Some people do it straight in a pan, but if you do this, you will need to cook it on low. You really don’t want to burn it. My favorite and fastest option is the microwave. I cook mine for 30 seconds. Just make sure that the gelatin is clear and fully melted. If you need to cook yours for a longer period, make sure to do it in 10 seconds increments. Once again you don’t want to burn the gelatin. Did I mention that enough? Lol

One of the biggest problems people encounter is adding the warm gelatin to the cold heavy cream. This is where you have to watch yourself. For making whipped cream, you need for your heavy cream to be as cold as you can. Usually it’s even preferred to chill the bowl as well as the whisk attachment. I usually don’t bother too much with that, but maybe in a hot environment it might be a good idea. When working with sugar it’s best to work in areas with air conditioner to avoid issues. If you add the warm gelatin to the cold heavy cream, guess what will happen??? It’ll start getting hard, because that’s what gelatin does when it gets cold; it hardens up. So you can’t let the gelatin cool down all the way because it will start solidifying and you can’t add it when is too hot to the heavy cream because it can get lumpy.

How do I solve this and make sure I don’t have a whipped cream full of lumps? I take some of the heavy cream and leave it at room temperature. Usually around a 1/4 cup will do.

Once I get the gelatin out of the microwave, I leave the gelatin alone and start whipping my cream. This will give the gelatin a few minutes to cool down some. Then once I get the whipped cream to the right consistency, I add the 1/4 cup of heavy cream I left at room temperature to the gelatin and combine that well. This is sure to bring the gelatin down enough so that when you add it to the cold cream, it won’t create lumps.

Another thing I do is to pass the gelatin/ heavy cream mixture through a sifter to ensure I don’t have any lumps in that mix. If you are using a stand mixer, you can slowly pour the gelatin on top of the whipped cream without stopping the mixer. If you have a hand held mixer, just make sure to sift the gelatin before you pour it because it’ll be more difficult to do, since we only have two arms. No matter what, if you watch the tutorial, you will see that I poured the gelatin/heavy cream mixture all at once. I was expecting this might create some lumps since I always use a stand mixer. I can honestly say that it didn’t have one tiny lump. All of it was super smooth. Still, I will advise to slowly pour the gelatin as you mix.

I want to clear up for those who are new to whipped cream, is that you should use a cream that has at least 35% fat in order to get the best results, especially if you want to use it for cakes. It’s confusing when you go to the stores and see all these bottles of cream and not be sure which one to use.

Here are some of the most basic ones but there are others I am not mentioning:

*Half-and-half= 15% fat. In the USA this means that it usually contains 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 cream. It’s not meant for it to be whipped, so save it for your coffee.

*Single Cream= 20% fat. This one has a low fat content. You can use in sweet and savory dishes but it won’t thicken when beaten.

*Light Cream= 18% to 30% fat. It can be used just as half and half and in the higher number of fat content it can be whipped lightly but is not stable. Some people also call this one Single Cream. The fat content will determine its uses, but it won’t ever work for cake.

*Whipping Cream= 30% to 35% Fat. This is where you have to watch for the fat. If it contains less than 30% fat, it will whip up lighter, fluffier and more airy. Great to use over pies and desserts, but the higher content of fat will mean stiffer peaks that are best for piping and covering a cake. So if you get whipping cream, make sure it’s at least 35% fat. Most whipping creams these days are pasteurized in order to extend their shelf life.

*Heavy Whipping Cream= 35% Fat I am adding this one on the list because it’s the one I use. I figure it’s a middle ground between whipping cream and heavy cream. The one I use has exactly 35% fat and works great! With that said, heavy cream is even better when it comes to stiff peaks.

*Heavy Cream= 36-38% Fat. You can also use this higher fat heavy cream for stabilized whipped cream. Higher content of fat will make the mix double in size and tends to hold stiff peaks strongly. This one is great to use for ice creams but it works great for soups and sauces as well without the risk of curdling.

Unpasteurized cream whips much easier than pasteurized. But these days you will find more of the ultra-pasteurized cream because it has a longer shelf life of 60 days before it’s opened.

Pasteurization is a process where they bring the cream to a fast heat of 167 degrees for 15 seconds then cool it down really fast. The ultra-pasteurization process brings the milk to a 280 degree heat and even though it kills bad bacteria, it can take away some of the creaminess in the flavor of the cream. Because of the ultra-pasteurized being heated to 280 degrees, there’s a cooked taste to it and less flavor in comparison to the pasteurized. Also the pasteurized holds better peaks than the ultra but that’s where flavorings and stabilizers help if you find only ultra-pasteurized.When you start working, make sure that the cream is cold as you start and as you mix. If it’s not cold enough, it doesn’t “whip,” it “churns” and we’re not making butter. I suggest to put the bowl and the whisk in the fridge so they’re cold as you mix. If you are in a hot environment, you can place a bowl of ice below your mixing bowl to keep everything chilled. And again remember that if you over mix your whipped cream, you will end up with butter, so keep an eye on it.

