What is cream | Cream definition cooking
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What is cream | Cream definition cooking

What is cream

Cream is a dairy product composed of the higher-butterfat layer skimmed from the top of milk before homogenisation. Should not to be mistaken for Creaming.
In un-homogenised milk, the fat, which is less dense, will eventually rise to the top.

If you are reading a recipe that is telling you to “Cream the ingredients”, it is referring to Creaming.

In many countries, cream is sold in several grades depending on the total butterfat content and has high levels of saturated fat.

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – Standard 2.5.2;
Defines cream as milk product comparatively rich in fat, in the form of an emulsion of fat-in-skim milk, which can be obtained by separation from milk.
It must contain no less than 350 g/kg of milk fat.

Cream Types in Australia & NZ

Manufacturers labels may distinguish between different fat contents, a general guideline is as follows:

  • Light Cream
    18–20% fat content
    This cream won’t curdle or separate during cooking.
    It’s great for pasta bakes and creamy soups.
  • Thickened Cream
    35–36.5% fat content
    Contains added gelatine and/or other thickeners to give the cream a creamier texture.
    Ideal for whipping, mousses or sponge fillings and not usually a good option for cooking.
  • Single Cream
    35% fat content
    Also called Pure cream or Pouring cream and contains no thickeners.
    It’s best for quiches and pasta sauces.
  • Double Cream
    48–60% fat content
    Also called rich cream and contains no thickeners.
    It’s ideal for dolloping on desserts, or stirred into hot dishes such as goulash for a richer flavour.

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