Calling anything ‘Ultimate’ is a bold statement to stay the least! But… I feel like I can indulge this seemingly arrogant statement because the secret to this whipped cream wasn’t my idea. Since the genius came from another, I feel like I can tell you without a doubt that this whipped cream is most definitely the best whipped cream!
It all started a number of years ago when I made a Chocolate Cream Pie from Bon Appétit, and it was the best chocolate cream pie of my life for one simple reason – the whipped cream topping! They folded a small amount of creme fraiche into the whipped cream which transforms whipped cream into another being altogether. Creme fraiche has a slight tang to it, and it’s nutty flavor tempers the flatness of whipped cream making it simply irresistible! Ever since making that pie, I’ve been adding creme fraiche to anything I make with whipped cream, and everyone wants to know what the secret is!
There is a second secret in addition to the creme fraiche with this whipped cream – vanilla bean seeds perfume this cream making it perfect for every. single. dessert situation I can think of. I feel like perfectly ripe summer berries demand the best, simplest treatment, and… what’s better than berries and cream? It’s just a bonus if the cream in question is refined sugar free, and tastes better than any whipped cream you’ve ever had. Simple ingredients come together in a harmony of flavors that build off of and enhance each other.
It’s a bit of a luxury using the vanilla bean seeds for whipped cream, but I like to buy them in bulk (or in the bulk section of your healthy food store) to save money. You can also use vanilla extract, but if you’re really wanting to pull all the stops out, go with the vanilla bean because it’s so worth it. Most recipes tell you to discard the vanilla bean pod after you’ve scraped out the seeds, but there’s several things you can do with them. One thing I like to do is put them in smoothies because it tastes like a milkshake with vanilla bean pod blended in, (you do need a high powered blender for this). The other thing you can do is bury them in your sugar container to perfume you sugar with vanilla.
The main thing with whipped cream is not to over whip it, when you do it gets clumpy because it’s on it’s way to turning into butter. I whipped a carton of cream in a bowl by hand in just 6 minutes, so if you use a mixer it goes even faster. You want your whipped cream just starting to show lines of definition when you’re whisking it, it’s better to err on the side of too soft than to go overboard (because there’s no rescue for over whipped cream). When you read a recipe they talk about the cream forming ‘peaks’ which just means that when you pull the beater/whisk out of the cream it will create a small peak instead of being liquid.
Once your cream is whipped, it’s time to fold in the magical creme fraiche. This loosens the cream a bit making soft billowy peaks just begging to be scooped out and piled on top a bowl of berries.
There’s been a lot of talk about berries in this post, but let’s not forget about the beauty of peaches and cream either. And… for the bestest of year round flavors, try this over Chocolate Pudding from my Death By Chocolate recipe (you’ll also find dairy free whipped cream in there if you can’t have dairy).Print
- 1 – 8 ounce carton of heavy cream, 1 cup (preferably not ultra pasteurized)
- 2 Tablespoons Grade A maple syrup
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- In a mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream, maple syrup, and sea salt. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape the vanilla bean seeds out of the pod and into the bowl of cream. Set the scraped pods aside for another use.
- Begin whipping the cream starting on a low speed so that it doesn’t splatter and working up to high speed. Whipped cream will come together in a stand mixer in just minutes for this quantity, the bigger the batch that you make the more time it will take. Either way, keep a close eye on it because is goes from loose to over whipped very quickly. I always recommend making it by hand with a whisk and a bowl at least one time so that you have control over how quickly it comes together – it just takes the pressure off if you’ve never whipped cream before.
- Once the cream just starts to hold peaks, fold in the creme fraiche with a spatula.
- Serve right away with fresh fruit or as a whipped cream topping for any kind of dessert.
- You can also refrigerate it for 2-3 hours until you’re ready to serve.
Grade A maple syrup has a very light maple flavor that doesn’t interfere with the flavor of the whipped cream.