What is double cream? Here’s your answer:
Cream is Fatty Milk
In the past, cream was “made” by skimming the top off milk which had been allowed to settle. Since unhomogenised milk is an imperfect emulsion of water and oil, much of the fat separates and, being less dense, rises to the surface. This top layer of fat/oil mixed with other milk solids and water is what we call “cream”. Hence, the expression “the cream always rises to the top”.
Today, dairy processors make cream by combining standardised amounts of dairy fat with standardised ratios of pasteurised, homogenised milk. The amount of fat in the cream determines its type.
Manufacturers make sour cream, crème fraiche, and other such tangy cream products by adding lactic acid to different types of cream.
Not Thickened Cream
Thickened cream is made from milk and thickeners, food stabilisers and emulsifiers. The “thickness” in thickened cream comes from the food additives, more than the fat. Double cream’s thickness comes from the extra dairy fat (a.k.a. butter) in it.
In Australia, thickened cream may contain between 18% to 36.5% fat, compared to double cream which must have a minimum of 48% fat. The heavier Australian double creams can contain up to 60% fat. Make your own at home by simply mixing melted butter into regular cream.
Double Cream Yoghurt has no Double Cream
“Double Cream” has recently become the go-to marketing phrase for manufacturers who want to level-up the perceived decadent indulgence of their products. We thus have double cream Greek yoghurts, soft cheeses and ice-creams.
In most cases, the name is not being used to indicate its use as an ingredient, it is just marketing. The products are not necessarily made with the eponymous ingredient, but they do have a significantly higher fat content than the “regular fat” products.
Use the calcount Food Search Box to find examples and compare brands.
What use is Double Cream?
Whipped toppings, coffee whitening, desserts, and creamy curries are some of the things you can use double cream for. It is exactly like normal cream, only more so. Richer, heavier, fatter, and much more calorific. It has many, many more calories. Refer to our helpful infographic comparing creams to see just how chest-tighteningly energy-dense it is: