Pumping the press up and down!
A couple weeks ago we posted this reader question on alternate uses for a French press. We were especially intrigued by one commenter's suggestion to use it for whipped cream, so we gave it a try! How did it work? Read on to see!
I get a little tired of pulling out (and cleaning) my big mixer when I just need a bit of whipped cream to top a dessert. Sometimes I just whip it by hand with a whisk, but I was intrigued by the idea of using a French press. I have an extra French press, and it can go straight in the dishwasher, so I thought, hey! Let's give it a try.
I filled the carafe about half full with heavy whipping cream, put on the lid, and pushed and pulled the filter up and down very quickly.
How did it work? Well, there were pros and cons. I was using a rather annoying French press, at least for this task. The handle didn't have a knob, and it was hard to pump up and down quickly. (It's a great French press, though; see my review of it here.) I also probably had a little too much cream in the carafe, so it was harder work pumping it full of air.
In the end, I worked the the French press for about five minutes, and the cream got thick and clotted, to the point where it would hold soft peaks. But it didn't get very stiff, and I needed a stiff whipped cream for this particular purpose. In the future I'll probably stick to my beaters, but it was good to know that this will work, in a pinch!
Related: Whipping Cream or Egg Whites: Soft, Firm, and Stiff Peaks - A Visual Guide
(Images: Faith Durand)