Whipped Chocolate Cream
This is the easiest component ever to make, to add to cakes, desserts, and hot and cold chocolate drinks!
It is simply thickened (heavy) cream, plus cocoa powder and icing sugar.
Use the best, rich coloured cocoa powder you can find.
The main things to consider when making this 3 ingredient chocolate cream are:
- make sure your bowl and beaters are icy cold, at least 15mins in the freezer
-don't over whip it, stop beating and keep checking if it's holding it's shape often
If you'd like it to keep shape for longer, add gelatine sheets, or powder in compatible quantity and it will keep its shape for days. If you'd prefer not to use gelatine, use icing sugar mixture rather than pure icing sugar, as the cornstarch helps give it some stability.
Add a little vanilla to it if you like, or a drop of orange, coffee or peppermint flavouring if you choose! Or if you have time, infuse the cream for a little while after heating with fresh coffee beans, mint leaves, vanilla bean or orange rind ... strain and refrigerate the cream until really cold when ready to use.
If you're using it with something quite sweet, as I have with pavlova, think about adding a component which is more tart with it, to balance the flavours. I've used lemon and passionfruit curd.
I've also added crumbed caramelised hazelnuts on the top to add crunch and flavour, grated chocolate, or any other nuts would make a great contrasting texture too.
Click for a print friendly version!
Pavlova – made or bought
Lemon/passionfruit curd – made or bought (stir fresh passionfruit though lemon curd if you buy lemon curd!)
2 cups (500g) thickened cream
¼ cup icing sugar (or icing sugar mixture if not using gelatine to help stabilise)
¼ cup cocoa powder
3 sheets gelatine (titanium strength)
1/4 cup thickened cream (if using gelatine)
175g caster sugar
¼ cup water (60ml)
Place metal bowl of kitchen mixer, or bowl cream will be beaten in with hand mixer or whisk, plus whisk/beater attachments in freezer – for at least 15 minutes before using!
Chocolate cream method
Cover gelatine sheets in a bowl with cold water, soak until soft.
Squeeze excess water from gelatine sheets, place in clean bowl to microwave, or small saucepan, and heat gently until just melted, not over heating or boiling. Add the 1/3 cup thickened cream (not cold directly from the fridge – heat a little if necessary) to the melted sheets and combine.
Combine the two cups of thickened cream, sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder in cold mixer bowl and beat/whip until comes together.
Add gelatine/cream mixture to the bowl.
Continue to whip (stopping and stirring down the sides occasionally) until desired consistency is reached – ie. holds shape/peaks when whisk attachment lifts out of cream mixture. DON’T OVER-BEAT – it is very difficult to get the texture back if it is over-whipped and becomes lumpy/grainy. You can try adding a little more cream, but it is usually impossible. Just whip until it is ready!
Caramelised Hazelnuts Method
Spray a metal baking tray with neutral flavoured vegetable oil like canola (olive oil will impart a flavour on the nuts, so isn’t great in this recipe). Place hazelnuts on tray.
Place sugar and water in heavy based saucepan, over medium high heat, and let sugar dissolve. Give a brief gentle stir if necessary to combine solid sugar with liquid. Brush any sugar crystals that appear on the inside of the pan above the liquid line with a pastry brush dipped in warm water, to dissolve them. Let the sugar/water bubble away until it begins to colour
Give the pan a little swirl when the liquid sugar starts to colour, to disperse colour evenly, but don’t stir!
When the liquid sugar has become an amber toffee colour, pour onto the hazelnuts. Don’t worry if the toffee doesn’t cover all the nuts … when cool, the whole lot is going to be broken up and placed into the food processor to be made into powdery crumbs. So do this when it’s cool and set.
Pipe a little curd inside the top of each pavlova.
Pipe or dollop chocolate cream on top.
Sprinkle with caramelised hazelnuts after chopping in food processor (do this just before serving, as the caramelised nuts will go sticky from condensation when they’re exposed to moisture in the air, or especially the fridge).
Add any other garnish you choose!