Whipped Coconut Cream

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Introduction and Discussion

First, make sure you've got an electric mixer of some sort. You could do this work manually, but it's a lot of work, and not something I'd recommend. For my experiments, I used a KitchenAid mixer with the whisk attachment, set to the highest speed I could manage without spraying the immediate area with coconut cream (a setting of about 8 out of 10).

For whipped coconut cream, find the highest fat coconut cream or milk you can. In my area, look at the cans of (non-light) coconut milk or creme. Look at the ingredients and the nutritional information. For a reference number (of which you want to select the highest value), take the listed grams of Total Fat, and divide it by the serving size (usually in ml). For rough calculations like these, as long as you're comparing similar food items, assume 1 ml = 1 g. Likely it's lighter than that, but for comparing the fat content of two different brands of canned coconut cream, it'll do. The best I managed was 17.5g in an 80ml serving size. So I divided 17.5 by 80, and got 0.21875, or approximately 22% fat. Other brands and styles managed 20% or 18%, but I settled on the 22% because I wanted to emphasize the fat and make whipping it easier.

Method

The next step is to separate the cream from the rest of the fluids. For this, a chemist might use, assuming everything was liquid, a separation funnel. As a home cook, you don't need to bother with that. If the fat part of the coconut cream you have is liquid, let the can sit undisturbed on the counter or in the fridge for a couple of hours. Then, over a bowl, you can open the top fully, and then punch a hole in the bottom (with the same can opener), and drain the less fatty fluids (less white) into the bowl. Stop the hole and then pour the separated cream into another container without a hole in the bottom. If instead your cream is solid or semi-solid, scoop it out from the top until you reach the other, separated fluids. You can drink or use the non-cream fluids for other purposes. In the cans I used, about 2/3 of the contents were the cream I wanted. I like coconut milk, so I just drank the other 1/3.

Now that the cream is separated, you can start whipping it. Put it in your mixing bowl and start the mixer mixing. Try to set the highest speed you can without spraying the cream all over the kitchen. I set mine to a speed of 8 (out of 10). And let it go. It will take a longer time than you think. Mine started showing body and peaks started forming and staying around 5 minutes of whipping.

Some people also like sweetened whipped cream. If you add solid sugar, consider dissolving it in water, but use as little water as you can. You just went to a lot of trouble to remove extra watery liquids, so try not to add too much at this stage.

For a single can of coconut cream, I added 1 tsp of sugar, dissolved in a further tsp of hot water.

Reference Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 13.5 fl oz (400 ml) can of highest fat coconut cream or coconut milk you can find (my brand: Chaokoh Coconut Cream, has 17.5g per 80ml serving - approx 22%)
  • 1 tsp of any 1:1 substitute real sucrose/glucose sugar-based sweetener, to taste (Mine: brown coconut nectar sugar)
  • Water

Equipment:

  • Stand Mixer with whisk attachment (mine: KitchenAid)

Method:

  1. Chill can of coconut cream in fridge. (Optional) Chill mixing bowl in fridge or freezer.
  2. Open top of can and then, over a bowl, punch a hole in the bottom of the can. Let the liquids drain out of the can, out from under the cream (which should be separated and relatively solid).
  3. Dissolve 1 tsp of sugar in 1 tsp of hot water and put it in the mixing bowl.
  4. Make sure whisk attachment is on the mixer. Scoop or pour the cream from the can into the wisking bowl.
  5. Start mixing.
  6. If you stop at soft peaks, the whipped cream may separate with time or warming up.
  7. If you stop at harder peaks, it should hold, but the texture may not be as pleasing.
  8. Store in fridge indefinitely. It should be very mildly sweet.

Storage and Stability

Once you start to get peaks, let the mixer go as long as you like, shooting for whatever texture you'd like. Once that's finished, and you've taste tested for any sweeteners you've added, you can transfer the bowl contents to a mason jar, cap it, and store it in the refrigerator. For me, it kept well until I used it up.