How to use gelatin to stablize whipped cream for frosting
- Wendy Lai
I want to make and transport a cake with whipped creme with lemon curd added as frosting. I know this works well if it's served right out of the fridge. But I'll be driving this cake to another person's house, which is about an hour away.
I thought maybe if I add some gelatin in the cream before I whip it, it'll help stablize the cream.
Question is, how do I add it without heating up the cream? I'm thinking maybe I'll bloom gelatin in a small amount of cream first, then add to the whole batch. But without heating the cream, will this work?
Yes, you can add melted gelatin to cold cream to whip it. It's easy to screw up, and then you end up with strands of gelatin in your cream, which is nasty. But if you get used to doing it, it's very easy. Just melt the gelatin and let it cool to room temperature - it will still be liquid. Then get your whipped cream going. When you're about half-way to whipped, pour in the gelatin along the side of the bowl. Keep whipping. It should be fine.
I don't think you need to do this, though, as long as you can keep the cake cold. The lemon curd should stabilize the cream fairly well.
The lemon curd will almost certainly stabilize the whipped cream enough. But if you want to play it totally safe:
Put 1/4 cup of the cream in a heatproof glass measuring cup, and sprinkle the gelatin over it (1 envelope for 2 cups of cream). After it's softened for 5 minutes, put the cup in a skillet with about an inch of hot tap water in it, under the lowest heat, and stir until the gelatin is completely melted. (I stir it with my finger to really make sure.) Let it cool a bit. Whip the rest of the cream (in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, preferably in a stand mixer) until it just begins to thicken, then add the gelatin cream and beat until it holds stiff peaks.
While you're at it, you can melt a tablespoon of unsalted butter in the gelatin cream, and it'll raise the butterfat content of your whipped cream and make it especially yummy.