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Add cold cream to a chilled, wide and shallow bowl. Tilt one side of the bowl upward slightly with your hand and grasp a large balloon whisk in your other hand. Apply large, sweeping, circular strokes to the cream in a continuous, repetitive motion until the cream becomes thick. Once thickened, add sugar and vanilla while continuing to beat. (To relieve some of the pressure from your mixing arm, hug the bowl in toward your body as you continue to whip until you reach the desired consistency.)
Place cold cream in the chilled bowl and begin to beat with the chilled whip attachment. As cream begins to thicken, add vanilla and gradually increase the speed while adding the sugar in a steady stream. Beat until the cream is of desired consistency, checking the consistency frequently to avoid over-beating.
Use the whipped cream as desired and refrigerate leftovers in a covered bowl or secured in a pastry bag (with the tip in place) standing within a tall drinking glass.
You can fold 2 tablespoons melted chocolate into the already thickened cream. Or, reduce the vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon and, when adding to the cream, add 1 tablespoon of your favorite liqueur.