Knowing how to identify and whip your topping cream to soft, medium, and firm peaks can help you to create amazing desserts—whether it’s for a perfect dollop on top of a smoothie, an accompaniment to your waffles or filling to your cakes, learn how to whip topping cream to different peaks here!
There is a wide selection of great topping and whipping creams we have for you to go whack with your creations. If you are looking for a delicious, whipped cream to make a lovely dessert or topping with, look no further.
The mechanics in whipping cream are simple, all you are doing is encouraging the fat molecules to bond to trap air. However, there are a few rules to apply IF you are using a dairy cream to make the whipping process as smooth as it can get and to ensure you do not end up with butter. You do not have to worry about getting butter if you are using a non-dairy topping cream.
In this article, we will not only share with you some knowledge on how to identify what the different peaks are but also, on how to whip topping cream to different peaks. Without further ado, we will quickly address the elephant in the room and explain what these ‘peaks’ are.
What ‘Peaks’ are.
Now if you spend plenty of time in the kitchen baking cakes and such, you should be no stranger to whipping creams. And there are plenty of dessert recipes that call for whipped cream. What you will notice after whipping your cream or egg whites after some time is that there will be ridges (an elevated body part or structure) on your beater or whisk. Or even when you lift your whisk up from whipping the cream, you will see the ridges on the surface of your whisk.
The trick to telling apart what peak it is—soft, medium, or firm, is determined by the shape and structure of the peak itself. This is both applicable to whipped cream and whisked egg whites. You can tell what your peaks are just through visual observations, and it is extremely easy to do so.
But what if there are no peaks?
Even after the first few minutes of whipping or whisking your cream or egg whites, so long as it is still in its liquid state and there is little to no increase in its volume, that just means there are simply no peaks! If your cream or egg whites are still slipping off your beaters when you lift it up, it is a sign for you to continue whisking them. So, keep on whisking until then.
Identifying a Soft Peak.
To identify a soft peak, whisk and pull your beater out of the cream. The cream should form a point at the top of it. When cream is whipped to a soft peak, the cream on the beater will have a point that only lasts for a second, and then gently folds itself back over.
It will not be standing up straight anymore and you can see the point fold all the way back down onto the rest of the whipped cream. As the cream is approaching to a soft peak stage, you will see a few gentle ‘tracks’ left in the cream as the beaters make their way through it.
These “tracks” soften and disappear quickly.
To test for a soft peak, lift your beaters or whisk and see if the cream peaks curls downwards and melts back into themselves quite instantaneously.
Identifying a Medium Peak.
To identify a medium peak, the cream point formed when you pull out the beater or whisk should not completely fold back over onto itself, but it is not standing up perfectly straight either. Instead, it looks like a cream gently bending with some decent form.
As the cream is reaching the medium peak stage, you will see more cream “tracks” left in the mixing bowl cream as the beaters make their way through.
The cream softens a little more slowly as compared to a soft peak. In this stage, the mixture on your whisk or beater looks and is a lot firmer, glossier, with a better structure and form than previous.
To test for a medium peak, your peaks formed should curl down slight at the ends when you raise your whisk or beaters. They hold their shape decent enough, and the tip of the peak curls over itself just ever so slightly.
Identifying a Firm Peak.
Identifying a firm is all too easy. All you must do is lookout for a peak that stands straight up when the whisk or beaters are lifted. These firm peaks are also known as stiff peaks as their peaks are a lot softer than what you would get from a medium peak.
The point stands straight up without curling over or folding back onto itself at all. While this term is used more often with egg whites than with cream, but you will occasionally see it used both ways in recipes. Think of the terms to be interchangeable when you are whipping cream.
“Tracks” left in the cream as the beaters make their way through it are obvious and the texture stays firm even after the beaters have been lifted out—this means you have achieved firm peaks.
As such, your mixture will be smooth and glossy, and the peaks will stand straight up and hold their shape. But of course, we would recommend that you use the mixture immediately as time will cause it to deflate eventually. That said, if you are whipping for a meringue, you can test by turning the mixing over, if nothing falls over, that means your egg whites are whipped to perfection!
Are those all the stages of peaks?
Yes, it is possible to overbeat your cream, and something does happen after firm peaks… you get homemade butter. However, this is only applicable if you are using a dairy product. (Non-dairy topping creams will not overwhip and form butter!) Your dairy whipped cream will begin to have a grainy texture and it becomes un-spreadable instead of it being soft and pillowy after it passes the firm peak stage. And well, it eventually becomes butter, and not the good kind too. So, make sure you avoid overwhipping your cream. But do not worry if you have overwhipped your cream, as you can fix it…
How to fix over-whipped cream
First thing’s first, stop whipping it continuously. What you can do is add more of the unbeaten fresh cream and beat it gently until it incorporates into the overbeaten cream and smooths everything out. If you are fortunate enough, you will not have to make a second trip to the store to buy more heavy cream but most likely, that is going to happen.
So well done, you! You have learned all the stages of whipping a cream to different peaks! With all that you have learned, keep in mind that every recipe you encounter will require its own stage of whipping. Why? Because each peak has their own roles in the whipped ingredients. Always be sure to follow the recipe you have at hand so your desserts turn out beautifully, like it should! (In fact, if you would like to know how to get a perfect whipped cream, we have something over here!)
And nothing could be dreamier than having a heap of soft fluffy whipped cream on a slice of pie, on top of a cup of hot chocolate, or even as gorgeous decorations on a cake. Some whipped cream also makes a great base for mousses, ice creams, and ganache.
In case you didn’t know that your whipped cream can be used for other things…
Using Whipped Cream for different purposes.
Any desserts that calls for a whipped cream as a finishing just before you serve them, be sure not to do it too early. Especially when the dessert has anything to do with fruits in syrup or any wet ingredient, as the cream will not look as appealing if you wait it out for too long.
What you can try: Want to take your decorations to higher heights? We have Rich’s Gold Label for you then. With its superior and unique formulation fitting for first-class bakery shops and top pastry chefs, here’s why Rich’s Gold Label is the best non-dairy topping cream you need for your creations.
Softly whipped cream can be placed in a piping bag and chilled it until you need it. For this, make sure you do not over-whip it, otherwise, the heat from your hands might make the whipped cream go grainy as you pipe it on cakes and such.
What you can try: Using our Rich’s Milk Topping for makes for a delicious milky filling, and it is something you can enjoy without having a sweet tooth. It is something you can try if you want something that tastes natural and milky. To know more about premium dairy blend, read why Rich’s Milk Topping is special and you should use it.
Start with softer whipped peaks as cream will naturally continue to stiffen as you spread it about. That means you need to move it around quickly and more even after you have finished whipping the cream.
What you can try: Our Rich’s Klasik Crème makes a delicious spread for your baked goods. It comes with a unique taste as it is enhanced with sea salt, making it complimentary to savory and salty ingredients. Read on further to know why Rich’s Klasik Crème is a non-dairy topping everyone must have in their pantry. Similarly, if you would like something simple without the savoriness, there is an alternative to it, that is Rich’s Bettercreme—you can read all about it here if you are looking for a buttercream that tastes great and is easy to use.
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