Adding in this tangy workhorse of the dairy world gives whipped cream some extra body and flavor. It's another way of stabilizing whipped cream for a big party where it might be sitting out for a while in a warm room. You get the body of a heavier, sweeter icing, but the lightness of whipped cream.
The stiffness and stability comes from the cream cheese, so you hardly have to add any sugar, which can make a refreshing change in a topping for an intense cake or sweetly filled tart. This pipes like a dream but, again, stays soft and light like plain whipped cream.
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
yields about 5 cups
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
2 cups whipping cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar (or to taste)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whip the cream cheese in a small bowl until soft and aerated. In a larger bowl whip the cream until it forms soft peaks that collapse. Scrape in the cream cheese and continue whipping on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Beat in the sugar and vanilla.
Keep refrigerated. This will stay stable and stiff but still have the soft look of whipped cream.