S’mores Icebox Cake

Happy National S’mores Day! Isn’t it insane how there’s a day for everything?!?! Today is also National Lazy Day so if you feel like doing nothing you have a decent excuse. And if you want to prepare yourself for tomorrow… August 11th is National Son’s and Daughter’s Day, National President Joke Day and National Raspberry Bombe Day. And if you are so incline to go further than that check out the National Day Calendar website. So, would you believe that even though I have been sharing s’mores related desserts on my blog for the past couple of years I had never had a s’more until this past weekend? I can’t really say why, maybe it’s because I have never been camping, but, that’s not a good excuse. Truth is, I don’t care for marshmallows that much. But, after making this cake I realized that I like toasted marshmallows! I guess it’s like toasting bread, somehow it just tastes better that way.

Before assembling the cake I made ganache, chocolate whipped cream and marshmallow whipped cream. In case you are wondering at the moment and you can’t wait to get to the directions, to make the marshmallow whipped cream I roasted marshmallows in the oven under the broiler, let them cool and then whipped them with heavy cream. I am beginning to learn that you can make any type of whipped cream. I recently came across a recipe with coconut whipped cream using just the coconut solids from a refrigerated can of coconut milk. It’s essentially a vegan version of whipped cream, but, nonetheless I really want to try it.

Next, I assembled the cake. After lining a 9×5 loaf pan with plastic wrap – leaving an overhang on the long sides – I placed a single layer of chocolate graham crackers along the bottom. Breaking the pieces as necessary. Now, I am sure if you want more of an “authentic” s’mores flavor you could swap out the chocolate graham crackers for honey (or cinnamon) flavored ones. Truth be told, these chocolate graham crackers aren’t available everywhere. And did know they make vanilla ones now? I am really hoping this isn’t going to become like M&M’s or Oreos where there are more flavors than you can name or remember. Back to the cake though… Once I had a layer of graham crackers I then spread half of the marshmallow whipped cream over them and drizzled it with a few tablespoons of the chocolate ganache.

I repeated the layers again this time with the chocolate whipped cream, and then another with the marshmallow whipped cream and one last one with the chocolate whipped cream. Finally, I topped it with a layer of the graham crackers. I folded the overhanging plastic wrap over the cake and refrigerated it overnight. I also placed the remaining ganache in the fridge as well. And, I placed 2 whole graham crackers in a Ziploc bag and crushed them with a rolling pin until they were fine crumbs.

The next day, before removing the cake from the fridge, I heated the ganache in the microwave until it was pourable and let it cool for an hour. I also cut 9 marshmallows in half and placed them on a greased baking sheet in a tight 3-by-6 rectangle and broiled them until they were toasted and bubbling. I also let this cool for an hour.

To finish the cake, I inverted it onto a platter and then pressed the chocolate crumbs onto the sides of it. I poured the leftover ganache over the top and spread it into a thin layer – allowing the excess to fall over the sides of the cake. And finally, I removed the marshmallow rectangle from the baking sheet and placed it on top of the cake. And there you have it, a S’mores Icebox Cake.

And you can see after slicing it the layers were distinct. This cake was a hit… especially those roasted marshmallows. My favorite part! I think if I make this again I will opt to use the honey or cinnamon graham crackers just so that the chocolate isn’t the focal point of the cake.

Here are some more s’mores related desserts:

S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

S’mores Brownies 

Malted S’mores Ice Cream

 

S'mores Icebox Cake

Ingredients:

4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

24 marshmallows

3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

16-18 whole chocolate graham crackers

unsalted butter, for the baking sheet

 

Directions:

Preheat the broiler.

Make the ganache: Put the chocolate in a small bowl. Bring 1/2 cup of heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes until stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Butter a baking sheet, then arrange 15 marshmallows on the baking sheet. Broil until toasted and bubbling, 30 second to 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

Combine 1 cup heavy cream, the cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form.

Combine the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and the broiled marshmallows in another medium and beat with a mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Don’t worry if bits of marshmallow remain.

Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 4-inch overhang on the long sides. Line the bottom of the pan with a single layer of chocolate graham crackers, break the crackers to fit as needed. Spread half of the marshmallow mixture over the graham crackers and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the chocolate ganache. Repeat this step, but using the chocolate whipped cream instead of the marshmallow one.  Repeat again using the marshmallow whipped cream and then finally the chocolate whipped cream. Top with a layer of graham crackers and then wrap the overhanging plastic wrap over the cake and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Crush the remaining graham crackers into finely ground crumbs by placing them in a resealable plastic bag and rolling them with a rolling pin, set aside. Place the remaining ganache in the refrigerator.

