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how to make whipped cream hearts

Perfect Cocoa with Whipped Cream Hearts

Winter and cups of cocoa go hand-in-hand in our house, and making your own is worth the little bit of extra effort it takes. Adding whipped cream cut-outs is a charming, special-occasion addition to an already delicious treat. You can modify the whipped cream as desired by adding sugar and/or vanilla to taste. The cocoa recipe makes one cup; multiply the recipe for as many cups as are needed.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar , divided
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (optional)

Instructions

For the whipped cream hearts

  1. Line a 9X11-inch baking pan with parchment paper so the paper drapes over two sides.
  2. Pour the cream into a large bowl and use an electric mixer to whip the cream just until it forms stiff peaks, adding 1 tablespoon of the sugar when you are about halfway there.
  3. Spoon the whipped cream into the prepared pan and spread it evenly until it is 1/2-inch thick. It won't cover the entire surface of the pan. Put the whipped cream into the freezer until frozen, at least an hour.
  4. Once frozen, remove the pan from the freezer. Hold on to two sides of the parchment to lift the cream out of the pan and set it on your work surface. Press a heart-shaped cookie cutter into the cream, and use a knife to carefully wedge it out. Cut out as many hearts as will fit. Work quickly, because the cream melts! Store the hearts in a single layer in a covered container in the freezer until ready to use. If any of the hearts crack along the way, piece them back together and refreeze.

For the cocoa

  1. Put the milk, cocoa powder, and remaining sugar in a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Whisk vigorously to incorporate the cocoa powder and sugar into the milk. Once the cocoa powder is mixed in, stir occasionally until the cocoa is warmed to your liking, being sure that the sugar dissolves. Add the vanilla and stir again.
  2. Pour into a mug, sprinkle the optional chopped chocolate over the cocoa, and top with a whipped cream heart.
  3. Serve immediately.