So this week I was comissioned to make a fresh cream cake, not something I usually do but now and again I like to take on something a little different! I usually end up buying a big pot of cream since the smaller ones are not quite enough, however there is always a little left over and being someone who doesn’t like waste I’m always wondering exactly what to do with it!
If I’m feeling creative I might whip up some ganache or caramel however there are some occasions where quite frankly I just can’t be bothered, which got me thinking.. surely I can freeze it for another time right? This is where the matter of what type of cream you’re using comes in! There are generally 3 main types of cream which vary according to their fat content- single cream, whipping cream, and double cream (or heavy cream if you’re in the US). Single cream has the lowest fat content, followed by whipping, and finally double cream being the highest in fat. Heavy cream is similar to double although does have a slightly lower fat content at around 36%- I believe double cream is very much a British thing!
For this particular cake I used double cream for it’s ability to whip and suitability for piping.. plus it’s superior creaminess! Now here’s the thing, double cream contains lots of fat molecules which are evenly dispersed throughout the liquid during a process called homogenization (I’ll go into that another time) so that it becomes a stable emulsion. If we freeze this cream in it’s un-whipped form the fat molecules move and start to stick together, and so the texture changes- it almost looks like the cream has split. Although once defrosted the texture is different, that’s not to say it’s unusable but best to be used in cooking rather than for whipping as the heat will help the fat molecules to break down. The best thing to do is to freeze double cream in it’s whipped form, as that way it will keep it’s original texture- you can also use the whipped frozen cream for cooking too.. even for making things such as caramel and ganache- which is very handy if you’re a baker!
To freeze your cream, transfer it to a plastic container with a lid (slightly larger than the amount of cream you have) and place on a level surface in your freezer to avoid any spillages! To defrost, place the tub of cream in a fridge and thaw overnight- if frozen in it’s unwhipped form, you will need to give it a good stir once it has totally defrosted to combine the ingredients (emulsify) again.
So there we have it, no longer will your leftover cream have to go to waste (not that it ever did anyway!)