Choosing the right type of cream


13 mins read

Cream is one of the most versatile ingredients for all foodservice bakeries and kitchens.

You can pour it into beverages, whip it to decorate cakes and desserts, and add it to hot dishes, like pasta sauces or soups.

Yet cream’s simplicity can be deceptive, with many different variants of this kitchen staple available to you. While all of these types of cream deliver its signature rich taste, they each have particular foodservice functions they’re better suited to.

  • Single cream: Single cream is a richer version of milk, with around 18% fat. It can be used for pouring or adding to coffee. Single cream won’t whip and will curdle if boiled.
  • Double cream: Double cream is thicker again, with approximately 48% fat. It’s ideal as a pouring cream (over fruit, for example) and it can be whipped and piped as a decoration for desserts. It also lends itself to adding richness and creaminess to savory dishes. Extra thick double cream is made by heating then rapidly cooling double cream, creating a heavier consistency.
  • Soured cream: Soured cream is treated with lactic acid, delivering a distinctive, tangy taste. While it has a thick texture, it only has around 18% fat content. Soured cream is great for making dips or for topping nachos. It’s also great folded into soups and sauces - however, it can’t be boiled, as it will split.
  • Créme fraîche: Créme fraîche is similar to soured cream but has a milder taste. It has around 48% fat, meaning it doesn’t curdle when cooked. Delicious served alongside fresh fruit and is also ideal for soups, casseroles, and dips.
  • Clotted cream: Clotted cream has the highest fat percentage of all creams, at 55%. It's made by baking double cream until a delectable crust forms on the surface. This silky, butter-colored cream is popular in the British counties of Devon and Cornwall, where it’s served with scones, butter, and jam.
  • Culinary cream: Culinary cream (or cooking cream) is specially formulated to hold high temperatures making it ideal for cook, chill and reheat applications such as sauces and soups.


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