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A cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream from a pressurized can.
A slice of pumpkin pie topped with a whipped cream rose
Whipped cream is cream that is whipped by a whisk or mixer until it is light and fluffy, or by the expansion of dissolved gas, forming a colloid. It is often sweetened and sometimes flavored with vanilla. Whipped cream is also called Chantilly cream or Crème chantilly (pronounced [km tiji]).
Cream used for whipping cream has a high butterfat content—typically 30%–36%—as fat globules contribute to forming stable air bubbles.
During whipping, partially coalesced fat molecules create a stabilized network which traps air bubbles. The resulting colloid is roughly double the volume of the original cream. If, however, the whipping is continued, the fat droplets will stick together destroying the colloid and forming butter. Lower-fat cream (or milk) does not whip well, while higher-fat cream produces a more stable foam.
Methods of whipping
Cream is usually mechanically whipped with a whisk, an electric hand mixer, or a food processor. Results are best when the equipment and ingredients are cold. The bubbles in the mechanically whipped cream immediately start to pop, and the whipped cream begins to liquefy. Thus mechanically whipped cream has a useful lifetime of one to two hours. Many 19th-century recipes recommend adding gum tragacanth to stabilize whipped cream, while a few include whipped egg whites. Various other substances, including gelatin and diphosphate, are used in commercial stabilizers.
Whipped cream may also be made instantly in a whipping siphon or a pre-pressurized can sold at retail. A gas dissolves in the butterfat under pressure. When the pressure is released, the gas leaves solution, producing bubbles. Typically the gas is nitrous oxide, as carbon dioxide tends to give a sour taste.
Les mousses se font avec de la crême bien douce & peu épaisse; on la fouette, ce qui la fait mousser, & c'est de cette mousse qu'on fait usage: on peut lui donner tel goût que l'on veut, aromates, fleurs, fruits, vins, ou liqueurs.
Mousses are made with sweet cream, not very thick; one whips it, which makes it foam, and it is this foam that one uses: one may give it whatever flavor one wants, with aromatics, flours, fruits, wines, or liqueurs.
Whipped cream, often sweetened and aromatised, was popular in the 16th century, with recipes in the writings of Cristoforo di Messisbugo (Ferrara, 1549),Bartolomeo Scappi (Rome, 1570), and Lancelot de Casteau (Liège, 1604). It was called milk or cream snow (neve di latte, neige de lait, neige de crème). A 1545 English recipe, "A Dyschefull of Snow", includes whipped egg whites as well, and is flavored with rosewater and sugar. (cf.snow cream) In these recipes, and until the end of the 19th century, naturally separated cream is whipped, typically with willow or rush branches, and the resulting foam on the surface would from time to time be skimmed off and drained, a process taking an hour or more. By the end of the 19th century, centrifuge-separated, high-fat cream made it much faster and easier to make whipped cream.
The French name crème fouettée 'whipped cream' is attested in 1629, and the English name "whipped cream" in 1673. The name "snow cream" continued to be used in the 17th century.
Various desserts consisting of whipped cream in pyramidal shapes with coffee, liqueurs, chocolate, fruits, and so on either in the mixture or poured on top were called crème en mousse 'cream in a foam', crème fouettée, crème mousseuse 'foamy cream', mousse 'foam', and fromage à la Chantilly 'Chantilly-style molded cream', as early as 1768. Modern mousses, including mousse au chocolat, are a continuation of this tradition.
Cream whipped in a whipping siphon with nitrous oxide was invented in the 1930s by both Charles Getz, working with G. Frederick Smith, and Marshall Reinecke. Both filed patents, which were later litigated. The Getz patents were originally deemed invalid, but were upheld on appeal.
A popular modern brand in the United States of America is Reddi-Wip.
Crème Chantilly is another name for whipped cream. The difference between "whipped cream" and "crème Chantilly" is not systematic. Some authors distinguish between the two, with crème Chantilly being sweetened, and whipped cream not. However, most authors treat the two as synonyms, with both being sweetened, neither being sweetened, or treating sweetening as optional. Many authors use only one of the two names (for the sweetened or unsweetened version), so it is not clear if they distinguish the two.
The names "crème Chantilly", "crème de Chantilly", "crème à la Chantilly", or "crème fouettée à la Chantilly" only become common in the 19th century. In 1806, the first edition of Viard's Cuisinier Impérial mentions neither "whipped" nor "Chantilly" cream, but the 1820 edition mentions both.
The name Chantilly was probably used because the château had become a symbol of refined food; the word has since become a culinary shorthand for "cream".
Imitation whipped cream
Vegan coconut whipped topping
Imitations of whipped cream, often sold under the name whipped topping or squirty cream, are commercially available. They may be used to avoid dairy ingredients, to provide extended shelf life, or to reduce the price (although some popular brands cost twice as much as whipped cream).
Artificial whipped topping normally contains some mixture of partially hydrogenated oil, sweeteners, water, and stabilizers and emulsifiers added to prevent syneresis.
It may be sold frozen in plastic tubs (e.g., Cool Whip), or in aerosol containers or in liquid form in cartons, reminiscent of real whipping cream.
^ abÉmile Bernard Urbain Dubois, La Cuisine classique: études pratiques, raisonnées et démonstratives de l'Ecole française appliquée au service à la russe, 1868, p. 122: "La chantilly n'est autre chose que la crème double, amenée à consistance, et rendue mousseuse par le travail du fouet et l'action de l'air."
^ abAeration Processes, Inc. v. Lange et al., 196 F.2d 981, 93 USPQ 332, United States Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit, May 20, 1952.
^Jules Gouffée et al., Le livre de pâtisserie, 1873 p. 138
^ abM. Emy (officier), L'Art de bien faire les glaces d'office... avec un traité sur les mousses, Paris, 1768 p. 222
^ abTerence Scully, trans., The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570): L'arte et prudenza d'un maestro Cuoco; The Art and Craft of a Master Cook, 2008, ISBN0-8020-9624-7, p. 105, note 2.39, with many menus including "neve di latte servita con zuccaro sopra" 'milk snow with sugar on top', passim
^Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, Festive Feasts Cookbook (British Museum), 2004, ISBN0-299-19510-4, p. 33, citing Messisbugo's Banchetti, composizioni di vivande e apparecchio generale
^Paul Bocuse, La cuisine du marché (1980), p. 414: "Crème Chantilly (crème fouettée)"
^La cuisine de Madame Saint-Ange (1927), p. 916f: "Crème fouettée dite « crème Chantilly »... Selon le cas, on ajoute du sucre en poudre, vanillé ou non, dans la crème fouettée."
^Julia Child et al., Mastering the Art of French Cooking, defines Crème Chantilly as "lightly beaten cream", then refers to it as "whipped cream". With added sugar or flavorings, she calls it "Flavored whipped cream" (I:580). In volume 2, one recipe for crème Chantilly is unsweetened (II:422), another is sweetened (II:450).
^Menon, ed. (1755). "Fromage à la chantilly glacé" [Ice cream whipped cheese]. Les soupers de la cour [Court suppers] (in French). pp. 313-314.
^"Jamais je n'ai mangé d'aussi bonne crème, aussi appétissante et aussi bien apprêtée". Mémoires de la baronne d'Oberkirch. 2. p. 112. I have never eaten such good cream, so appetising and so well prepared