About an hour before serving preheat the broiler. Warm the reserved ganache in the microwave until pourable and set aside for an hour to cool. Butter a baking sheet and cut the remaining 9 marshmallows in half and arrange them on the baking sheet in a tight 3 x 6 rectangle – the marshmallows should be touching. Broil until toasted and bubbling and then let cool for an hour.

Invert the cake onto a platter, discard the plastic wrap and press the graham cracker crumbs onto the sides of the cake. Pour the ganache over the cake and spread into a thin layer letting the it drip down the sides. Finally, remove the toasted marshmallow rectangle in one piece and place on top of the cake.

Recipe from Food Network

Black Forest Cupcakes

So, I had never baked with cherries before until this Cherry Pie and here I am making another sweet treat with cherries… Black Forest Cupcakes. With chocolate, cherries & whipped cream how could they not be delicious!

I began by making the cherry filling. Unfortunately this isn’t the most appetizing looking picture of the cherry filling, but, it definitely tasted whole a lot better than it looked.

While the cherry filling cooled in the refrigerator I made the cupcakes.

And once the cupcakes and the filling had cooled I cored the cupcakes and filled them with the cherry filling.

And finally, I topped them with whipped cream frosting, some chocolate shavings and a cherry.

Surprisingly these cupcakes were incredibly light and not overly sweet.

 

Black Forest Cupcakes

  • Servings: 15 cupcakes
  • Print

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cupcakes:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons milk*

*I used 2% milk

 

Cherry Filling:

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

2 tablespoons water

1 2/3 cups pitted and quartered cherries

 

Whipped Cream:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

chocolate, for grating

cherries, for topping

 

Directions:

Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cupcake pan with liners.

Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended.

In a separate bowl combine the vanilla extract, water and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Add this to the sugar mixture and beat until combined.

In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternating with the milk. Add half of the flour mixture, then all of the milk and then the remaining flour mixture, mix until the batter is smooth.

Fill the cupcakes liners about 3/4 way (about 1/4 cup) and bake for 15-17 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool a few minutes in the pan and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Cherry Filling:

Combine the sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Heat until the sugar begins to melt

Add the cherries and stir to coat them with the sugar mixture. Cook the mixture until the cherries begin to soften and they let out their juices.

Remove from the heat once the juice has begun to thicken. Pour the mixture into another bowl and refrigerate until cool.

 

Once the cupcakes and the cherry filling has cooled remove the centers of the cupcakes using a cupcake corer or a knife and fill the centers with the cherry filling.

 

Whipped Cream:

Add the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract to a large bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Pipe swirls of the whipped cream on top of the cupcakes. Then top them with grated chocolate and a cherry. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe from The Cake Blog

White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu

Out of all the desserts I’ve made I think Tiramisu has been my favorite. In all honesty though, it’s always been one of my favorite desserts. Today, I’m bringing you a twist on the classic Tiramisu, a White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu. And now is the perfect time to make it with berries, including blackberries, being in-season.

To begin I soaked ladyfingers in a mixture of orange juice and blackberry liqueur and arranged them in a 11×7 inch baking dish. Don’t let the ladyfingers soak up too much of the liquid, you don’t want them to become mushy.

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Next, I melted white chocolate in a double boiler. I don’t own an actual double boiler, so, I created my own by simmering water in a pot and then placing a heat-proof bowl over the water without touching it. Once the chocolate had melted I let it cool slightly and in another bowl I beat cream cheese, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar until creamy. I then stirred in the melted white chocolate. In another bowl, I beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks formed and took 1 cup of the whipped cream and folded it into the cream cheese mixture. And finally, I spread half of this mixture over the ladyfingers.

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On top of the cream cheese mixture I laid an even layer of fresh blackberries which I pressed lightly into the cream cheese. I then dipped the remaining ladyfingers into the orange juice / liqueur mixture and placed them on top of the blackberries.

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With the remaining cream cheese mixture I added in more confectioners’ sugar and then folded in the remaining whipped cream and spread this over the second layer of ladyfingers. To top it off, I melted a few tablespoons of blackberry preserves and combined it with a tablespoon of the blackberry liqueur and then drizzled it over the tiramisu and then topped it with some fresh blackberries.

