The simple pleasure of infused cream

A pastry chef shares her technique

March 23, 2009

Whipped cream is a rich, dependable garnish for your favorite dessert. But once you’ve had it 10 or 20 times, it can become, well, a little uninteresting. Infused whipped cream, however, is not difficult to make, and can enliven even the simplest dessert.

As its name implies, infused cream is nothing more than cream that’s been infused with another flavor, such as tea, brandy, or espresso. Recently, Jehnee Rains, the pastry chef at Bluehour in Portland, Oregon — and a former pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California — showed us how to make Hazelnut-Infused Whipped Cream.

Use Jehnee’s infused cream to top such desserts as chocolate pudding, flourless chocolate cake, pear tart, or — in summertime — a simple bowl of berries.

Or try Rains’ delicious Espresso Panna Cotta and Tea Ice Milk, both creamy desserts that rely on a slightly different technique.

Here then is the how-to:

  1. Toast 2 tablespoons hazelnuts in a baking pan in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, and then rub off their skins. Chop the nuts in a food processor or with a knife.
  2. Heat 1 cup cream over medium heat until the cream is scalded but not boiling.
  3. Add the chopped nuts to the cream, cover the pan, and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes. Transfer the cream to a bowl and refrigerate it overnight.
  4. Strain the chilled cream into a mixing bowl through a fine-mesh sieve.
  5. Press the nuts with the back of a spoon to extract every last drop of the hazelnut-flavored cream.
  6. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar and whip the cream until soft peaks form.
  7. whipped cream
    Serve the freshly whipped cream atop your favorite chocolate dessert, apple pie, or pear tart.
There are 4 comments on this item
Add a comment
1. by asides on Mar 24, 2009 at 9:15 AM PDT

This looks delishious, will have to try when I next make elcairs, have been wanting to try something different. Last time I added a strawberry syrup that made the cream great with slices of fresh strawberry.

2. by cindy on Mar 24, 2009 at 11:48 PM PDT

Wow I love your pictures,
It makes the whole process so easy to understand,
Absolutely love it!

3. by ingrid on Apr 2, 2009 at 7:09 PM PDT

MMMM, thank you for the tutorial! I’m assuming you can use that technique with other flavorings.

4. by Karalie on Apr 3, 2010 at 1:38 PM PDT

mmmm. looks yummy!!

Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [ "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Dinner Guest

The gamification of cooking

Earning points

Most of the time with cooking and eating, the rules are clear.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Editor’s Choice