Whipping ingredients together is one of the most common tasks you’ll be doing as a baker. We wouldn’t have made an electric mixer if it wasn’t. But some ingredients like meringues, cream, and egg whites need to be whipped only until a certain point depending on different recipes. Whether you’re making whipped cream frosting, lemon-meringue pie, or classic waffles lightened with beaten egg whites, it’s important to know what a recipe means when it says to whip to “firm” or “soft” peaks. Follow this quick guide to understand what each stage is!
How are whipped cream formed?
They say baking is like science, well they are not wrong. Learn the science behind whipped cream. It doesn’t hurt to know how and why exactly whipped cream is formed!
This is the first stage of whipping cream. During this stage, everything is just still liquid with some foam. The cream is no where to be seen yet.
As you whip your mixture, you’ll start to see your mixture volumizing. Your egg whites will start to turn foamy, airy, and opaque. Cream will start to thicken, become smooth, and leave trails in the mixture. To test, when you lift up your beaters/whisk, the peaks are soft, and will curl downwards and melt back into themselves almost immediately.
At this stage, you’ll find that your mixture is firmer, glossier, and with a better structure and form than before. To put it to test, when you lift up your beaters, peaks will form, but curl down slightly at the ends.
At this stage, your mixture will be smooth and glossy, and the peaks/tips will stand straight up and hold their shape. Use your mixture immediately as it will deflate over time. One way to test if your egg whites are ready would be turn the bowl over, if nothing drops/ slides over, you’re good to go!
Be very careful especially when whipping small amounts of egg whites or cream for they can become over-whipped very quickly! Over-whipped cream will become grainy and curdled due to the separation of fats and liquids. Once this has happened, there is no turning back. You can only continue whipping it to create butter, or start with a fresh batch of cream.
Congrats, now you that you have learned the stages of whipping cream, we hope you that you know what to do and not do while making whipping cream. However, bear in mind that different recipes call for different stages of whipping because of their roles in your whipped ingredients. Some are thickeners, some are leavening agents and others. Be sure to read your recipe and follow the instructions properly! We hope these information would make your baking journey smoother and more fun. If you are curious about any other thing, you are always welcomed to ask us.
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