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And after chilling for a few hours it was time to dive in…

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And it was delish… Sweet, but just sweet enough!

 

White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu

Ingredients:

2/3 cup orange juice

1 tbsp. blackberry liqueur

24 ladyfingers

6oz. white chocolate, chopped*

8oz. brick cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup Confectioners’ sugar, divided use

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

2 cups fresh blackberries, divided use

 Garnish

3 tbsp. melted blackberry preserves

1 tbsp. blackberry liqueur

*I used 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips

Directions:

Combine orange juice and liqueur in a shallow bowl. Dip half of the ladyfingers in the orange juice mixture – a quick dip will suffice – and line the bottom of an 11×7 inch baking dish.

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler you can create one yourself by simmering water in a pot and placing a heat-proof bowl over the water without allowing it to touch the water. Once melted let the chocolate cool for a few minutes.

In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese along with the vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of the Confectioners’ sugar until creamy. Stir in the melted chocolate and let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes.

In another bowl beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and spread half of it over the ladyfingers. Lay about 1 1/2 cups of the fresh blackberries over the cream cheese mixture, pressing down slightly.

Dip the remaining ladyfingers into the orange juice mixture and arrange them over the blackberries.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of Confectioners’ sugar to the remaining cream cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread this mixture over the second layer of ladyfingers.

In a small bow mix together the melted preserves and liqueur and drizzle over the top of the tiramisu. And finally, top the entire thing with the remaining blackberries.

Chill 3-5 hours and Enjoy!

Recipe from Better Recipes.

Tres Leches Cake

Pardon my blogging hiatus… Maybe another day I will explain, but for now, in honor of Cinco De Mayo I’m bringing you a super simple, a tad bit sweet but perfectly textured Tres Leches Cake. Many versions of this cake can turn into a mushy wet mess thanks to the tres leches (three milks) the cake is soaked in – heavy cream, evaporate milk and condensed milk. But this one holds together perfectly and you’re not left feeling as though you’re eating a cake pudding but an actual cake.

I began by making a sponge cake. In a medium bowl I whisked flour along with baking powder and salt. In the bowl of my stand mixer I combined 3 eggs with sugar and vanilla extract and beat them on medium-high speed until the mixture was light and fluffy. I then added in half of the flour mixture at low speed, then gradually added in whole milk and finally the remaining flour. After pouring the batter into a 9×13-inch buttered dish I baked it in a 350F preheated oven for about 25 minutes.

I let the cake cool for about a half hour and then poked holes in it with a fork and then poured the three milk mixture over the cake.

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After letting the cake sit overnight in the fridge, the following day I enjoyed a piece with some strawberries and whipped cream. One word for this dessert… YUM!!!  

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Tres Leche Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 12oz. can evaporated milk

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves (about 1/8 teaspoon ground)

1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9×13 inch glass dish with non-stick spray (or lightly butter). In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the eggs, sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy – about 10 minutes. Switch the mixer to low speed and add half of the flour mixture, then gradually add in the milk and finally the remaining flour mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back to the touch. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes.

While the cake is cooling, in a medium saucepan whisk the heavy cream with the evaporated milk, cinnamon stick and cloves and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.

In a heatproof bowl, combine the condensed milk with the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Strain the steeped cream mixture into the condensed milk and stir to combine and let cool for 20 minutes.

With a fork, poke holes all over the cake and gradually pour the milk mixture over the entire cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Serve with strawberries and/or whipped cream.

Recipe from Food & Wine

Tiramisu

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts and I have tried making it quite a few times in the past and have always been unsuccessful. I think it was partly because I hadn’t honed in on my baking skills and whenever I would go to buy ladyfingers I could never find them. In case you were wondering, ladyfingers are an egg-based biscuit roughly shaped like a large finger. Well, this time I had the ladyfingers on hand after coming across them at the supermarket on sale and buying them in anticipation of making this dessert. I was determined to master this favorite dessert of time and not to toot my horn, but, I think it’s one of the best desserts I have ever made.

Before assembling the tiramisu I had some prep work to do. I began by whisking egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan until they were well blended. I then added in whole milk and cooked the mixture over medium heat until it began to boil. After removing it from the heat I let the mixture cool slightly and then covered and refrigerated it for an hour. After removing it from the refrigerator I blended in mascarpone cheese until it was smooth. In another bowl I beat whipped cream and vanilla extract until stiff peaks formed. And in a third bowl I combined room temperature coffee with Kahlua.