 

This is all basic information that is always helpful, especially for those of you who aren’t used to working with these ingredients. Another important piece of information concerns the sugar. You need to use confectioners’ sugar for this recipe. If you use granulated sugar it will give you a grainy whipped cream. I tested the recipe using Swerve Confectioners for a sugar free whipped cream and it worked really well. So for those of you who are on a keto diet or need to be on sugar-free diet, you can have your whipped cream guilt free! For those of you who don’t know what Swerve is, it’s a sugar replacement that doesn’t raise insulin levels. Usually you would use the same amount as you use for regular sugar. And if you want it sweeter, you can always add more sugar to the mix, no matter if you are using regular sugar or Swerve.

Finally you have to decide on the flavoring. You can use any extract you want for this. I prefer the Clear Vanilla Extract to avoid getting the brown color on the whipped cream, but you can use your regular Vanilla if you prefer. You can also make it chocolatey by adding cocoa or melted chocolate. The sky is the limit with this recipe but the downside to it is that it needs to be kept in the fridge. So if you don’t like cold cake you will need to wait till my next tutorial so I can talk about other options for dairy free whipped cream substitutes.

But for now I think this is plenty of information for you guys. So click here for the full recipe and video tutorial on how to make Stabilized Whipped Cream.

Click here to go watch Tutorial and see full recipe.

I hope you guys enjoy the information. I know is a lot of it but is worth the knowledge.

Until next Blog, Ta ta!
Edna

 

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Best Salted Caramel Recipe Tutorial

Salted Caramel Recipe

I love the taste of caramel. When I was growing up, I loved sweets. But chewy caramel that sticks in your teeth is not something I enjoy as much now that I am an adult. So let me introduce you to the next best thing. Soft and delicious salted caramel. Here is the link to the recipe, it will be posted in my website.
Salted Caramel Recipe, click here!

This trend is already few years old, and many “food experts” might complain about how tired they are of this trend and how they think it’s overplayed. But let’s face it, why should we stop enjoying this just because people are tired of hearing about it?  If you are a true caramel lover, you will eat this, drink this and if you could find a way, bathe in it! lol

From ice cream, to coffee, drinks, cookies and all sorts of food, the salted caramel is not going anywhere. Caramel and cake is a match made in heaven. It’s great with a vanilla butter cake, but if you love turtle chocolate, then you can imagine how delicious this will be inside a chocolate cake as a filling, combined with toasted pecans. A very decadent treat for chocolate lovers.

Some people will tell you that making caramel is difficult, but I think that like anything else, all you need is a good recipe, good tips and a bit of practice. Yeah, you might fail at trying, but trust me, it’s the only way to learn. To be quite honest my first try was a complete success. It was my second try that failed. But I learned from it.

So let me see if I can make this easy for you, guys. Eventually I will try to do a video tutorial, but in the meantime, writing this blog will have to do.

For making Caramel you will first need a good metal pot. Stainless steel works well. It’s not suggested to use non-stick pans due to them being just lined with just a thin coat of the non-stick material and the experts say that the heat might break that thin coating and it can get into the caramel. I have a pan that’s made completely of a non stick material and seems to do great to make caramel, which makes me wonder if that’s okay to use because I’ve already used it! lol These days I stick with the stainless steel pot just to be safe.

Once you have your pot, you  want to make sure that you use a spatula that can withstand heat. Metal is no good because it can create crystals, and wood is not good either due to the high heat that is created by the sugar. I use a silicone spatula that I love and can take the heat. Make sure the pot you have is tall. Once sugar is hot and you add the other ingredients, the mixture will boil high and the last thing you want is sugar all over your stove, or worst, a sugar burn. Be careful, sugar is one of the worst burns ever. Have some cold water around for just in case. Oh, and a little trick, vanilla is the best medicine for a burn. It will heal it better than anything else. Promise.

First place the water in the pan. Then you can add the sugar. Some people will say that you can put the sugar alone with no water, and yes, they are right. But the water actually serves a purpose. It will make sure that the sugar will cook evenly. To avoid crystallization, you can add 1 tablespoon of clear corn syrup and 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar. But if you don’t have the cream of tartar, don’t worry, it will work without it. If you don’t have the corn syrup then you have to be extra careful so your sugar doesn’t crystallize. You want to mix all these ingredients and you want to turn your stove to high heat. Don’t ever leave it unattended. As soon  as it starts boiling you want to bring the heat down to a medium or medium high heat. This will depend on your stove. But I have pictures so you can see what you are looking for when you are working with the sugar.

Some people recommend covering the pot with a lid for 2 to 3 minutes until the sugar dissolves. The lid creates condensation that drips inside the wall of the pan making sure that no crystals are created. I do this and it works for me. But keep in mind that this is just at the very beginning. If you keep that lid all the time, it won’t let the sugar reach a higher temperature, something that it needs to do to create the caramel. Other people like to brush the sides of the pan to get rid of the crystals. If you rather use the brush, then go for it. It’s a matter of preference. Personally I place the lid until the sugar is dissolved.

I stir lightly the sugar to make sure everything is dissolved completely. But don’t do this for too long and don’t stir like crazy. All you want is to make sure that the areas where the pot gets less heat are dissolved. This brings me to another point  that I have to mention. Make sure the pot you use gets even heat from your stove.

