I’ve never really been a dessert hound ( at least, this is a thing I tell myself routinely ), but when things get a little rough, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I find myself sniffing around the kitchen more often than usual. Usually it’s not because I’m looking for something to eat. Rather, I am looking for something to do, and nothing is quite as fun to do as baking.
My coworkers are used to it; they’ve come to expect that every so often I’ll come into the office, dragging a trunk-full of some kind of food behind me on a random Wednesday. I love cooking and baking any time of the year, but by the end of Winter, I’m ready to bake my way into Spring, lifting my mood with baking soda, eggs whites, or anything else that will do the trick.
And doesn’t something about baking Angel Food Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting just feel like Spring? like Happiness? like a good mood on a plate?
Bonus points if I actually do want to eat whatever treat I’ve made, which is always the case with homemade whipped cream. The thing about whipped cream is that it forces you to make a choice when baking, though: you must either bake for a crowd, knowing the cream will fall, weep, or otherwise not hold up on your cupcakes, or you bake for yourself and pray that somehow it will stand up to the drive to the office or a friend’s house to dispose of the rest of what you don’t eat ( calling, nay, screeeeeaming at you from the kitchen saying “EAT ME” the entire time before it leaves the house! Baked goods are so NEEDY sometimes! )
Ah, but there is a third choice that I only recently realized: stabilized whipped cream. Taking the time to bake something sweet always evens me out, the rhythm of hand-whipping eggwhites and then cream, the way the house smells as the cupcakes bake, and the simple joy of taking time out of your day to do something purely for yourself to relax: it stabilizes me; the least I can do is return the favor.
So whatever your reasons for whipping up something sweet in the kitchen, if you’d like it to keep for just a bit longer, try stabilizing your whipped cream. It makes it so much easier to pipe, and also lets you enjoy whipped cream that keeps overnight ( or even longer. Much longer. ), and can stand up to the most brutal of outdoor heat.
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let sit for 5 minutes. Microwave the water/ gelatin mix for three minutes to dissolve, and set aside. You want to let this stuff come to room temp before using it.
While you’re waiting – whip ( using a hand mixer, or your own anger and endurance if you’ve got some issues to work out ) the cream, sugar, and almond extract until the lines from your whisk or beaters can be clearly seen in the cream.
Whisking or beating constantly, slowly mix in the room temperature water / gelatin mix with the cream.
Pipe, spread, or use as usual. It will hold its shape indefinitely, but will be best for 2 – 3 days after making.