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Using an 8 x 11 inch dish I made the first layer of the tiramisu and then topped it with another. After arranging ladyfingers that I soaked in the coffee and Kahlua mixture I topped it with the mascarpone mixture…

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Then the whipped cream mixture…

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And finally dusted the top with unsweetened cocoa powder. I then covered it and refrigerated it overnight.

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And then the next day it was time to enjoy it and enjoy it I did! It was incredibly light and the ladyfingers while crisp beforehand absorbed the coffee/Kahlua perfectly as well as the mascarpone mixture that was directly spread on top of them. I have finally mastered one of my favorite desserts and will definitely be making it again sooner rather than later.

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Tiramisu

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup whole milk

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound mascarpone cheese

1 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature

1/4 cup Kahlua

2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies (24 cookies)

unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

 

Directions:

In a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined. Whisk in the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to boil. Boil for one minute then remove from the heat and cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for one hour. For best results transfer to a Tupperware with a tight fitted lid.

In a medium bowl combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form.

After one hour remove the egg mixture from the refrigerator and beat in the mascarpone until the mixture is smooth.

In a small bowl, one large enough to lay the ladyfingers in, combine the coffee and Kahlua. Dip the ladyfingers in the mixture for a few seconds and then arrange them in an 8 x 11 inch dish. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers and then half of the whipped cream over that. Repeat the layers with the remaining lady fingers, mascarpone mixture and whipped cream. Dust the top of the cocoa powder then cover with a sheet of parchment paper and then aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

 

Recipe slightly modified from Allrecipes

Key Lime Pie Revisited

I made Key Lime Pie for the first time last year when I came across the small limes while grocery shopping. I picked them up having only tried Key Lime Pie once and not caring for it and unsure how easy or difficult the pie would be to make. A quick call to friend and a Google search later let me know it wouldn’t be all that bad. And after my second tasting of Key Lime Pie I was hooked. Unfortunately key limes aren’t something that are readily available in my area throughout the year so I haven’t gotten to enjoy the pie since last year. Granted, I have seen key lime juice in the baking aisle of my local supermarket, but, I have a feeling that using the bottled juice just won’t taste the same as the freshly squeezed version. During a recent shopping trip I came across the limes once again and without hesitation I bought a bag and made another Key Lime Pie and just wanted to share the recipe with you all once again.

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Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

1 9-inch graham cracker pie shell

1/2 cup key lime juice (approximately 12 key limes)

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

4 egg yolks

Grated lime zest of one lime

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2) Whisk together the four eggs yolks until pale and fluffy

3) Gradually add in the condensed milk and continue mixing until the mixture becomes light and fluffy

4) Add in the lime juice and finally the lime zest.

5) Pour the filling into the graham cracker pie shell and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is set.

6) Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack and then cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

7) Decorate with whipped cream or save for serving and drop heaping spoonfuls of whipped cream on each slice.

 

Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Whip cream and sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add in the vanilla extract and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Rhubarb Cupcakes

Rhubarb… Those red celery-like stalks that you see in the supermarket during the spring time that you always wonder “what can I make with those?” The usual answer is pie. Recently I was at the supermarket and came across them while looking for raspberries and decided to pick up a pack unsure of what I was going to make with them and then I remembered a cupcake recipe I had seen in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes cookbook.

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Before whipping up the batter, I did a little prep work. I whisked together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set it aside and I diced up enough rhubarb for 2 cups.

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Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer I creamed together one stick of butter and one cup of sugar until it was pale and fluffy. And then added in two eggs one at a time and finally vanilla extract.

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Now it was time to incorporate the flour mixture, rhubarb, and sour cream into the butter mixture.

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With the mixer on low speed I added in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream and then folded in the diced rhubarb.

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Following that I divided the batter among lined cupcake tins and baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through.

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The cupcakes right out of the oven… I immediately transferred them to wire racks so they could cool completely while still in the pan.

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While these cupcakes were delicious all on their own, I decided to whip up a batch of whipped cream to top them.

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And dolloped a few of them with some added sweetness…

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These cupcakes were incredibly moist and fluffy… The way a perfect cupcake should be! After making these I am in no rush to try rhubarb pie.

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Rhubarb Cupcakes

Makes 16

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

2 cups diced rhubarb (about 1/2 pound)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of owl as needed. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until combined after each, Stir in diced rhubarb.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tine to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

 

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. I usually place the whisk attachment for the mixer and bowl in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes prior to making the cream.