A trip through the dairy aisle of the grocery store shouldn’t lead to a ton of questions. But with so many different kinds of milk, cheese, and cream, knowing what to choose for a certain recipe can sometimes stump you. When it comes to cream, there can be many questions. What is the difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream? Is there a difference? If you use one instead of the other, will it ruin a recipe? And, is one healthier than the other?
When it comes down to it, heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are essentially the same thing with just one small difference — the fat. Heavy cream has at least a 36 percent milk fat content, making it the richest type of liquid cream. Heavy whipping cream only requires 30 to 35 percent milk fat, and that percentage does change things a bit when it comes to using it in recipes.
The only other difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream is that heavy cream has five more calories per tablespoon.
How Do You Use Them?
The more fat in the cream you use, the more stable it will be for whipping or making sauce. While they both whip up quickly, heavy cream whips better and holds its shape longer than heavy whipping cream. So, Cooking Light recommends using heavy cream for toppings, pastry fillings, and piping through a pastry bag to decorate a pie or cake. It is also best for soups, mousse, and casseroles. It will thicken your dish and add a creaminess that will complement the existing flavors.
And, use whipping cream to make whipped cream that you plan on spooning on top of a piece of pie, crepes, or waffles. It is lighter, softer, and more voluminous, but it will become liquid again more quickly.
When it comes to making sauce, to prevent cream from curdling when you boil it with savory or acidic ingredients, you only need a 25 percent fat content. So, you can use either heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. However, because heavy cream has the higher fat content, it will thicken and enrich your sauce quicker, which means less cooking time.
The uses and intricacies of these two types of cream can be a bit confusing, but it is always best to learn from trial and error. The good thing is that if you need to substitute heavy cream for heavy whipping cream — or vice versa — it isn’t going to ruin your recipe. It will, however, change up the texture a little bit. But one is not better or healthier than the other, and each of these creams serve their purpose in the kitchen.
And, in case you were wondering, half and half does not work if want to make homemade whipped cream. It only has a 12 percent milk fat content, so save that for your coffee.
So, get to baking and see firsthand how using heavy cream as opposed to heavy whipping cream will change things up. After all, we are talking about cream, and that means any dish you use it in will taste incredibly delicious.