Types of Dairy Cream
Cream comes from centrifuging milk when it is collected from dairy cows. There are many different types of cream that can be used in cooking and baking.
Double cream is really thick and dense and is easy to whip. However, you should not whip it too much or it will become very thick and almost like butter. It is perfect for adding to hot foods and is used in recipes for sauces and deserts and as a topping. It has a butterfat content of about 48% and does not contain any thickening agents.
Pure cream has a fat content of about 40% and does not contain any thickening agents either. It comes in cartons and you can pour it right from the carton into your ingredients without having to do any whipping.
Thickened cream contains additives such as gelatin, vegetable gum or other thickening agents. These additives make it easy to whip and it will not curdle during the whipping process. It is commonly used in cake fillings, ice cream and cheesecakes.
Clotted cream is a yellow cream made by heating unpasteurized milk and letting it cool in shallow pans for several hours. The cream comes to the surface and forms clots. It is great when served on warm scones or served in tea.
Sour cream involves adding a culture to the cream, which is then heated to about 20ºC for 12 to 14 hours. It contains from 16% to 21% fat and is mainly used as a condiment for foods such as baked potatoes, although there are baking recipes that call for sour cream. In spite of its name, it doesn’t really taste sour. Crème Fraiche is a type of sour cream that has a more bitter taste.
Whipped cream is the alternative to double cream in North America. It contains about 30% fat. It is cream that is easy to whip and in some cases confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar) is added to make the cream stiff.
Canned cream is packaged in tins and needs to be shaken or whipped to make it thick. It is used as a topping for desserts or as one of the ingredients in some baking recipes.