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Single Cream

Asked by cpblanco57. Answered on 26th May 2018

Full question

Nigella sometimes mentions single cream but what is the equivalent of single cream in the US? We have whipping cream and heavy cream. Never heard of single or double cream. Is single cream what the US call half and half?

Strawberry Shortcakes
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Strawberry Shortcakes
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella mostly uses double cream in recipes. This is a cream with a fat content of about 48%, which means that it whips easily but is also very stable if you boil it or add it to very hot liquids. This cream is fairly unique to the UK but in the US we suggest heavy cream as an alternative and in other countries whipping cream. The fat content needs to be above 30%.

Single cream is a lower fat cream with a fat content of 18-20%. It is sometimes known as "pouring cream" and is mostly used to pour over desserts. In the US there is light cream, which is the closest with a fat content of around 20%. However in our experience it can be difficult to find. In other countries it may also be called "light cream" or "table cream". Half and half is a mixture of milk and cream and has a fat content of 11-18% but is usually around 12%. It is most commonly used in coffee and cereal but we don't usually recommend it as an alternative to single cream as it is usually thinner. If you can't find single or light cream then we suggest using heavy cream or whipping cream as an alternative.

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