Is it possible to make whipped cream without a power mixer? How? Can it be made with a stick blender?
Whipped cream was made for centuries before the mixer was invented. :)
You can do it with simply a balloon whisk. Things that may help though:
- Very cold cream (not freezing)
- Very cold bowl and whisk (put them in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to using)
- Copper bowl
The process is simply to start slow until you see bubbles form, then speed up until you see the whisk begin to leave trails in the cream, then go full speed ahead until just before it starts to look soft and billowy. At this point you can add your sugar and continue whipping until thickens and firms up to form soft peaks.
Advice: Buy a hand-mixer at least! :)
Update - Yes you can whip it with a stick blender. I would be careful to avoid over- whipping with this method though. It might be easy to over-do it, and you'll start to make butter.
(responding to the update)
Yes, it can be made with a stick blender, I had a roommate who used to do it all the time.
He had a tall, narrow container, not that that much wider than the paddle on the blender, and he'd just stick the blender in, move it around a bit, and it'd be done pretty quickly.
(it's been 10+ years, so I don't remember the exact time.)
Come to think of it ... I can't remember him using that blender for anything other than whipped cream.
I've made it once by hand, with a whisk. Like others, I had a sore wrist afterwards.
I do it all the time with a cheap stick blender because I'm lazy. I especially like it for making a small amount. I try to use a bowl which is about as wide as it is deep - deep enough to keep the cream from spilling, wide enough to move the stick blender around.
The problem I've found with using the stick blender is that once the cream starts to thicken, you have to be extra-careful to stir the cream around. The blender will happily give you a dollop of whipped cream in the middle of a bowl of mostly runny stuff. So every few seconds I shake off the cream that's stuck to the blender and stir the whole bowl a bit.
Another option is to put the cream in a well-sealed jar (i.e. a mason jar) and shake it up and down into it reaches the desired consistency. There is a risk of over-shaking and ending up with fresh butter, but if you're paying attention you should be safe. It takes a few minutes and some arm strength, but it's not too bad.
You can use a pressurized nitrous oxide dispenser. They're a little pricey for casual home use, though.
Coincidentally, I saw this video a couple weeks ago that altered my world: you can make it in a cocktail shaker, using the spring from a bar strainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5t3hZfMQiU
I saw it done on a program called "New Scandinavian Cooking! The Swedish chef made whipped cream and fresh strawberries on top of a glazier by placing whipping cream and sugar in a zip lock bag blowing air into the bag then sealing it then after shaking and squishing the bag for a few minutes...Voila" whipped cream!!!
I add powdered sugar and vanilla extract to my homemade whipped cream. The starch within the granulated sugar stiffens the cream to "stand alone" and also the granulated sugar is ok enough to prevent the cream from feeling "grainy".
Some cooks use a small little bit of nonflavoured gelatin to assist the cream hold its form for a extended period. However I do not just like the style it imparts to the cream. I take advantage of one tablespoon of sugar and a couple of teaspoons vanilla per cup of "Heavy Whipping Cream". I use "Extra significant Cream" since it contains more solids and whips up thicker.