The milk fat content in cream helps guide you in the kitchen. Below is a guide to choosing the right cream for the job.
Over 45% milk fat
The higher milk fat content in thick, double or rick creams makes it ideal for:
- Dolloping on the side of a dessert of dish - it also holds its shape well so looks good too
- An accompaniment to dessert, puddings and soups.
- Combined into hot dishes for added richness.
Creams with more than 45% milk fat easily over-whip to produce an undesirable buttery texture.
35% milk fat
The milk content in pure, whipping or sour creams makes them ideal for:
- Adding to sauces, soups, vegetable gratins, quiches and custards. To avoid it separating only reduce by about ⅓ and use a vegetable gum based thickened cream as it's more stable when heated.
- Pour pure cream over desserts, use in reduction or pasta sauces - or added to milk based cocktails like a pina colada!
- Cream has a light airy texture when whipped making it ideal for cake fillings, mousses, ice-creams and cheesecakes. Cream reaches its optimum whipping consistency 72 hours after production as it thickens with age. For the best results, chill the bowl and beater in the freezer at around 5°C before whipping the cream. It should double in volume at this milk fat percentage.
- Substitute sour cream for milk and butter in scones.
18% milk fat
This lighter milk fat content earns this group the title of 'lite'; usually a thickened or sour cream variety ideal for:
- sauces, soups, drinks and desserts
These lower-fat creams are not as stable and will lose volume on standing or may not whip at all.
For more recipe ideas using cream, visit The Dairy Kitchen.