How to Know When Handmade Whipping Cream Is Done?

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Forget canned whipped cream and that unidentifiable white goop in a plastic tub. Real whipped cream is made with heavy cream or whipping cream. Both are composed of roughly 35 percent butterfat, the secret behind all that goodness. Transform the cream from a liquid to a delectable white cloud in just a few minutes. You'll wonder why you ever settled for the other stuff.

How To Do It and What To Look For

Be sure the cream is completely chilled before whipping, and it's a good idea to chill your bowl and beaters, too. Mix slowly for the first minute, then increase the mixer speed to medium and leave it there -- any higher and you'll end up with butter. To sweeten the cream, add 2 tablespoons of granulated or powdered sugar for each cup of cream and continue beating for six or seven minutes. When you can make a trail through the cream that holds its shape, it has reached the soft peak stage and is ready to use. For stiff peaks, beat it for about a minute more until it holds firmly to a spoon or beater and you can make swirls that hold their shape.