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has the high­est fat con­tent (about 48%), which makes it less likely to cur­dle when heated. It’s great for soups and stews as it gives dishes a rich, creamy tex­ture.


has about 36% fat con­tent. Air is trapped when whipped and the cream dou­bles in vol­ume, but it doesn’t hold its ca­pac­ity for long and should be used straight away. Once whipped, it makes a lovely top­ping for desserts or cakes.


has a fat con­tent of about 35% and the low­est fat-to-milk ra­tio.


is sim­i­lar to sour cream but has a milder, more sub­tle taste. At about 48% fat con­tent, it makes a good dol­lop­ing cream that adds rich­ness to desserts, soups and dips.


Long-life cream has un­der­gone high-tem­per­a­ture treat­ment for sta­bil­i­sa­tion and to ex­tend its shelf life. It con­tains about 35% milk fat. UHT creams can be used in cooked dishes but they tend to be more dif­fi­cult to whip to a con­sis­tency that can be piped, and of­ten the whipped cream doesn’t hold for long. A 30% fat con­tent is needed for any cream to be whipped.


is made from fresh sin­gle cream and is soured by adding a cul­ture. The cream is heated to about 20°C for a few hours, and the lac­tic acid pro­duced im­parts that tart flavour and thicker con­sis­tency. It has a fat con­tent of about 18% and can’t be whipped. Sour cream adds great flavour to soups, sauces and dress­ings.


con­tains less but­ter­fat than heavy cream, so it’s lighter in con­sis­tency. It’s sta­bilised to en­dure high cook­ing tem­per­a­tures, so it won’t cur­dle or sep­a­rate dur­ing cook­ing. It’s ideal to add to hot dishes, pasta bakes and soups for a creamy tex­ture. It doesn’t whip well.

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