How to Whip Cream by Hand
- Pour cold cream into your cold bowl. Don’t chill the whisk because you’ll just end up freezing your hand while you’re whisking.
- To stabilize the bowl on the counter, wrap a damp towel around it. It’s like a little nest for the bowl that it can settle down into. You can also use a piece of that non-slip shelf liner, although I actually prefer using a damp towel.
[bctt tweet=”Wrap a damp kitchen towel around the base of a mixing bowl to stabilize it on the counter.”]
- Add a pinch of fine salt and just a bit of sugar. Maybe 1 Tablespoon per cup to start. You can always whisk in a bit more. Why the salt? Just as salted butter tastes better on toast than unsalted butter, adding some salt to your whipping cream will make it taste better too. You won’t need a lot, but you will be amazed at the depth of buttery flavor you can achieve with just a tiny pinch of salt.
- Start whisking slowly and steadily. You don’t really even need to pull the whisk up out of the cream. Just keep it moving steadily back and forth across the bottom of the bowl. I often whisk side to side. You can also whisk back and forth. I don’t suggest doing a lot of “round and round” whisking until the cream starts to really thicken up. Going around and around with your whisk just ends up pushing the cream ahead of the whisk rather than allowing the whisk to cut through the cream introducing air. You end up stirring rather than whisking, and the whole process will take longer.
[bctt tweet=”Whisk back and forth rather than in circles. Your cream will whip faster. Find out why!”]
- Once the cream starts to thicken up a bit, taste it. Add a bit of sugar if you think it needs it. You can also add a few drops of vanilla. Or some cinnamon. Or some other spice or extract that will complement whatever you’re putting it on.
- Continue to whisk, alternating back and forth and side to side when you get bored, but keep the cream moving and be pretty assertive with the whisking. You don’t have to break a sweat, but you want to whip the cream, not just massage it.
- Once the whisk starts leaving tracks in the cream, it will start to thicken up fairly quickly. At this point you can do some around and around whisking if you can’t help yourself. You can also lift the whisk up out of the bowl, whisking in a circle perpendicular to the surface of the cream. If that makes sense.
- Check the consistency of your cream every few turns of the whisk, pulling it straight up out of the cream and then turning it sideways to check on the peaks. I almost never take my cream to full stiff peaks–where the peak just points straight out to the side without any curling over. At that point there’s not much room for error. I generally stop when the peaks curl over a bit–medium to medium-firm peaks.
- And there you have it: how to whip cream by hand. Ta da!
Now that you know how to whip cream by hand, you should treat yourself to this button, and show everyone what a culinary badass you are!