Dairy free whipped cream is easier than you might think and it has the added benefit of bringing a distinctively new flavor profile to any dessert. I prefer working with coconut milk to create my dairy free whipped cream.
Follow these fail safe tips to create your whipped coconut cream:
Use a can of coconut milk - do not use boxed coconut milk
Use full fat coconut milk.
Chill it overnight but DO NOT freeze
When you open the can DO NOT shake or tilt
Scoop out the hardened coconut milk solids and reserve for your recipe.
Chill your whisk and mixing bowl in the freezer for at least 10 minutes if not more.
Use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. DO NOT attempt to whisk by hand
Sweeten with powdered sugar (1/4 cup/can of coconut milk). You can substitute with honey or a natural sweetener but note that whenever you add a liquid you will reduce the ability of the cream to set.
If you choose to add natural sugar like coconut or sugar in the raw, grind it fine before adding and then add a table spoon of sifted cornstarch to the mixture.
Mix on medium high with a wire whisk for 4-5 minutes. Do not fret if the mixture still appears to be too watery.
Place in refrigerator for at least four hours before use.
If for some reason your coconut cream has not set firmly after this time you may have had the misfortune of using a "dud" can. At this point you have the option of using gelatin or agar agar to set it up. Use one teaspoon of gelatin powder bloomed in 3 teaspoons of coconut water for 10 minutes. Gently heat this mixture to allow gelatin to dissolve. Do not bring it to a boil. Cool slightly. place coconut cream in the mixer and whisk on medium while adding the gelatin. Continue whisking till thickened.
Use your whipped coconut cream to fold in berries and meringues to make a dairy free Eton Mess or top your mini pavlovas with this healthy alternative to whipped cream. Remember though that a little goes a long way- coconut cream is very filling! This is perfect for those mini summer desserts.