by Kate Heyhoe
Technically, cream is the layer of butterfat which accumulates on the surface of unhomogenized milk. Various classifications of cream exist. Light cream contains about 20 percent butterfat (but can range from 18 to 30 percent), regular whipping cream contains about 30 percent, and heavy whipping cream (or just heavy cream) contains nearly 40 percent butterfat. of these, only heavy cream can be whipped until doubled in bulk to produce whipped cream. Half-and-half, a blend of cream and milk, contains only about 12 percent butterfat.
Cream whips best when cold. To make whipped cream, use very cold cream and chill the wire whip or beaters, as well as the bowl, to speed up the whipping process. Cream should be beaten just until it can form soft peaks. Overbeating will change the cream into butter.
This page first published in 1998.
Copyright © 1998, 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
Modified August 2007
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