My mother is confounded by whipping-cream. Some 20 years ago she started making cream-puffs which quickly became her pastry calling card. They always came out great and were always a hit. Some 15 years later, she cannot seem to make whipped-cream anymore.
She still uses the same bowl, same mixer, same whipping-cream (Nutriwhip whipping-cream) and does everything the same way as she used to, but no matter what, the cream stays soft and will not stiffen or form peaks. (The kitchen is not too hot.)
Some explanations that we have considered include:
- Changes to the quality/ingredients of the cream (despite the box being the same)
- Adding powdered sugar to the liquid cream before whipping (like she always used to do)
- Refrigerator not cold enough (but then, freezer not cold enough either?)
- Whipping for too long causes heat build-up due to friction, which melts it (doesn’t excessive beating turn it into butter?)
She tried using different bowl, a chilled bowl, a different mixer, (even made me try by hand once!) She has tried a different brands of cream (35% Beatrice and Lactancia whipping-creams), but gets the same results. One time, I tried adding the powdered sugar after whipping the cream, and it was much better than what she normally gets now, but still not as stiff as compared to the past. Using a whisk on the mixer in place of the normal beaters (which was what she always used before, as my and my sister’s tongues can attest to), seems to help, but even that is only temporary.
She has even tried putting the whipped cream in the freezer, and while it does harden, once it has thawed enough to pipe, it gets runny very quickly (in the past, she would be able to pipe the cream onto baked goods, leave them in the fridge for a day, then drive them to somewhere else without the cream’s edges softening).
She is baffled because she had made whipped-cream for various baked-goods countless times, but until a few years ago, she never had any problems, then suddenly, it never works anymore. I found a few related questions here, but they don’t quite apply (they talk about different bowls, different temperatures, etc., but like I said, it used to work).
What could be the problem? How can she get whipped-cream to stay hard like it used to?
Exact brands and variations used: