Sometimes you just need something simple. And, adding a simple home-made element can transform even the most mundane dessert. My husband loves chocolate pudding pie. For me, it’s kinda eh. If I’m going to spend all that time cooking and cooling a custard, I’d much rather have banana pudding or coconut cream pie. So, a compromise. I par-bake a store bought graham cracker crust and whip up some instant chocolate pudding. Then, I top it with home-made whipped cream. The result is a simple dessert that is far superior than the ones topped with frozen whipped topping and almost as simple. We took this pie to a church potluck a couple of weeks ago and it was gone before I even made it to the dessert table (and there was plenty of competition). This whipped cream subs nicely into any dessert calling for frozen whipped topping, just remember that it isn’t as stable. After 3 or 4 days in the fridge it will start to loose it’s whip. You can extend that a little by using powdered sugar as opposed to granulated, but I don’t like the mouth feel quite as much when I make that substitution.
First, chill your mixing bowl and whisk. Everything comes together faster if the cream and tools are super cold. I just toss mine in the freezer for about 5 minutes or so. Then, pour the cold cream into the cold bowl and set your mixer on medium to medium high speed. You don’t want it too high just yet or you’ll cover your kitchen in liquid cream. Not fun, trust me. When the cream starts to thicken and little bubbles show up, add the sugar and vanilla and kick up the speed. It took about 2 minutes for my mixer to get it to this point.
Continue whipping on high speed until stiff peaks form. I like my cream nice and stiff. Some people will stop at soft peaks and that’s fine, just realize your whipped cream will fall flat even more quickly. However, be careful to not whip too long. If you do, the solids and liquids will separate and you’ll have some delicious sweetened butter. I stop just when the cream starts to lose its shine.
Use anywhere you’d normally use whipped topping. This is only mildly sweet. If you like your whipped cream sweeter, by all means, add some more sugar.
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chill a mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Pour cream into chilled bowl and whip at medium speed until frothy but not set (about 2 minutes).
Sprinkle in granulated sugar and vanilla. Increase mixer speed to high and whip until cream is set and just starts to lose its gloss. Cream should hold its shape when you lift the whisk.