Whipped Cream

Every once in a while I have to air one of my pet peeves. Please don't spoil one of your spectacular desserts with what passes for commercial whipped cream--that stuff you buy frozen in a plastic tub in your grocery store. So many times you see people around the holidays or for birthday gatherings creating a wonderful fruit display or homemade pie and they then let it fly with a scoop of you know what on top. Where's the logic here? Have you ever read the ingredients on the container?-- artificial this, artificial that, coconut pil, palm oil, sodium this and polysorbate that, as well as xanthan gum and guar gum....whatever that is.

Trust me. It only takes a few minutes to whip up your own wonderful topping and it can keep in the fridge for 24 hours. You will love and appreciate the difference. Using whipped cream on your dessert is not exactly cholesterol smart, but if you are already diving into a piece of chocolate pie, you might as well go big--or go home, I say.

Trick number one to making the best whipped cream is to make sure your bowl and your beaters are cold. In hot weather especially, put your cream in a bowl and place in the freezer for a few minutes before you try to whip it up. Unique trick number two is flavoring your cream with a liqueur, cinnamon or even a little chocolate syrup. For a batch of Heavenly Whipped Cream, you'll need:

2 1/2 cups                heavy whipping cream
 1/3 cup                  sugar
 2 tsp.                   vanilla extract

In a cold bowl, add these three ingredients and whip on medium high speed until thick and smooth. Do not overmix. Place in the refrigerator and cover until ready to use. Now that you see how easy it is, when those Michigan strawberries start coming in, give them a proper covering! And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.