Whipped cream is an easily made accompaniment that complements everything from fresh fruit to chocolate cake. A few simple steps will ensure that your whipped cream has great flavor and texture. "The most important thing is to start with great cream," says pepper_mil. "Heavy and whipping cream are both fine but many 'creams' have little flavour or have things added to make them smoother." Seek pasteurized, rather than ultrapasteurized, cream; "I think it makes the MOST difference in the final taste," says thimes. Very cold cream whips up best, and if your kitchen is very warm, chilling the bowl and beaters helps as well.
Be sure to stop whipping once the cream holds soft peaks, as it can quickly become overwhipped. If you overwhip slightly, adding a bit more cream and gently remixing can help, says jsaimd, but "if it is butter—then there isn't anything you can do." You can whip cream using the whisk attachment on a stand mixture, a hand-held mixer, or your own hand and a whisk. The key to whipping by hand is to relax your arm so it doesn't get tired, says jsaimd.
You can add sweetener and flavoring such as vanilla to the cream before you begin whipping or after it starts to thicken. Superfine and powdered sugars dissolve easily in whipped cream, but granulated sugar works well, too. "My not-really-a-secret trick is using almond extract instead of the usual vanilla," says eclecticsynergy.