Do You Know Your Creams?

One look at the dairy section of any store and you’ll notice there are multiple types of cream. What do they all mean? Is double cream different from whipping cream? What about single cream? Then there’s clotted cream, as well.

The main difference between all of these options is the fat content and sometimes the way the cream is separated from the milk.

Single Cream

Single cream is made by letting whole milk sit until the fat has separated and risen to the top. The cream is then removed from the milk and this is your single cream. With roughly 18% fat, this cream is ideal for adding to your coffee or tea and is often used in recipes where you want extra creaminess, such as soups.

Double Cream

Double cream starts out the same way as single cream, but once the cream has separated, it’s set aside and allowed to separate again. The much richer double cream is then skimmed off the top and this is the double cream. It is quite thick, as it’s around 48% fat.

Double cream is perfect for whipping. You can use it to mix into soups, sauces, and drinks to give them a nice, rich flavour and texture.

Whipping Cream

Most people are familiar with whipping cream, as it is sold for whipping. The high fat content (36%) allows for air to become trapped within the mixture when it is whipped and once whipped, it should be around double the original volume.

Like other creams, whipping cream can be used in desserts, soups, sauces, etc. Once whipped, it’s wonderful atop fruit and puddings, or used to decorate cake.

Clotted Cream

Clotted cream is made by heating double cream slowly under gentle heat. A skin forms on the mixture and the cream separates from the whey, leaving a thick, clotted mixture that is around 55% fat.

The most common use for clotted cream is to top scones, often combined with jam, but you can use it for more. This tasty concoction may work in no-bake recipes, so it’s good in fudge and truffles, among other things. The rich flavour and texture make it quite popular around the world.

Créme Fraiche

Cream that has been slightly soured with bacteria, this unique cream is roughly 48% fat. However, thanks to the fermentation, it doesn’t curdle when added to hot food. It can be cooked in a wide range of soups and casseroles, as well as many other dishes. With a slight sour taste, it adds a little tang to any dish.

With so many options in creams, it can be confusing to choose the one you need. However, they each have their own special characteristics and are quite lovely to use in your cooking or meals.

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