Which type of fresh cream should you use
Discover what creams are best to use for certain dishes.
Thin and light, suitable for pouring. Use in coffee, on cereals, in sauces and for dressings. Not suitable for whipping.
Fat content: 13% butterfat; 148 calories per 100g (3 oz)
Versatile cream that is thick enough for pouring. Extra-thick single cream has been homogenized to produce a spoonable cream that can be used as a topping for puddings and desserts. It is not suitable for whipping because of the fat content.
Fat content: 19% butterfat; 198 calories per 100g (3oz)
Made by adding lactic acid to pasteurized cream. This process results in a cream that is slightly thicker than single cream, with a refreshing but acidic flavor. Used in many dishes including dips, cheesecakes and baked potato toppings, and also for enriching soups, sauces and casseroles. Not suitable for whipping.
Fat content: 20% butterfat; 205 calories per 100g (30z)
Will double in volume if it is whipped correctly; also suitable for pouring. Use for piped decorations, or for folding into cold desserts to give a light texture; will not hold its shape on hot foods. Ready-whipped cream has added stabilisers to maintain the texture and often contains sugar, which raises the calories count.
Fat content: 40% butterfat; 373 calories per 100g (3 oz)
A cultured thick cream with a delicate trace of sourness. In France crème fraiche is the standard cream, used extensively in cooking. It keeps better than fresh cream: about 10-14 days in a refrigerator. Not suitable for whipping.
Fat content: 15-40% butterfat; 170-380 calories per 100g (3 oz)
Versatile cream which adds richness and texture to many dishes. Can be poured or whipped. It will turn to butter if it is overwhipped. Extra-thick double cream has been homogenized to make it thick for putting on puddings and desserts, but it is not suitable for whipping.
Fat content: 48% butterfat; 449 calories per 100g (3 oz)
Very rich, thick yellow cream traditionally associated with the West Country, made by gently heating thick cream. It spreads easily on scones, and is often served with puddings and deserts.
Fat content: 63% butterfat; 586 calories per 100g (3 oz)
Lower or reduced-fat creams
These low-fat creams are not available in single, double or whipping varieties. They are made from a varying blend of buttermilk, vegetable oils and butter and each type contains about half the fat of its full-cream equivalent. Low-fat creams keep well in the refrigerator because of their lower fat content. They are good for cooking and can be used in any recipe that requires cream.
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