If you love rich food, then chances are that you love cream and the thicker the better. So, is double cream the best of the bunch?
Double cream is produced when the butterfat is skimmed off the surface of cow’s milk. It is very rich, made up of at least 48% fat.
That makes it a wonderful cooking ingredient. It gives any dish, from sauces to puddings, that indulgent taste and silky texture thanks to the very high fat content.
Its high fat content not only means that it tastes delicious, but it also means it can endure being boiled, whipped and frozen.
However, beware overdoing it – double cream is so rich that it is easily overwhipped making it too thick before it turns grainy and begins to separate. Keep going and it will become butter.
Most Australian supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths stock double cream, but make sure you don’t get it mixed up with other types of cream – each one has its own distinct properties.
And if you can’t track any down, worry not. You can actually make it yourself by pouring 1/3 cup of butter into ¾ cup of whole milk. Simply melt the butter, let it cool, pour into the milk and then whisk until thick.
But with so many different types of cream available, how does double cream stand out from the rest?
Double cream vs thickened cream
Although still heavy, thickened cream doesn’t quite pack the same punch as double cream because it has a minimum fat content of just 35%. However, it still makes a great whipping cream and can be used in cooking in much the same way.
Double cream vs cooking cream
Cooking cream is lighter than both double and thickened cream. It has been developed specifically for cooking and so heats well without curdling, resists splitting and thickens rapidly. As a result, it is ideal for use in dishes like curries, casseroles and pasta sauces.
Double cream vs dollop cream
The name says it all – dollop cream is perfect for plopping onto a pie or dessert. It is so supremely indulgent that it doesn’t even need to be whipped like double cream to give it that thick texture. However, its extreme thickness makes it a little less versatile.
Double cream vs single cream
Single cream is relatively thin cream with a lower fat content than other creams at about 18%. That means there's no point trying to whip it or boiling it as it will curdle. Instead use it as a pouring cream.