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A Simple Guide to the World of Cream

Chef Osama El Sayed

When we enter the dairy isle at our local grocery store we sometimes are in awe of how many types of cream there really are.
Who knew there can be so many different types of cream? 
Many recipes call for their own selection of cream, and better understanding their differences allows us to better choose.Let’s begin by understanding where cream comes from: Cream is obtained by skimming the top layer of butterfat from milk, and is then categorized by its fat content. The fat content is what primarily separates each type of cream, below is a description of different types of cream.

Half and half: half milk and half cream mixed together, with a fat content between 10-15%. It adds richness to milk, but is not thick enough to replace cream in recipes that call for cream. It will not whip like cream, either. We use this in some Ice Creams, Sauces for Pasta, and eggs.
Light cream: fat content between 18-30%, also known as coffee cream. Light cream will not whip, can be used to drizzle over puddings, in sauces and also as coffee cream.
Whipping cream: made specifically for whipping, contains 30-36% milk fat. Often contains stabilizers that help in ensuring the cream keeps and holds its form when being whipped. We can find this in recipes such as Kashta
Heavy cream: also called heavy whipping cream, has a fat content between 36-40%.
Between whipping cream and Heavy cream there are many similarities, for one whipping cream is a bit lighter and for that reason heavy cream will whip better and hold it shape longer. It is what is recommended in pastry fillings and toppings. 
 

 






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