Our Choux au Craquelin recipe requires whipping just 1 cup of cream, which hardly warrants dragging out the stand mixer. But whipping cream by hand can be a real chore (and make a mess) if everything isn’t just so. Follow these simple guidelines and you may decide to take the manual route more often.
1. Choose a really big bowl
Use a much bigger bowl than you think you’ll need (at least eight times the volume of the unwhipped cream); this will give you the freedom to whisk with abandon. Choose stainless steel or glass, which stay colder than plastic does.
2. Make sure both cream and bowl are thoroughly cold
The colder the cream, the faster it whips. Chill the cream—and the bowl, too—in the freezer until it’s thoroughly chilled. (If the bowl doesn’t fit, chill it in the fridge.)
3. Whisk side to side
Whisking from side to side is easier to execute quickly and aggressively than stirring or beating. It’s also more effective because it causes more shear force to be applied to the liquid.
4. Use your sink
Transfer your bowl/cream/whisk setup to the sink; it’s easier to whisk at this lower angle, and the sides of the sink will catch any errant drops.