Uh oh. Your recipe calls for heavy cream and you’re not sure—is that the same as whipping cream? This handy article should help you sort through all the terminology that’s used for cream.
Here are the creams commonly available in BC:
- 6% cream is often called light cream
- 10% cream is often called half-and-half and sometimes called cereal cream
- 18% cream can be called table cream or coffee cream
- 33-36% cream is whipping cream. Heavy cream has at least 36% milk fat
If you have recipes from the UK, you might see references to double cream. This is cream with 48% milk fat (MF), which is not available in BC. Use whipping cream instead.
In the UK, you’ll also see reference to single cream. This is equivalent to our 18% cream.
The term light cream can be especially confusing. In the US and Australia it means 18% cream. In Canada, light cream refers to a product with 5-6% milk fat. You can make your own light cream by blending milk with half-and-half.
Québec has a product called ‘country cream’, which contains 15% milk fat. If you are using a recipe that calls for country cream, you may substitute 18% cream.
What about crème fraîche? While this isn’t always easy to find, you can readily make this product at home. Mix 250 mL of whipping cream with 15 mL of buttermilk. Heat the mixture to 30° C (86° F). Let stand at room temperature until thickened (about 12–24 hours). Refrigerate.
Finally, you might come across recipes that call for clotted cream or Devonshire cream. Devonshire Cream is clotted cream made in the Devon region of England. Clotted cream is a thick, spreadable cream, the consistency of butter, with at least 55% MF. The cream is made by slowly heating and cooling a very thick cream. The heating imparts a nutty, sweet flavor to the cream. Specialty stores and some supermarkets in BC will sell this, usually under the label of Devonshire cream. Mock clotted cream can be made by combining either sour cream, mascarpone cheese or cream cheese with whipping cream.
Want to learn more about other dairy terms? Check out the Dairy Dictionary!
In a dairy pinch when cooking and baking? Learn about Dairy Exchanges with this handy chart.
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