In a small heatproof bowl slowly sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a layer method. Set aside for about 5 minutes allowing the gelatin to soften and absorb the liquid. This is called “blooming the gelatin”. After the gelatin has bloomed set the bowl into a larger bowl of very hot water for 1-2 minutes or until the gelatin has melted and become clear. With a teaspoon, check to see if all of the granules have dissolved by dipping the spoon into the mixture and looking at the back of the spoon. Remove the melted gelatin bowl from the hot water and allow it to cool at room temperature.
In a large bowl whip the cream and sugar just until traces of the whisk begin to show distinctly. Add the bloomed gelatin in a steady stream, beating constantly. Add vanilla or other flavoring and beat just until medium peaks form.
Stabilized whipped cream can be stored for up to 2 days refrigerated.