Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Heavy Cream, Heavy Whipping cream, Light Cream, and Light Whipping Cream? Or been following a recipe that asks for a particular type of cream and wondered if you can use whatever is in your fridge instead?
Faced with a wall of cream products in various forms and names, it's hard not to be confused. This is complicated further by different countries calling different cream products different names. So here are the simple facts about cream...
The difference between the various types of cream available is defined by the fat content (sometimes referred to as the milk fat or butter fat). The higher the percentage of fat, the thicker the cream will be.
|Type:||Other Names:||Fat Content:|
|Half and Half||-||10-18%|
|Light Cream||Single Cream, Table Cream, Coffee Cream||18-30%|
|Light Whipping Cream||-||30-36%|
|Heavy Cream||Heavy Whipping Cream||36-40%|
Commonly asked Questions:
Most recipes will specify the amount before it is whipped.
The higher the fat content in the cream, the more prone it will be to curdling when heated to make a sauce. Heavy Cream can withstand being heated to high temperatures without curdling, so can be used in hot sauces. Just don't let it boil.
When using cream in a sauce with acidic ingredients, such as lemon juice or vinegar, heat the cream first until it has reduced by half, and then add the remaining ingredients for the sauce.
Over-beating cream until it becomes too thick and buttery is a common mistake. Before throwing it out and starting again, try adding unwhipped cream to the whipped cream, 1 tablespoon at a time whisking gently by hand until you get the right consistency.