WHIPPED CREAM (about 3 cups)
1-1/2 cups well-chilled heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, or to taste
1. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream until it just holds stiff peaks.
2. Add the sugar and beat the mixture until it holds stiff peaks.
Brandied whipped cream: Add 2 tablespoons brandy (or another liqueur of your choice) with the sugar in step 2 and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
White chocolate whipped cream: Combine 6 ounces good-quality white chocolate, such as Lindt or Bakers, chopped, and 6 tablespoons whipping cream in a small metal bowl. Set over a small saucepan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from over the water and cool the chocolate mixture 10 minutes. Beat 1-1/2 cups chilled whipping cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form, and whisk in the white chocolate mixture. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate).
Espresso whipped cream: Beat 1-1/2 cups chilled heavy cream, 4-1/2 tablespoons golden brown sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder in a medium bowl until soft peaks are formed. Alternatively, beat the cream with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar until soft peaks form, then add 4 tablespoons coffee liqueur and beat until stiff peaks form.
Ginger whipped cream: Add ½ teaspoon ground ginger along with the confectioners’ sugar, beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks, then fold in ¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger. Use additional chopped candied ginger for garnish.
Honey spiced whipped cream: Add 2 tablespoons honey, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg to the cream instead of the confectioners’ sugar. Beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
Jasmine whipped cream: Combine chilled cream and 1-1/2 tablespoon good-quality loose leaf jasmine tea, or 5 jasmine tea bags, in a bowl. Cover and chill overnight or up to 2 days. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a mixing bowl and discard the solids. Add sugar and beat until peaks form.
Lemon whipped cream: Combine cream, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1-1/2 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel and 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice in a medium bowl and beat to soft peaks. Some of the lemon juice can be replaced by Limoncello if desired. (Can be made 4 hours ahead, cover and chill. Rewhisk before using).
Mint whipped cream: Beat cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon peppermint extract in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form.
Orange whipped cream: Combine cream, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1-1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel and 3 teaspoons fresh orange juice in a medium bowl and beat to soft peaks. Some of the orange juice can be replaced by Cointreau, if desired. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Rewhisk before using).
Strawberry whipped cream: Place 2 cups strawberries, very coarsely chopped, in a large bowl. Sweeten berries with 2 tablespoons sugar and mash coarsely. Beat 1 cup chilled whipping cream with 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons Kirsch and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium bowl to firm peaks. Fold in mashed berries. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Vanilla whipped cream: Beat cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill).