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Food glossary

Cream

Cream

There are many different types of cream, with varying consistencies and tastes.

Channel Island extra thick double cream

A rich, thick cream that is made with milk from Guernsey and Jersey cows, it can be used straight from the tub. It has a fat content of 48%.

Uses: Spoon over puddings or fruit or add to sauces for a rich, creamy taste. Also ideal for using to fill sponge cakes or gateaux.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date.

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Clotted cream

Clotted cream is the thickest and richest type of cream available and is traditionally made in Devon or Cornwall. The cream is gently scalded to produce its golden crust. It has a spoonable consistency and does not need to be whipped before serving. It has a fat content of 55% and is not recommended for cooking because it tends to separate on heating.

Uses: Traditionally served on scones with jam, also good on fresh fruit and ice cream.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and consume by the use by date. It can be frozen for up to 1 month.

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Crème fraîche

This is fresh cream which is treated with a bacteria culture that thickens it and gives it a slightly sour taste. It is suitable for spooning, is widely used in French cookery and is becoming increasingly popular in Britain. It has a fat content of 39% and cannot be whipped. For a healthier alternative choose the half fat version.

Uses: Crème fraîche is ideal for serving with fruit and puddings, it can also be used for making salad dressings and dips. It can be used in cooking to add a creamy taste to curries, sauces and casseroles.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date. It cannot be frozen.

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Double cream

This is the most versatile type of fresh cream, it can be used as it is or whipped. Double cream contains 48% fat.

Uses: It can be used as a pouring cream over fruit and puddings, used in cooking or whipped and incorporated into dishes or served separately. Whipped double cream can be spooned or piped on to desserts and cakes.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date. It can be frozen for up to 2 months when lightly whipped.

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Extra thick single cream

This has the same fat content as single cream (18%) but it has been homogenised to produce a thick spoonable consistency similar to double cream: it cannot be whipped.

Uses: Serve with fruit and desserts.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date. It is unsuitable for freezing.

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Flavoured creams

Available at Christmas, Brandy cream and Calvados and cinnamon cream are made from a combination of double cream, sugar and alcohol.

Uses: Serve with Christmas pudding, apple tart or any chocolate or nut pudding. Spoon over warm mince pies or use to fill brandy snaps. A spoonful of flavoured cream in hot chocolate is delicious.

To store: Keep in the fridge and consume by the use by date. Once opened use within 3 days.

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Goat's milk double cream

Made from pasteurised goat's milk from St Helen's Farm in Yorkshire, goat's milk double cream has an ice white appearance and tastes smooth and mild. Goat's milk double cream is suitable for cow's milk-free and vegetarian diets.

Uses: It can be used for whipping, pouring or simply spooning on to desserts.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date. It can be frozen for up to 2 months when lightly whipped.

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Organic extra thick cream

Organic thick cream is made from milk produced on farms practising organic farming methods to Soil Association standards.

Uses: Spoon on to fruit, puddings and cakes or add to soups and sauces for a rich creamy taste.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date. It is unsuitable for freezing.

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Reduced fat extra thick cream

With 50% less fat than standard thick double cream but all the delicious flavour, this cream contains 24% fat. It is not suitable for whipping or boiling.

Uses: Serve with fruit or puddings or use in cooking for a rich, creamy flavour.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date. It is unsuitable for freezing.

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Reduced fat single cream

With 25% less fat than standard single cream (it has 12% fat) this is an ideal low fat alternative. It is not suitable for whipping or boiling.

Uses: In sauces, soups and dressings and coffee and to pour over fruit.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date. It is unsuitable for freezing.

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Single cream

Single cream is a thin cream traditionally used for pouring and for enriching cooked dishes, it contains 18% fat.

Uses: For pouring over fruit and puddings and in cooking, especially in soups and sauces although it should never be allowed to boil. It is not suitable for whipping.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date. It cannot be frozen unless it is incorporated into a cooked dish.

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Soured cream

This is a tangy cream made from fresh single cream. It has a thick texture and a mildly acidic taste. It is commercially soured by adding a culture - similar to that used in the production of yogurt. It has a fat content of 18% and cannot be whipped.

Uses: It can be used in savoury dishes such as beef stroganoff and soups and as a base for savoury dips.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date. It cannot be frozen.

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Whipping cream

This cream will whip to double its original volume, which makes it perfect for adding to dishes where a light, creamy result is needed. Whipping cream contains 38% fat.

Uses: Perfect for mousses and soufflés, filling cakes and gateaux, decorating trifles and topping fruit and ice cream. Float whipped cream on coffee or hot chocolate. Once whipped the cream does not hold its volume for long so it should be used straight away.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, once opened use within 3 days and consume by the use by date. Whipping cream can be frozen for up to 2 months when lightly whipped.

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