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Frozen Double Cream

Asked by mbhattay. Answered on 31st August 2015

Full question

Hi, where I live we don't tend to find fresh double cream. I was visiting England this month and purchased some double cream. I froze it before leaving and kept it in a cooler bag on my journey. When I returned home the double cream was still frozen so I placed it into the refrigerator. A couple of days later I took it out and realised the whole thing was a yellowy colour and very grainy. What can I do with this double cream? It doesn't smell bad but the texture is not at all the same as I had imagined it would be. Thank you!

Our answer

UK double cream has a high fat content, usually around 48%, and although it is easy to buy in the UK we appreciate that it is more difficult to find elsewhere. However for Nigella's recipes a fresh heavy or whipping cream with a fat content of over 30% is usually a good substitute. UHT creams tend to be harder to whip, even with a higher fat content.

Although double cream can be frozen it is usually best to freeze it in whipped form. The grainy texture you see in the cream is where the fat molecules have stuck together. Homogenized cream has fat molecules that are evenly distributed but in the freezing process the fat molecules can clump together, giving the grainy apprarance. Make sure that you stir the cream well before using it. The cream should whip, but unfortunately it may not loose all of its graininess and if it has been frozen once then it should not be re-frozen after whipping. You should however be able to use the cream in cooking as heat will usually help the fat molecules break down.

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