Novel Food: Whipped Cream 101

by Pari Noskin Taichert

Lily_jr_black_belt_testing_whipped_ Are you ready for fluff?

I’m not even going to try to think about something other than food this week . . .

While everyone is putting turkeys or "Harvest Roasts" in the oven, while they’re making chestnut stuffing and topping sweet potatoes with mini marshmallows, our family will be buying cans of whipped cream.

You see, nearly four years ago when my first Sasha Solomon book was published, an odd thing happened. I’d given my main character a goofy little quirk. Whenever she’s stressed out — or wants a bit of comfort — Sasha fills her mouth with canned whipped cream. I decided to use the white stuff because no matter where a person goes in the U.S., if there’s a convenience store, there’s a can o’ whipped cream.

Well, Sasha’s propensity for the nitrous-ized light cream struck a fanciful chord with readers. At radio interviews, book signings, my own Tae Kwon Do studio and other public places, someone always gave me a can or two of whipped cream. Who was I to refuse these sweets? And, of course, I didn’t want to waste them.

That’s when the trouble began. At one point, our fridge had ten cans. We had to do something with their contents . . .

The following two recipes just, well, sort of came full-blown into our lives. The testing and development phases took little time before they became codified. My younger child developed #1 for Mother’s Day in 2004. It’s been a summer staple ever since. My husband, who shunned sweets before we had children, has been totally corrupted. He came up with #2.

Before I continue, here are two essential requirements:
1.  Use canned whipped cream only. Forget about the tub stuff; it doesn’t give that blissful lightness necessary for the experience. And, though I adore real whipping cream, there’s a time and a place for that extravagance. This isn’t it.
2.  Don’t mess around with fancy varieties of whipped cream. The cheapest brands are the best.

And, just in case you’re wondering, chocolate canned whipped cream is of the Devil.

Lily_jr_black_belt_testing_whippe_2Recipe #1
Freeze Whipped
Spray a massive quantity of whipped cream* into a bowl and freeze it. Wait. Wait! Wait until it’s solid — or almost.

Believe me, it tastes absolutely wonderful and has far fewer calories than ice cream.

Recipe #2
Embers in the Snow
Squirt a massive quantity of whipped cream into a bowl and top with bittersweet chocolate shavings.** You can grate the chocolate if you don’t trust yourself with a knife.

* The whipped cream compresses in the cold, so you’ll end up with what looks like a much smaller quantity. If I were you, I’d just use the whole can.

** You can substitute the bittersweet chocolate with milk chocolate, chocolate sauce or even honey. Heck, you could put small amounts of chopped, dried fruit or other healthful alternatives on it. But why mess with perfection?

Anybody else have simple whipped cream — or other comfort — recipes to share with the ‘Rati? I’ll be cooking up a storm this weekend and would welcome some new ideas.

LAST WEEK’S WINNERS:
Patricia H.
You have today to contact me at my website email to claim your ARC. I’ve heard from Catherine already.

Tomorrow morning, I’m going to the next name I drew out of the hat.

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY!

15 thoughts on “Novel Food: Whipped Cream 101

  1. billie

    Oh, my – a whipped cream post! I love it! Does Sasha agree with this practice of freezing the whipped cream and putting stuff on it? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have I written the whipped cream story here before? When I was a young (and much more slender) thing, some friends and I had traveled to see some other friends’ band play, and after the show we all planned to go back to the hotel and swim. I had the idea that we all needed to wear whipped cream swimsuits and so we scoured that town’s convenience stores, buying up all the cans of whipped cream we could find. At the end of all that, I was the only one willing to even go through with the plan, so I coated myself head to toe in whipped cream and dove in.

    I feel Sasha would have approved. So long as we saved back a few cans for eating. ๐Ÿ™‚

    A couple of falls ago, I checked out a recipe book from the library, one of Sara Foster’s, and made her slightly decadent version of bread pudding – it has a bourbon sauce on top and raisins soaked in bourbon inside. It was heavenly. And I haven’t made it since b/c I neglected to copy the recipe, the book seems to have disappeared from the library, and I have been unwilling to dig into my book budget for $40. for a cookbook. There’s so much good fiction I don’t yet have!

    However. It may be the week to indulge!

    Reply
  2. pari

    Billie,You hadn’t told that story before. How wonderful. I, too, remember doing all kinds of creative things with canned whipped cream back in my lithe youth.

    And, I think Sasha would scoff at our “recipes.” Or, she’d simply pity us.

    Patricia,I’m very glad you got in touch. I’ve got the info now and will send you a note when I’ve put the ARC in the mail.

    One of the things that absolutely delighted me with the contests was that I got emails from people in the Netherlands, Canada, and Australia — all people who’d read my other books. I guess I can say I’m “international” w/o batting an eye now.

    Louise,Brouhahahahahaha. NEVER!!!!!

    Reply
  3. pari

    Hey,I thought that if people don’t have recipes, we can certainly turn this conversation to more heady subjects such as:

    Why give characters quirks?

    What are some of your favorite fictional quirks?

    See? I’m all about the discussion . . .

    Reply
  4. B.G. Ritts

    My current comfort recipe:

    Microwave Brownies

    1 cup sugar1/2 cup butter2 large eggs1/3 teaspoon almond extract1/2 cup flour1/2 cup cocoa (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)

    Grease and sugar a glass pan (I use a Corning 1-1/2 Qt. round casserole; 6-1/2 to 6-3/4″ inside dia.); cream sugar and butter together; add eggs and extract (the almond is my substitute for 1 teasp. vanilla); stir flour and cocoa together, beat into sugar/butter/egg mixture; microwave on full for 5 minutes (I have a carousel in the m’wave); cool. Five minutes works fine in my m’wave, but it’s over 12 years old and I don’t think it has as high a wattage as ones do now.

    I soften the butter in the m’wave in the baking dish (to make greasing it easy). To cool (overnight – I m’wave it just before going to bed), I put it in the sink with a couple inches cool water and the lid on to help keep the moisture in (and, at my house, the cats out). The texture comes out somewhere between cakey and chewy.

    Reply
  5. pari

    B.G.,Thanks for this recipe. I’ll definitely try it. Maybe even this weekend when I host MY Thanksgiving feast.

    Elaine,I love you, too.

    Actually, I’m doing you a favor. Frozen whipped cream has fewer calories than ice cream. It’s actually a public service.

    I’m watching out for everyone’s health.

    Wow, I’m feeling mighty virtuous now.

    Reply
  6. JT Ellison

    I’m on a no-cooking stint until after the holidays… but I may be inspired to make a pumpkin pie — my in-laws don’t like them so it would be all for me. Dangerous…

    Reply
  7. pari

    J.T.,Do you like yours spicy or plainer? I like mine with a little kick. Of course, I rarely make pies anymore . . . not when whipped cream is so easy.

    Reply
  8. Fran

    Thank you for this, Pari! I just had a long, long day at the dentist and can only eat soft stuff. This sounds like the perfect comfort food!

    Money Shots – You have to trust your pourer. Tilt your head back and let them pour a shot of your favorite alcohol into your mouth, followed by a good-sized spritz of canned whipped cream. Swallow without snorting it through your nose.

    The money comes from taking bets on who can do it and who’s gonna spray.

    Reply
  9. Fran

    I was thinking they’d be fun to do at LCC 08, although at that altitude, I will be able to do just one. Lillian’s given our oldest – who lives in Denver, along with his fiance and our youngest now – strict orders NOT to bail me out if I end up in jail on drunk and disorderly. At least until the next day anyway.

    Reply

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