- Chill the bowl and whisk, either in the freezer (for about 10 minutes) or the refrigerator (for about 20 minutes).
- Pour the heavy cream in the bowl. If using granulated sugar, add it now.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft to medium peaks form. If using confectioner's sugar, add it now.
- You may wish to switch to a hand-whisk to continue beating the whipped cream to the desired stiffness. Or else use the electric mixer in short bursts, to avoid over-beating the cream.
- Chill whipped cream until ready to use. You can "refresh" it just before use by hand beating it for about 10-15 seconds.
I highly recommend reading through Bon Appetit's do's and don'ts of homemade whipped cream. It's a succinct guide of the common pitfalls of making your own whipped cream, tips on how to recover if you've misstepped, and what effects different ingredients have. Otherwise, I've simply copied the most common steps below for easy reference.
Part of the reason I started baking was because I like my goodies to be less obviously sweet - I want to taste the flavor, not just the sugar. So most of these recipes will have the sugar dialed down.