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The benefits of dairy cream

The word “cream” may only be used for products containing at least 30% fat.

Water and vitamins

  • Cream is rich in water (62%) and provides vitamins (A and D in the case of whole cream).

Fat

  • With 30% fat and about 300 kcal per 100 g, cream is the least fatty and calorific or all fats!
  • Cream (which contains at least 30% fat and is sometimes called whole cream) is distinguished from low-fat cream (at least 12% fat).

Tasting and pastry

Dairy cream: A guarantee for pastry chefs.

The culinary success of cream is due to the multiple roles it plays in improving taste, texture, binding and even presentation. Its silky, creamy, smooth and shiny texture is why the term “creamy” is so widely used by tasters to describe the smoothness of a product.

Cream enhances aromas and reveals flavours without dominating, and respects the subtlety of food. By mixing hot or cold cream with another ingredient, it will either thicken or soften the consistency of that ingredient while giving off a tangy note. It also binds and stabilizes hot preparations: it will soften stuffing and egg dishes, making them more cohesive.

Other advantages of cream: it reduces the bitterness of cocoa, the acidity of lemon, and tempers the pungency of certain fruit and the astringency of others. It improves the fondant used on pastries and turns fruit into mousse. Finally, its willingness to be worked results in a voluptuous cloud when whipped.

Gourmet and delicious, rich cream brings roundness and power that intensifies recipes. It coats the mouth and gives a lasting quality to pastries that no other raw material can. The taste of cream is not the only attribute to celebrate: it also provides a rich, smooth sensation.

In addition to these culinary and gastronomic qualities that have made cream an indispensable go-to ingredient for French pastry chefs, it also has obvious practical and dietary qualities.

Because cream is rich in water, it is the least greasy type of fat. Soft, luxurious and light! Because cream has its place in the finest kitchens around the world, its use has adapted to the needs, practices and new expectations of chefs: progress in the diversification of creams has allowed for greater control when cooking and the packaging has allowed it to be sold on store shelves (instead of refrigerators), providing greater freedom of use and storage. All of this combines to make cream an essential ingredient in any sophisticated pastry!

True or False

Crème fraîche has the least fat of all the creams

True!
With more than 65% water and 12% to 14% lipids, crème fraîche is the fat with the least calories (less than oil, lard, vegetable shortening, margarine and butter). Compared to the others, crème fraîche is the fat with the most water. Its calorific content (239 kcal/100g) is therefore less than that of other fats (900 kcal/100g for oil; 748 kcal/100g for butter). In addition, cream provides vitamins and nutrients as well as small quantities of proteins and carbohydrates. The nature of fatty acids as well as the proportion of each doesn’t vary with changes in lipid content.

Crème fraîche shouldn't be cooked

False!
Contrary to popular wisdom, crème fraîche can tolerate light cooking. It’s even good to heat it, because when incorporated at the last minute, it is just a liquid sauce. In the first minute of cooking, it liquefies. It then regains its consistency as its water evaporates and this is when the best part can be obtained. Only very high cooking temperatures are to be avoided.

Double cream is especially rich in fat.

False!
The term “double” is a synonym of the term “thick.” Double creams are matured and therefore thickened.

Heavy cream is higher in fat than whipping cream.

False!
After pasteurisation, cream either is or isn’t cultured with lactic ferments. Heavy cream undergoes this fermentation, which makes changes in texture possible. If the cream isn’t cultured, it simply remains liquid. A “thick” cream is therefore not higher in calorific value than a “liquid” one.