Always have heavy cream in your fridge: Everyday Tip #2

I'm all for delicious things, and heavy cream makes everything delicious.  So obviously you should always have it on hand. True, it's perishable, but once you get started you'll find easy ways to use it up. It's super practical, and did I mention, delicious making?

What can you do with a little carton of heavy cream? Tons! Let me count the ways.

ADD A WHISK you get

...WHIPPED CREAM

-- There's no need to buy cool whip and other imitation whipped cream, when all you need to have whipped cream is the ability to whip it. (Whip it good!) (Sorry.) You don't have to bring out your industrial strength mixer to enjoy whipped cream. Just use a manual whisk if you're only making a small amount of whipped cream, use a handheld frother, or pour what you need in a lidded jar and shake. Add sugar/vanilla/chocolate powder/liqueur whatever you like to taste. It's as easy as it sounds.

Just don't shake for too long or your whipped cream will turn into something else. Something equally delicious.

BUTTER and BUTTERMILK

-- If you keep shaking you'll eventually get butter. REALLY. It's almost magical. You actually get butter and buttermilk, so it's even more amazing. Here's a great visual tutorial for "making" butter and buttermilk. (You don't really make butter -- it's more like you're releasing the butter from the buttermilk.) Cool, huh? When you buy heavy cream, you're actually getting three products in one. Frugal! And delicious.

ADD COFFEE OR TEA you get

...HEAVEN IN A CUP

-- simply pour a bit in instead of milk or half and half. Or, for coffee, whisk a small amount by hand with some sugar (it only takes a minute for your cup of coffee -- I use the same mug I'll be drinking the coffee in).

 ADD CHOCOLATE CHIPS you get

...CHOCOLATE GANACHE 

-- When you heat up cream and pour it over chocolate shavings or chips, you get ganache. You know those bakery cakes with the beautiful and shiny chocolate covering? The fancy european ones? They're covered in ganache. Ganache is the easiest thing to make. There's no science to it, all you do mix hot cream and chocolate -- the better the chocolate, the better your ganache. Start with a 50/50 split between chocolate and cream but you can experiment with portions -- the more chocolate you add, the stiffer it will be when it cools.

...or TRUFFLES

Here's another fancy treat that couldn't be easier (or cheaper to make). You know chocolate truffles, right? All they are is chocolate and heavy cream. SERIOUSLY.

The recipe is basically the same as the ganache recipe, except that the ratio of chocolate to heavy cream is about 2/3 chocolate and 1/3 cream. You heat up the cream and pour it over your good quality broken up chocolate, stir until smooth. Then you put in the fridge for about an hour so that it hardens. Then you scoop out teaspoon-sized chunks, roll it into a ball, and coat in whatever you want (chocolate powder is traditional, but you can roll in in nuts/powdered sugar/candy -- whatever your hear desires). Then they go back in the fridge. That's it!

Oh, of course, you can add liquor to the mixture to taste. Easy.