When a Recipe Calls for Cream: Cooking Cream Explained

When a Recipe Calls for Cream: Cooking Cream Explained

The cream is the most smooth dairy product that melts in the mouth and gives a velvety texture with a sweet and flavorful taste.

Whether you are cooking Dukkah Baked Eggs for breakfast or Sweet Potato for dinner, using cooking cream can make the taste really delicious. 

A cooking cream does not whip like other creams do and has less fat as well. It also does not break when a dish is brought to boil and has a thin consistency so that it can be mixed well while stirring the soups, pasta sauce, or stews, etc.

You can always use cream whenever you want extreme sweetness and richness of taste. For example, you must have experienced having a delicious dark chocolate cheesecake with a ball of cream on one side. The sweet flavor of the cream normalizes the taste of cheesecake, making it more delicious to eat. 

This post will discuss all types of creams, composition, and percentage of fat in the cream. Not only that, but this post will answer everything about a cooking cream, why you can’t whip it, why it is so thin, what you can use as an alternative to it. So, let’s begin.

What is a Cream?

Many people say that cream is a dairy product that contains extreme fats, and they are not wrong either. You might have used cream from different companies and wonder why these differ from each other. Actually, different companies get this cream by using centrifuges. 

Within a centrifuge, milk is swiveled many times until the cream gets on the top and can be taken out easily.

After that, different companies pass this cream through a pasteurization process so that people will not get sick after having it.

Pasteurization is a process of heating and boiling cream so that all the microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, protozoans are killed; otherwise, they can have serious impacts on the human body.

The cream comes in numerous types, and all the types differ in fat content and composition as well. 

Types of Creams

Different types of creams have different taste, texture, and flavor and, of course, suits different dishes as well.

For example, if you want to enjoy soup or stews today, then using cooking or Culinary Cream is a good choice.

Let’s see different types of creams and fat content in them. 

TypePercent Fat
half and half10-12%
light cream/cooking cream20%
heavy cream30-36%
double cream43-48% and up to 60%
sour cream10-19%
light sour cream9% or less
creme fraiche38-48%
clotted cream48%
ice cream10% or higher to be considered ice cream
mascarpone70%
butter> 80%
buttermilk90%

Cooking Cream

Cooking cream differs from all other creams as it can bear high cooking temperatures without even breaking or curdling. Some people call it a Culinary Cream as well. 

If we define a cooking cream with respect to heavy creams, then a cooking cream has less butterfat than heavy cream, and it is also lighter as compared to heavy cream.

Using a cooking cream is the most suitable when a dish requires you to simmer or bring it to a boil.

That’s why cooking cream works best for stews, soups, or braises and gives a more creamy and velvety texture.

One thing about cooking cream is that you can’t whip it as it is more liquid in nature as compared to other creams. You can’t whip it even if you place it in the refrigerator for hours.

Let’s discuss some quick facts about cooking cream and why we prefer using a cooking cream in dishes instead of using other types of creams.

Recommended further reading:

Facts about Cooking Cream

Cooking cream differs from all-purpose or other heavy creams in terms of texture and flavor. But the biggest difference lies in the way to use a cooking cream.

Here we have three facts that explain why cooking cream is different and what makes it useful when cooking soup or pasta next time.

You can’t whip a cooking cream 

If you are trying to whip the cooking cream but could not see any progress yet, then this is simply because you can’t whip it the way you can whip whipping cream.

Whipping cream has more milk fat that makes it soft to whip easily and also makes stiff peaks.

An all-purpose cream can be used either at normal temperature or even after taking it out from the fridge.

It is made in such a way that it can be directly used in the dish and is suitable for both cooking and baking.

It has stabilizers in it that make it suit almost every recipe. But this is not the case with cooking cream. 

Cooking cream is never made to be used in whipped form. It does not have fats as a special whipping cream has and also doesn’t get a thick consistency as any all-purpose cream gets when refrigerated. 

Cooking cream has a thin consistency. 

Due to its very thin consistency, a cooking cream can get mixed with other liquids in just a matter of seconds. It is also known as a single cream or a light cream.

It has a very thin consistency as compared to all-purpose cream and whipping cream, thus making it suitable to use while cooking soups, gravies, sauces, and stews as it can be mixed well through stirring. 

Cooking cream can bear high temperatures.

You might have seen many creams that start curdling or breaking when added to other liquids while cooking or when bringing a dish to a boil.

But this doesn’t happen with cooking cream. So, if you are planning to cook a creamy pasta sauce today such as carbonara and simmer in stews, soups, or mushroom soups, then a cooking cream is the most suitable option.

Dishes that you can add cooking cream

Thinking about a new dish every day is far tougher than cooking it in the kitchen. So, why not cook the same dish but add cream to it?

We have come up with 14 dishes that you can cook easily, and adding cooking cream can also enhance the taste. 

These dishes obviously call for adding cooking cream and for you to enjoy the velvety texture and creamy taste.

These dishes are the basic ones, and after adding cream, their flavor will make you realize that the cream was the secret ingredient you have been missing for a long time.

  1. Bacon and three-cheese cob
  2. Chicken gnocchi and pesto bake
  3. Gnocchi with pesto and pancetta
  4. One-pan creamy chicken tenders
  5. Carbonara gnocchi bake
  6. Prosciutto-wrapped chicken with mushroom sauce
  7. Dukkah baked eggs with toast soldiers
  8. Chicken pot pie
  9. Quick creamy chicken and sweet potato bake
  10. White bolognese
  11. Creamy super-veg spaghetti
  12. Chicken Diane rissoles
  13. Creamy pork and mushroom pasta
  14. Low-cal beef stroganoff

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is cooking cream and whipping cream the same?

The major difference between whipping cream and a cooking cream is the fat content in them. Whipping cream has 35% fat, and a cooking cream has just 20% fat. Whipping cream has a thick consistency, while a cooking cream has a thin consistency and does not break down when cooking.

Is cooking cream the same as double cream?

No, cooking creams have thin consistency like the double cream has but also have less fat as compared to double cream. A cooking cream is perfect for use in everyday cooking, soup, pasta & sauces.

What can I use instead of cooking cream?

Many ingredients can be used instead of using a cooking cream, such as milk and butter, greek yogurt, soy milk, or evaporated milk.

Interesting further reading:

Final Words

Now you know all about cooking cream. If you do not have cooking cream available right now, you can also use evaporated milk.

It will not whip as any other cream can be mixed well with other ingredients while cooking or baking. It has a more creamy and fresh milk task as well.

Do share your experience with us, and if you’ve found this article helpful, share it with your friends as well. 

Similar Posts