Dairy Devilment: CREAM vs. Homemade Alcohol-Infused Whipped Cream
|CREAM: Chocolate and vanilla, $9.99/can.|
What's a lonely hobo, desperate hipster wannabe or unsocialized computer-bound geek to do for that alcoholic, caffeinated hit?
On Monday, Vickie disclosed the existence of CREAM, alcohol-infused whipped cream in a can, in Orange County. Today, she headed to Hi-Time Liquors in Costa Mesa and bought one can of vanilla flavor and one can of chocolate flavor.
Not to be outdone, I declared that I could make a better alcoholic whipped cream than could come from any can. I am, after all, a food snob with a cooking bent. While Vickie was buying cans of stuff, I came armed with a pint of Trader Joe's heavy cream, a bowl of vanilla sugar, and a bottle of bourbon. Two minutes later, I had alcoholic crème Chantilly.
|Our homemade version, left, versus the vanilla-flavored CREAM, right.|
The vanilla looks innocent enough. It looks like normal whipped cream when it comes out of the can and doesn't change color in mid-air, but the texture is more liquid than gel, and the vanilla flavor is not strong enough to overcome the strong chemical odor and taste of the grain alcohol. In fact, there was precious little vanilla flavor at all; it tasted like a cross between a can of Reddi-Wip and a can of Aquanet. Whipped cream shouldn't taste like hairspray.
Reaction around the office was more positive (for the most part) toward the homemade alcoholic cream, but it didn't come without its sacrifices. For fair comparison's sake, the two mixtures needed to be 30 proof (15% ABV). The only alcohol likely to be able to raise the proof to the required level without ruining the texture of the whipped cream was Bacardi 151º, and it took nearly 100 mL (almost 7 Tbsp.) of that liquor to "liven up" a pint of heavy cream.
|Vanilla-flavored CREAM with apple pie: Better.|
Is there a clear winner here? Yes. Homemade alcoholic whipped cream won handily; no one who tried the canned product liked it enough to request seconds, whereas the homemade cream was a popular choice, particularly atop a slice of apple pie. When you make your own, you can use a reasonable amount of liquor for flavoring.
|Ted the Ed. shows off his chocolate- and vanilla-laden coffee cup. Lucky him.|
Does that mean high-school kids won't try it? Of course they will, and some of them might even get drunk in the process; pity the parents who have to clean up after the inevitable acute esophageal reversals. A replacement for Four Loko, though, it certainly is not. Sorry, kids; back to drinking your parents' liquor and replacing it with water or flat Coke for you!
Thanks to OC Weekly editor Ted B. Kissell for being the guinea pig in what may be the most disgusting human experimentation ever done for Stick A Fork In It. We procured our CREAM at Hi-Time Wine Cellars, 250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa; (949) 650-8463; www.hitimewine.net.