Double cream is a dairy product commonly used in the United Kingdom and Europe. This cream is really dense and thick, but whips up very easily, which is why it is a favorite for use in desserts and other foods. It is difficult to work with, though, because it separates if you beat it too much and it can become very stiff.
In the process of making double cream, the milk is centrifuged when it is collected. The centrifuging process allows for the easy extraction of various products. The longer the centrifuging process, the thicker the cream becomes, which results in double cream. The double cream is skimmed from the surface.
Double cream has a butterfat content of about 48%. This means it contains less fat that clotted cream, but it is denser than the creams usually called for in recipes used in North America. It works really well when you add it to hot foods because the fat content acts as a carrier, making it less likely to separate. This is why it is often used in making hot sauces and desserts such as crème caramel.
Whipping double cream for too long or at too high a speed will result in a mixture very similar to butter. You can add a few teaspoons of milk to the cream as you whip it to prevent this from happening. If you are using an electric mixer, make sure you have it at the lowest speed for the whipping process. You can freeze double cream for up to two months, but when you thaw it, you can only use it for cooking and not as a topping.