Friday, September 12, 2014

stayin' put

Have you ever read Cook's Illustrated? It's a wonderful magazine that also has a cooking show on PBS, along with Cook's Country... aka America's Test Kitchen. Years ago, my wonderful grandmother-in-law gave me a subscription to Cook's Illustrated and I've never gone back. I think the magazines and shows are brilliant because they don't give you a recipe until it has been tweaked to perfection. Honestly, I trust everything they print because every recipe I've tried has been flawless.

that falling drip stayed put for hours
With that said, I was making the Chocolate Ganache Pie on a particularly humid day and needed to transport it for a 45-minute drive. I could've made the whip cream right before serving the pie, but I needed to take pictures of it before I brought it to my mother-in-laws house. I've seen how whip cream separates and it isn't pretty. Then I remembered reading a snippet about how to stabilize whip cream in Cook's Illustrated Magazine and I knew that would be my answer. They recommend unflavored gelatin because it leaves no flavor and doesn't effect the texture (unlike cream of tartar, which leaves a funny taste).

The gelatin worked marvelously and I was so impressed with how the whip cream held up on each individual slice! I've seen whip cream completely dislodge itself from a bottom layer before, but that didn't happen here. I may not add gelatin every time I make whip cream, but I most certainly will in the summer months, and if I need it to sit out for a time.

Stabilized Whipped Cream
Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine
Makes 3 Cups of whipped cream (which is the perfect amount for the Chocolate Ganache Pie)

½ tsp. Unflavored gelatin
1 ½ Tbs. water
1 ½ Cups Heavy cream
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix the water and gelatin. Then, put the mixture in the microwave and microwave for 5-second increments, or until the gelatin is dissolved and clear (this took my microwave a total of 15 seconds- just watch it carefully). Put the bowl aside to cool.
2. Pour the cold cream in a large bowl, or stand mixer, and turn the mixer on low, whipping until small bubbles begin to form, then increase the speed to medium. Add the sugar and vanilla. When the beaters leave a trail in the cream, slowly pour in the gelatin mixture and then increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form. The whip cream shouldn’t separate for 24 hours.


  1. I love Cooks Illustrated too! They have the coolest tricks/tips for the kitchen sent in by readers. I also like when they taste test a regular product or test a kitchen appliance, plus there are no ads., so you know they are not swayed either way or paid to give good reviews. Not to mention I have tried some of their recipes & they have a great hommus recipe too. This is such a neat idea, thanks!

    1. I couldn't agree more with you KK, and I'll have to try their hummus recipe- sounds delish!