I would be lost without Chantilly cream. Generous dollops of it on a dessert that didn’t come out quite right can turn the dessert into a triumph. Served on the side. It can lighten an overly rich dessert. Use organic cream if you can find it, and stay away from ultrapasteurized cream, which is harder to whip to the perfect consistency. Always store Chantilly cream in the refrigerator, tightly covered. It picks up unpleasant odors easily.
Whisk the cream, sugar, and whichever vanilla you are using in a large bowl until soft peaks form. The cream should be thick but still satiny in appearance and never grainy.
Chantilly cream can be whipped a couple of hours in advance, covered, and refrigerated. It may become a little loose as it sits. Just before serving, whip briefly with a whisk.
© 2006 Emily Luchetti. All rights reserved.