Strawberries and Home Made Whipped Cream go perfectly together, especially when you add creme de cacao and brandy to the mix. Just like a Brandy Alexander.
Who is Brandy Alexander?
Ha! OK first off, hello, friends! How are you? A Brandy Alexander is a cocktail made of brandy (or cognac), creme de cacao and heavy cream shaken with ice and and served in a chilled coupé or martini glass. It’s actually one of my favorite winter cocktails because it’s perfect for filling your belly while you sit by the fire.
Why is it called a Brandy Alexander?
No one really knows for sure who invented it, but the first time it appeared in print was as a gin Alexander made by bartender Troy Alexander of NYC in 1915. Someone then had the brilliant idea to swap gin with brandy or cognac and the rest is history. It kind of blew up in the 70s and everyone and their mother’s were drinking it. Actually at this point I think it’s everyone’s mothers. My mom likes to say that was her favorite cocktail back in the day.
So what we are going to do is bring all the flavors from this heavy winter cocktail and turn it into lovely spring treat. And what do you know? Strawberries are in season! I actually shot this in early May at the height of the season and everything was buy one get one free. OMG so many berries. So many berries. You can still catch the tail end of it, though.
So what we are going to do is make Brandy Alexander whipped cream from scratch.
Whipped Cream From Scratch?! Is It Hard?
It’s actually really easy to make your own whipped cream and it’s so much more delicate and delicious than the stuff you can comes out of a can. All you need is a kitchen aid stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
Simply affix the whisk attachment to the Kitchen Aid and listen for that oh so satisfying click. Next pour some heavy (aka whipping) cream into the bowl. Add some brandy or cognac, creme de cacao, powdered sugar, and turn it on to speed setting 6. Make sure you chill the bowl before hand for at least half an hour. Whip the cream until soft peaks form and the cream has doubled in volume. Do not over whip and do not go too fast. If you over whip the cream will come out too greasy.
How Did I Get 2 Times The Cream?!
Whipped cream is cream that is whipped. Duh. But why do we even do it? What’s the point? There’s an amazing book, written by food writer and gastronomist Harold McGee, called On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen. If you are at all interested in the “why” of food, you should pick it up. In it, he says this about whipped cream:
Whipped cream is an intimate intermingling of liquid and air.
When we whip cream we force air through the fat in cream. This rearranges the little globules of fat and makes dense cream into a fluffy treat that melts in your mouth and since we’re forcing air into the cream it makes whipped cream double in size compared to it’s liquid form.
To serve, and if you are feeling classy, put the whipped cream into a piping bag with a tip that resembles the tip of a store bought. Squeeze it out into a martini or coupé glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Dip a bright red, ripe, berry into the whipped cream and enjoy.
If you aren’t feeling classy, just stick your face in the bowl and eat up. #ScrewTheStrawberries #WorthIt
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This recipe requires a little something special. Here’s a list of what you will need: