Brave Questions: Cream of the Crop!

So as promised, today’s post is about the different types of cream found in common supermarkets in Singapore! You probably can find other types and brands in the higher end supermarkets (like Jasons Market Place etc), but this is just a comparison made between those I found in NTUC Fairprice and Cold Storage!

When I first started baking, not only would I spend copious amounts of time in the kitchen, I would spend a lot of time in supermarkets staring at all the different types of cream/butter/flour/everything! What in the world is the difference between heavy cream, thickened cream, whipping cream, pure cream, whipped cream .. sour cream .. double cream wtf. 


Over time (and a lot of googling and making mistakes), I slowly learnt and now I’d just like to share, as much for my own reference than anything!


So a lot of home bakers now start out using recipes found online. The problem for us Singaporeans when using common recipe sites such as Allrecipes and SimplyRecipes is that the ingredient list can really get confusing. I could never find “Heavy cream”, and no one uses “Thickened cream” in their recipes even though it is super commonly found in the dairy section in most reasonably medium sized supermarkets here.


Most Important Lesson I’ve Learnt: 

Look at the Milk Fat (also known as butterfat) content indicated on the bottle/carton. This is the biggest clue to tell you what type of cream it actually is without pulling out too much hair over the naming game that is being played.

*Why the Milk Fat percentage is important: 

It affects the consistency of your food (baked or not), especially if you are whipping the cream. Generally, the higher the Milk Fat content, the better the cream will hold its shape, but the more easily it can be over-whipped. 

And when cream is over-whipped, you get butter and buttermilk! Which is fascinating (!!!), except when you want to get your frosting (or wtv you’re whipping the cream for) you really don’t want to get butter :< This happened to me q a few times, and I had no more cream with me, and that was just a really sad baking day :<


Here is cool pic to show you what happens if you really want to get into that hippie funk and make your own everything 



Photo Source

Churning butter!! *_*

Heavy Cream = Heavy Whipping Cream = Thickened Cream = Whipping Cream (for the purposes of Singapore)

I can’t tell you how thankful I was when the confusion evaporated and the eureka moment came for the revelation above ^. What the, all the different names actually meant the same thing ?!

In the US, heavy cream is also known as heavy whipping cream. This contains 36-40% Milk Fat. It is very ideal for whipping for frosting as it holds its shaped when whipped and doubles in volume. 


However, you rarely find products named “heavy cream” in Singapore. What you would find are these:


 Dairy Farmers Thickened Cream
$3.65 at Cold Storage for 300ml

Milk Fat content: Minimum 35%


 Bulla Thickened Cream
$4.35 at Cold Storage, $4.30 at NTUC Fairprice, for 300ml

Milk Fat Content: No Less than 35%


 Emborg Whipping Cream
$3.45 at Cold Storage for 200ml

Milk Fat Content: 35.1% 



President Whipping Cream
$4.65 for 200ml, $11.45 for 1 Litre  at Cold Storage (the most expensive, but the butter under this brand is the best!)



Milk Fat Content: 35.1%

As mentioned, in the US, Heavy Cream = Heavy Whipping Cream which has a 36-40% Milk Fat Content. 

The reason why the Milk Fat content for Whipping Cream (pictured above) is less than the US definition of 36-40% is because these are the UK/Canadian brands.  We also use the term “Thickened Cream” because those brands are from Australia!


Despite not being able to find cream that has 36-40% Milk Fat, I haven’t encountered any problems working with the above at all above. 


So remember: when recipes call for heavy cream (which they usually do, for recipes from the US), in Singapore this usually means Thickened cream or Whipping Cream. 
But, do remember to check the Milk Fat content to make sure that percentages are correct!


Pure Cream = Thick Cream = 45% Milk Fat

Bulla recently changed its packaging. I’m not sure whether it changed the name for Pure Cream, but this Bulla Thick Cream also has 45% Milk Fat, which makes it equivalent to Pure Cream. 

Bulla Thick Cream
$4.90 at Cold Storage for 200ml

Milk Fat Content: 45%
Characteristics: Whips well, but over-whips really easily! More meant for sauces/eating than for whipping

This was the old packaging, and also contains 45% Milk Fat.


Whipped Cream Topping

Golden State Dairy Whipped Topping

$5.10 at Cold Storage

Qwip Dessert Topping
$4.60 at Cold Storage

This was my first conception of cream – the one which we sprayed into our months directly and at one another, at the awkward kids birthday parties we had :>

However, as its name suggests, this is not used in baking, only as a topping on drinks or desserts!

Sour Cream

Sour cream is produced when bacteria is added to cream to created a tart, thick cream.

It is used in many baked goods to give them a softer texture, but also for a whole host of other reasons! (I add it into the cheesecakes I make as well)

Bulla Sour Cream
$4.20 at Cold Storage for 200ml

Milk Fat Content: 35%


Bulla Light Sour Cream
$3.35 at Cold Storage, $3.30 at NTUC, for 200ml

Milk Fat Content: 18%




Pura SourLite Cream
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to take down the price and Milk Fat Content percentage for this one!

Half and Half

Milk Fat Content: 10-18%, depending on the brand.

In the US/Canada, half and half refers to a light cream that is one part milk and one part cream. 

It’s quite difficult to find half and half in Singapore unless you head to a major supermarket outlet, and even then only if you’re lucky! So I’ve included a pic off google lol woops.




Double Cream

Australia and the UK use the term Double Cream to describe a cream with 48-60% Milk Fat. 

I think I’ve only seen it once in a supermarket here, and this is not very commonly used! 



Buttermilk

Okay technically this isn’t a type of cream, but I thought I’d just include it anyway since I took a photo!

Buttermilk is the residue left behind after butter is churned from cream (pictured above). It’s used in many foods such as scones and pancakes, and more recently of course, my current craze, smoothies!! ^^ ♥♥


Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t contain butter! It tastes similar to yogurt, but the consistency is a lot more watery!





That’s all I have to say for now! Wow this post took longer than expected to get out, I’ve so many things to learn still and I’m so blessed to be able to do so 🙂
Let me know if you think there are corrections to be made or stuff I should add!