Sugar for CaramelYou can see above the sugar is melted already and the center of the pot is boiling more than the outsides. I take my spatula and kind of push the outside ring towards the center very gently to make sure all the sugar is dissolved and the heat spread everywhere. Be very gently with the stirring. Too much will create crystals. Some people say to leave it alone but for me mixing it here and there very gently does a better job. So you might have to try to see what works for you best.

Sugar boiling for Salted CaramelIn the photo above you can see the sugar is bubbling evenly. I don’t use the thermometer  when I make this recipe, because the color of the sugar will be very obvious. But for those who prefer the reassuring presence of a thermometer, I added not one but 2 thermometers and I will explain why in a bit.

DSC_0402

You can see in the photo above that the sugar is starting to turn yellowish. We need the sugar to get to a golden amber reddish color. To get to that stage it will take a bit of time.
I suggest you don’t leave this alone at any point. You can lightly stir the mix to make sure it’s heating evenly. In here you can see the 2 thermometers.

Thermometers testing

In the next photo I place on the top right side, the reading of my digital thermometer. You can see that the sugar is turning more yellowish. Stay close because once it turns amber it can go from amber to red to burn in the blink of an eye. One thing I can say is, burnt caramel has no fix. The only one that gets to enjoy that taste is the trash can. So please, stick close to your sugar.
Now, if you look at the candy thermometer, it’s reading 220 F. But my digital one is reading 282 F. I love my digital thermometer. It’s very accurate. The other one works well but if it doesn’t reach the mixture then it won’t give an accurate reading. If you notice in the photo, it doesn’t reach the sugar properly. So this is my biggest issue with this type of thermometer. If you are making smaller amounts, it won’t reach the mix. So I usually stick with my digital one. Never fails me!

While the sugar is getting to the right stage, I make sure I have the rest of the ingredients ready to go. I put my heavy cream in a measuring cup and add the vanilla and the salt to it, mixing it well. Then I get 3 tablespoons of salted butter.

Caramel sauce, cooking the sugar.

Now we are seeing a beautiful golden color. See how beautiful this looks, bubbles heating evenly through the pan. You can lightly stir if you want. LIGHTLY!

Sugar at 320 degrees F

Here we begin to get that beautiful golden amber color. 320 degrees F. It’s almost there and will get darker in matter of seconds. Have everything ready to throw into the pot. Stir lightly to make sure the color is even.

Golden amber ReddishNow, here we go. This is the beautiful golden reddish amber that we want. It’s time to put the rest of the ingredients in. Take the pot out of the heat. Notice how much space I have between the sugar and the top rim of the pot??

Caramel, butter heavy cream mixture

Watch how high it boils after I place the butter and the heavy cream in it. You can see the line where it went to. Check the metal dot and see the distance of the mixture in this photo and compare it to the photo before. So please..use a tall pan. I don’t want people getting burned.

Once I add the butter, I use a whisk to stir the mix. And while mixing it I add the heavy cream and keep stirring. Then I place the pot back on the heat and mix it there for a minute or so more. Just make sure the ingredients are mixed and the butter is melted.Then take it out of the heat.

Hot caramel

 

Once you take the pot out of the hot stove stir a bit more and you will get to see this beautiful caramel color emerge. Don’t be fooled by how watery this mix is. Once this cools it will be a lot creamy.

Salted Caramel in Jar

I place the caramel in a Mason Jar since it’s meant for hot mixes. Be very careful pouring.
This is very hot so take precautions. The jar will get hot too. You will get around 14 oz of Caramel from this recipe. I haven’t measured the exact amount, so forgive me for that. lol

How to clean hot sugar from panSo now that you are done with the caramel and it’s cooling down, how do we clean this mess? Well, the easiest way to clean anything with hot sugar is to add water to the pan and boil the water. It will dissolve the sugar. And it’s very important to clean the sugar because any left on the pan can mess your next batch of caramel. So make sure it’s completely free of sugar.
Salted Caramel RecipeNow that you’re done and cleaned up. You can enjoy your delicious caramel. You can use this hot or just let it cool down. Store it in the fridge. Once you store it in the fridge your caramel will harden. You have many options now.
*If you want the caramel softer, you can heat it. I place mine in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds, depending how thick or thin I want it. You can heat more if you want.
*If you want it thicker, add less heavy cream.
*If you want it more like syrup, take it to the pan again and add more heavy cream to it. *For cake filling, you want it creamy, not too soft or it will be a mess in your cake. It it’s too stiff to spread you can lightly heat it so it’s more easy to spread but don’t add heavy cream or it will make it too soft.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. Now, keep in mind that you might fail and get crystallized sugar the first time you make it. But read again all the tips and try again. Once you learn to make it, you will never forget. At the end of the day it’s just sugar!. You got to be the boss. 😉

Here is the link to the recipe. It will  be posted in my website along with my other recipes.
C
lick here for Salted Caramel Recipe.

 

Until next time..ta ta!

Edna 😉