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Foams: An Introduction

First things first, we’ll focus on the most prevalent use of a whipped cream dispenser: foaming. There are many different types of foam that can be made with the device. This ranges from the relatively dense whipped cream to a wet, bubbly froth. As foams play such a large part in the general use of a whipped cream dispenser, this section will breakdown the different types of foams that can be created, how they are used in cuisine, recipe ideas, and more.

More than Just Cream

When hearing a name as specific as ‘whipped cream dispenser’, the initial thought is the device only exists for one purpose: whipping up cream. Yet names can be deceiving. In the same way a toaster can be used to reheat pizza or fry someone taking a bath, a whipped cream dispenser is multifaceted in its nature. This includes the whipping – or foaming – process.

Even when whipped cream is the primary focus, the dispenser isn’t only about transforming cream into a fluffy, cloud-like delight. It can also be used as an easy way to infuse the cream with a different flavour, creating a unique taste sensation in the process. This can be done with, say, any flavoured syrup. Plus with so many different syrups and other flavourings on the market, the taste combinations are virtually endless. Whether it’s the fruitiness of strawberry or the spice of cinnamon, whipped cream can be given an exciting additional element in an instant.

Aside from whipped cream and its affiliated creations, another popular use of the dispenser is to produce and enhance sauces. Now at this point the thought might be, ‘What’s the practicality of making sauce with a whipping dispenser?’ Well it again comes down to two things: versatility and simplicity. A sauce can be placed in the device for a spot of aeration, which will result in a fluffy and light texture. On the other hand, a heavier foam can achieve rich, hearty sauces. Pretty much any flavourful liquid can be transformed in this way. This gives an opportunity to create sauces or dips which are more adventurous than those lining supermarket shelves.

Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Meringues, milkshake froths, aerated soups – there are many different types of foams that can be produced with a whipped cream dispenser. More on those later.

The Foaming Process

Before delving too deep into the world of foams, let us break down the process behind their creation. While they are associated with modernist cuisine, foams have actually been around for hundreds of years. With that said, the introduction of the whipped cream dispenser not only helped to further popularise the foaming process, but also made it more accessible to the average Joe.

So how do foams come to fruition? Well without going into too much confusing scientific detail, foams can be generalised as structures which trap air into pockets or bubbles. In this sense they have a similarity to the formation of emulsions. An emulsion occurs once fat has trapped liquid (or vice versa) into a structure. As for the structure of foams, this can be formed with various things like water, fat, or proteins.

The product the foam is made from also helps to determine its texture. Yet that is only part of the story. Another element which determines the texture is the amount of liquid found within the foam. The size of the bubbles is also an integral component in dictating whether the texture is light, smooth, coarse, and so on.

As you would expect with the delicacy of foam, the integrity of their structure often doesn’t last. This is because when the air escapes from the foam – and from the bubbles which make up said foam – the structure collapses. However, this isn’t always the case. There are certain food items which are defined as “set” foams. These foams are ones which have become solidified, which means most – if not all – of the air has been removed before it can affect the structure.