What is Whipping Cream and What is it for?
If you have read recipes and experimenting in the kitchen, surely at some point you have wondered what is the difference between the different types of cream that exist in the market. So first we will talk about what the cream is, the characteristics of each one, and finally the reality of edible creams in Mexico.
The cream is the fatty matter of milk that rises to the surface when leaving the milk at rest or after being centrifuged. It is widely used in cooking because it gives food a taste and texture that is difficult to achieve with another ingredient. It is usually used in coffees, vinaigrettes, soups, sauces, desserts, sweets and spirits. According to Mexican standards, creams are classified as:
Classification of Cream
- Cream if it contains at least 30 percent milk fat
- Extra-fat cream when it contains at least 35 percent milk fat
- Half cream is the one that contains at least 20 percent milk fat
- Acidified cream should have a content of 30 percent fat and 0.5 percent acidity
The main confusion arises when we read recipes that specify heavy cream ( heavy cream ) and whipping cream ( whipped cream ). The difference between the two products is small and they have to do with fat content. The thick cream, or extra-fat cream, usually contains 36-40 percent fat, while the whipping cream contains approximately 30-36 percent milk fat. In general, the more fat in the cream, the more stable it will be to beat and make sauces. To beat, you need a minimum of 30% fat.
In other countries, all products must specify the fat content in the foreground, however, in Mexico there is a great disorder in the dairy market. For starters, there is no Mexican brand that produces thick cream, so the closest thing is to use the whipping cream. However, according to Profeco data, the fat content that these creams maintain is at low levels. For example, the Lyncott Whipping Cream brand contains 30-32 percent fat.
The product that first comes to mind to use whipping cream is precisely whipped cream or Chantilly cream. For its preparation you only need to whip the cream until soft and fluffy, adding a little sweetener and vanilla. However, you can also use it to prepare spoon dishes, to thicken sauces or to prepare rich desserts.
When you beat the cream, what you are doing is trapping air bubbles inside the cream while breaking the protein layer around the fat. When the fat is exposed, try to avoid touching the water, so after several beats, you end up with a mesh of very connected fat globules, surrounding small pockets of air and water. This causes the ingredient to a sponge, grows in volume and becomes stiff. As you know, whipped cream is not very stable. What stops the structure of the foam is the fat in the milk, and it is temperature-sensitive. The hotter it is, the more likely the foam melts.
As you can see, the fat content of the whipping cream is key to obtaining a thick and firm cream. And unfortunately in Mexico, we have very few options to choose from. However, knowing how to use it properly, we can achieve good results. That means we should beat for a couple more minutes.