I’m so glad you’re here! I am here to teach you how to whip cream by hand. I’ve whipped gallons of cream by hand (a little at at time!), and I promise you that it’s not hard to do and, since you can easily control how fast you are whipping, you might even end up with a more stable whipped cream!
Two Secrets About Whipping Cream
It seems as though most “recipes” for whipped cream start with either a big old stand mixer or at least a hand mixer. For large amounts of cream, that’s fine. But you can whip up to a cup or so of cream with no more than your balloon whisk, a good, sturdy bowl, and some elbow grease.
Here’s a secret: warmer cream whips faster than cold cream. I’m not saying this is a good thing. It’s just something you should know. The purpose of getting everything–the cream, bowl, beaters, etc–super cold before whipping has more to do with the plasticity of the butter fat in the cream than it has to do with the speed of whipping. Since butterfat is firm at refrigerator temperatures it takes longer to whip air into it, but the resulting foam will be much more stable.
Whipping room temperature cream will yield a thick cream very quickly, but since you haven’t had a lot of time to pump air into it through whisking action, it will collapse pretty quickly. You also run way more of a risk of ending up with butter when whipping warmer cream.
Here’s another secret: a whisk with more wires/tines will whip up cream or egg whites faster than one with fewer. Also, a rounder shape is better for whipping than a more compact shape. The more wires, the more you can agitate the cream and whip air into it. A big round whisk will also help you get more air into your cream more quickly than a whisk with a more compact shape. If you are looking for just one whisk to own, buy a balloon whisk.