Happiness. Fluffy perfect whipped cream that is completely yummy and dairy-free. This coconut whipped cream is heavenly! Sweetened gently with maple syrup and flavored with vanilla extract, this is the perfect topping to go with pie, cake, berries – you name it!
I have made coconut whipped cream for several years now, and the thing I love about it is how incredibly rich and creamy it is, like dairy whipped cream. The thing I haven’t loved about it is how unstable it is – sometimes it works great for me, and other times, not so much. If you beat it too long, it deflates because coconut fat is so sensitive to heat, but if you don’t beat it long enough, it remains non-fluffy.
So, when I noticed a variety of other bloggers mentioning that they owned a ISI whipped cream dispenser and used it with coconut milk to make coconut whipped cream, I spent some time looking at all of the different models available on Amazon and I put it on the top of my mental wish list. Could this be the solution to my whipped cream woes, I wondered?
And then my husband totally surprised me by getting me one for Mother’s Day (the creative whip in stainless steel) , and I was thrilled! Of course, I am pretty sure that coconut whipped cream will help me be a better mother! 😉 I got out my rich and decadent coconut cream, sweetened and flavored it, and carefully followed the instructions for filling and gassing the ISI. And it worked for the first couple spurts and I was even more thrilled, and then it stopped working as well, and then I could only get watery cream to come out in spurts, and then I was so sad.
But after some sleuthing, I made a second batch that worked amazingly well, and I was thrilled again.
When I posted the above picture on Facebook, I heard from some of you that you had also had problems with getting coconut cream/milk to work in the ISI dispensers, so I thought I’d share what I found out and what worked for me. (And if you have any information or experience to share, please do!)
To have coconut whipped cream that works, it appears that for best results you need two important factors. But before we get to those, a quick word about models and sizes of the isi cream dispensers.
If you are considering buying one, I really do recommend getting the pint size. The cream (regular or coconut) will stay good for ten days in it, and at least right now, the pint is actually cheaper than the ½ pint size in the stainless steel model I have! Everyone who has gotten the ½ pint size says to buy the full pint. As far as what I see, there are four main lines to the isi whipped cream dispensers. There is the isi easy whip (currently $45.98 for 1 pint). Then there is the creative whip in stainless steel (what I have), which is $65.75 for the pint size, and it can be used for whipped cream or for savory foams, sauces, dips, soups, etc. And then there is the model that I see in a lot of the coffee shops use in our area, the Profi Whip (you can get it in one pint) . Or you can get 1 quart in the Gourmet Whip Plus line.
I think that the first two options would be sufficient for most home cooks, and I certainly love mine! I found it high quality and durable too. I think that these would be so, so easy to use with dairy cream, you just need a little knowledge to know how to use it to whip your coconut cream.
Now to the two important factors you need to get great coconut whipped cream.
Proper fat content: According to my isi instruction book, for fresh cream you need to have 36% or 33% fat content (for shelf stable cream it can be 32%). Top grade coconut milk can be up to a 20-22% fat content, which isn’t quite high enough. To remedy this you can do one of two things. You can refrigerate canned coconut milk for at least one day, or several days, and allow the cream to solidify at the top of the can. Scoop out the cream, and then you have a high fat content coconut cream that will whip up. OR, you can add fat (in the form of coconut oil, in my case) to up the fat content. The advantage to do so is that it’s cheaper. For example it costs me only $.56 to add 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil to a can of full fat coconut milk for a batch. Buying another can of coconut milk to scoop out the cream on the top can cost upwards of $3.36, so it is significantly more expensive. You can also buy coconut cream, which has a higher fat content, however, you will probably still need to refrigerate and skim the fat off to make it high enough. ( Thai Kitchen full fat coconut milk has 10 grams of fat per ¼ cup. Native Forest coconut milk has 14 grams of fat per 1/3 cup, and Aroy D coconut cream has about 19 grams of fat per 1/3 cup of coconut cream).
Step one is making sure you have enough fat content. Step two is making sure that your cream doesn’t separate very much.
When I made my first batch, I used Aroy-D’s coconut cream that I love because it is thick and creamy, BPA-free, and doesn’t use any preservatives or “gums”. The problem I had was that I didn’t skim it first, and because there was no additions to help keep the mixture from separating, like guar gum, it ended up separating in the isi container, and only the very liquid-y coconut water would come out, instead of the cream at the end. Not what I was looking for!
This was solved on my second batch as not only did I add fat to my can of coconut milk, but I also used a different brand that contains guar gum, a substance that helps the mixture from separating. This is even more important when you add coconut oil (or other fat) to the mixture, as the last thing you want to do is get coconut oil blobs on the top of the mixture. I mixed it together and put it in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight, just to make sure that wasn’t going to happen, and it didn’t! The guar gum kept everything together. If the coconut cream or coconut milk doesn’t already contain guar gum, you can actually add it yourself (probably about ½ teaspoon) or you can try gelatin (this is a brand I recommend), once again probably about ½ teaspoon per batch, though I need to test this out.
The two brands I recommend when using coconut milk would be Native Forest Coconut milk, full fat and unsweetened. This brand is BPA-free, which is great, but it’s not quite as creamy as Thai Kitchen. My local store was out of this brand when I was testing all of this, so I haven’t gotten the chance to try it out with my isi yet. I may need to add a little more oil to it, to make up for the slightly lower fat content. The brand I did use was Thai Kitchen’s organic full fat and unsweetened coconut milk. This brand is very creamy and wonderful, and has always been a favorite culinary-wise. It is not canned, however, in BPA-free cans, which has always bothered me. The company does say that it is “BPA safe” which I assume means that BPA isn’t leaking into the coconut milk, which would be good – I just need to clarify that with the company. Both of these brands contain guar gum.
This is the recipe I used
- 1 14 ounce can of Thai Kitchen full fat, unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, gently melted
- 1 ½ teaspoons of high-quality vanilla extract (gluten-free, if needed)
- ¼ cup of pure maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
- Whisk together well. Chill well, and then put in whipped cream dispenser, carefully following the instructions.
- This mixture can be chilled well, and then gently whipped for a soft, creamy "mousse" as well, if you don't have an whipped cream dispenser.
The next question I had was whether this mixture would work well in making whipped cream when not using a dispenser. I whipped up another batch, and let it chill for 12 hours. We found that it wouldn’t whip up as thickly as normal whipped cream, but it certainly got more fluffy and aerated. It kind of reminded me of a coconut mousse and we ate it with relish. I think it would work really well in a variety of ways (thinking layered desserts, and with berries, etc.), but it wouldn’t make perfect little whipped cream fluffs.
I am looking forward to trying new variations, such as using gelatin with my Aroy-d coconut cream, and seeing if that works. I’ll let you know how my future experiments go!
Meanwhile, if anyone has more information to give on this topic, I’d love to hear from you!
I love this gift so far because it allows my mostly dairy-free children (and me!) to enjoy a childhood favorite of mine, whipped cream! Yum!