coconut milk whipped cream

I’ve been doing a lot of research on molecular gastronomy lately. Not for any particular reason, just because the stuff you can create is really cool. Foams, spheres, vapors… basically, changing the texture of ordinary foods into something uncommon or surprising. This recipe isn’t really that crazy, but it does use xanthan gum, a thickener and stabilizer derived from bacteria that allows the coconut milk to be whipped into cream that has a similar but slightly lighter texture than dairy.  It can be found in the gluten free baking section of Whole Foods or ordered online.
To some extent I suppose this is the antithesis of “paleo,” but my thought is that if paleo cuisine can be elevated to a higher level using modern cooking techniques while still retaining its healthfulness, why not?

equipment:

  • iSi cream whipper
  • 2 N2O chargers

ingredients:

  • 1 can unsweetened full fat coconut milk, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar or other sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (a little of this stuff goes a very, very long way)

instructions:

  1. Pour the warmed coconut milk into a small bowl and slowly whisk in the xanthan gum until it is dissolved. If you don’t add it slowly, it may clump.
  2. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and stir.
  3. Pour into the iSi canister and charge with two cartridges. Shake for about 30 seconds, and then put in the fridge overnight.
  4. If you don’t put it in the fridge, it will come out as a foam. Perfectly usable and interesting (I could imagine doing something with lemongrass that would be phenomenal) , but not “whipped cream.”
  5. Before serving, shake the canister again until the liquid sloshy noise seems lessened.

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2 Responses to coconut milk whipped cream

  1. Barbara says:

    Does this work without the xanthan gum?

    • Ben says:

      It depends on the coconut milk you buy. If you use Taste of Thai, which I believe already has guar gum or some other stabilizer/thickener in it, it should definitely work. If you use a more “authentic” brand without any additives it may not. If you don’t have a whip cream canister, you can actually probably just put the coconut milk overnight in your fridge, assuming it’s quite cold, and then in the morning drain off the coconut water which separated and whip it with a hand mixer. Obviously you won’t get exactly the same texture and the ability to make little whipped cream spirals, but it works just as well. Sorry for the delay!

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