I Love Desserts

Chantilly Cream

Makes 2 cups


Chantilly (pronounced "shahn-tee-yee " in France; "shan-ti-ly" in America) is French for "sweetened whipped cream." It has become a part of the American dessert menu vocabulary, as it is more poetic sounding. Some chefs use confectioners' sugar in their whipped cream, but I prefer granulated sugar, superfine if possible. Granulated sugar offers a cleaner taste. Do not add too much sugar or it will make the dessert you are serving it with taste too sweet. For flavoring you can add vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, or vanilla powder.

The appearance of Chantilly Cream should be smooth and satiny. If it is grainy looking, it has been overwhipped. Overwhipped cream, even by just a little bit, tastes dry and doesn't feel as creamy in the mouth. If you do overwhip cream, all is not lost; fold in a couple tablespoons of unwhipped cream and it will bring it back to the proper consistency. This won't work, however, if you have overwhipped it to the point where it has completely separated and looks like butter. If you don't have a whisk, you can whip cream by putting it in a jar and shaking it. Don't fill the jar more than half full, as heavy cream doubles in volume when whipped.

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean,
     or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder

Whisk the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until soft peaks form. The cream should hold its shape but still be satiny in appearance. It should never be grainy (see headnote).

Planning Ahead: Chantilly Cream can be refrigerated for several hours. It will lose a little of its thickness as it sits. The water separates and sinks to the bottom. The amount this happens depends on the variety of cream you are using. Before serving, lightly whisk it to bring it back to its original consistency. Always keep Chantilly Cream covered with plastic wrap. Cream absorbs other flavors easily.


Buy the Book!


A Passion for Desserts
by Emily Luchetti
Chronicle Books
192 pages with color photographs thoughout
$35.00 hardcover
ISBN: 0-8118-3178-7
Recipe reprinted by permission.


A Passion for Desserts



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This page originally created October 2007 and modified October 2007 Arrow to Top