Dairy 101 | Heavy Cream? Half and Half? Know your Dairy!

I once asked a friend to pick up a carton of whipping cream at the store. She brought me a box of Dream Whip Whipped Topping Mix. To help you know the difference…

Dairy 101

Cream is the thick, creamy fat that rises to the top of milk. The different types of cream are classified by the amount of fat they contain.

Heavy Whipping Cream (also known as Heavy Cream) contains no less than 36% fat, while Whipping Cream is made up of at least 30% fat Both can be used to make whipped cream and they can more than double in volume when whipped. The extra fat will give your whipped cream its full, fluffy texture. It’s important that your cream is well-chilled before whipping. If it’s not cold, it won’t whip.

Half and Half is a mix of equal parts whole milk and cream. It contains at least between 10-18% fat. It’s most often used in beverages and does not have enough fat content to whip. You can save a few calories and fat by substituting half and half for cream in most recipes without any ill effect.

Clotted Cream is traditionally served with afternoon tea and scones in England. You may see it on shelves as Devon or Devonshire Cream. It contains between 55-60% butterfat, which makes it so thick that it doesn’t need to be whipped. It’s made by heating milk until a layer of cream forms on the surface. The milk is cooled and the cream is scraped away.

Table Cream (also known as Light Cream) is usually reserved for baked goods, soups or coffee. Its fat content ranges between 18-30%.

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