How to make a whipped-creamsicle topping
Did you love Creamsicles when you were a kid? Vanilla ice cream and orange popsicle together in the same bar. Like an orange cream soda on a stick. With ice cream!
Whipped cream is great fun all by itself. But sometimes you just want to surprise your dinner guests with something out of the ordinary. Whipped cream that tastes like an orange creamsicle goes great with pumpkin pie or ice cream.
We do a couple of interesting things (of course!) to make it even a little bit different from what you might be used to. We add a tiny amount of xanthan gum, which makes the foam stiff and long lasting. And we make it in a neat whipping gadget, so you can make it up days before you need it, and keep it in the fridge until you need it. Who wants to be whipping cream when you could be talking with your guests after dinner?
We got our dessert whipper here There are one cup sizes and one pint sizes. We use the one pint size for this recipe.
The ingredients are:
- One pint of heavy whipping cream.
- One quarter cup sugar.
- One quarter teaspoon xanthan gum.
- Two teaspoons vanilla extract.
- Two teaspoons orange extract.
- Food color (red and yellow) to make a nice orange color.
We start by pouring the cream into a quart bowl. We add the vanilla and orange flavoring first, since they will change the color of the cream a bit.
We add the food coloring after the vanilla, so we can get the color just the way we want it. I liked a little more than twice as much yellow as red, but make it whatever color looks best to you. I used about 16 drops of yellow, and 8 drops of red.
We add the xanthan gum to the sugar, not to the cream. Stirring it well into the sugar ensures that it will dissolve well in the cream, and not clump up.
When the xanthan gum is mixed well with the sugar, we stir the sugar into the cream.
Stir the cream well, until all the sugar has dissolved.
When there is no longer any grainy bits of sugar in the cream, pour it into the dessert whipper.
The whipper is charged with small cylinders of nitrous oxide gas called whippits. Buy them when you buy the dessert whipper, since the two are sold separately.
One whippit is good for one cup, so we need two for the larger dessert whipper. Charge the whipper with one cylinder, and shake ten to twelve times. Then remove the whippit and replace it with a fresh one.
Let the nitrous oxide dissolve in the cream for a few minutes in the refrigerator before trying to dispense it. You can keep it in the dessert whipper in the refrigerator until a week past the "sell-by" date on the carton of cream.
A Note About Xanthan Gum
While creating this recipe, I tried several ratios for xanthan gum to cream. The recipe works well for amounts as little as an eighth of a teaspoon to about three eighths. When I used a full teaspoon of xanthan gum, the mixture was very thick and hard to stir, and whipped up into the most delicious foam rubber I had ever tasted. Most of the mix remained inside the dessert whipper, and had to be spooned out.
Whole Foods sells xanthan gum, and many gourmet cooking stores such as Sur La Table sell the dessert whippers.
Of course you can just whip the cream using a whisk or a kitchen mixer, but then you wouldn't have an excuse to buy the fun toy!
A Note About Nitrous Oxide
The whippits are filled with nitrous oxide (N2O). This is also known as laughing gas, the anesthetic used by dentists to put you to sleep.
It is used in whipping cream because it dissolves easily in butterfat, it does not allow the fat to oxidize and get rancid, as compressed air would, and it does not curdle the milk proteins, as carbon dioxide would.