The St. Patrick’s holiday marks week three of Molecular March, and brings us to arguably our tastiest trick yet: cream whipping. Among the more kid-friendly foods, whipped cream (and the siphons used to produce it) are an interesting tool in the molecular gastronomy arsenal. Sure, we’ve all had some variation in our time (Kool Whip, anyone?), but there’s a lot you can do to expand on the basic combination of cream and air. Plus, there is an undeniable bit of spectacle involved in freshly-whipped cream, versus lazily spooning the pre-made stuff onto your dessert plate!
This weekend, as Molecular March, um, marches on, we’ll be showing you how to use a cream whipper to create some intensely interesting flavors and textures. But first, let’s talk whipped cream essentials.
Basic whipped cream is, well, cream (at least 30% butter fat) mixed with air, resulting in a colloid. This colloid (a combination of one substance evenly dispersed throughout another substance) becomes a lighter, less dense version of its former self. An important fact to remember: timing is everything. If you were to keep whipping and whipping, you’d end up with butter. Not the worst thing ever, but not exactly what you’d want to dollop onto your hot cocoa.
Why the Devo pun?
While they (theoretically) have no real connection to the creation of homemade whipped cream, Toque Tips loves Devo and strives to include them in our ever-expanding kitchen playlists. “Whip It” is a perfect tune for baking!
Is “low fat” whipped cream better for you?
Eh, not really. Standard light whipping cream contains between 30 percent and 36 percent milk fat, whereas regular (heavy) whipping cream is above 36 percent milk fat. Let’s put it this way – too much of either will lead to a widening waist line.
What is Chantilly Cream?
Depending on who you ask, Chantilly cream and whipped cream are the same, except when they’re different. One thing’s for sure – Chantilly Cream has a regal and tragic history. Various texts list a major difference as the addition of sweeteners, like powdered sugar (granular sugars don’t disperse as well, leaving a texturally awkward final product).
For our in-store feature this weekend, we’ll be playing around with the cream whippers and Spuma Instant, which can transform any number of foods into foams. Spuma (from the Latin for foam) works by expanding the surface area of a food, which makes it far less dense and increases the flavor. While it was originally designed for people with s
wallowing problems, the unique texture and taste of Spuma-fied foods make them a treat for everyone. We tried the peanut butter foam two weekends ago when Culinary Imports stopped by the store – and let’s just say there’s a good reason we’re making it again!