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A peculiar Swedish recipe calls for ladling curry flavored whipped cream over chicken and baking in the oven, at 225c for 20-30 minutes typically. During my childhood, this resulted in a creamy, emulsified result.

Now, when trying to recreate it, it always comes out thin, with visible butterfat and coagulated proteins. Does anyone know why this happens? When reducing cream in the pan, this never happens. Id suspect the whipping to be the culprit, but it was never a problem during my childhood.

Should I try lower heat for a longer time, higher heat for even shorter time, or could it be that I use enameled ceramic cookware while my mother used ovensafe glass cookware?

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    Do you have a link to the recipe ? – Max May 19 at 0:38
  • @Max Here you go, it's not completely accurate (I omit the mushrooms, use only curry and no chili sauce, but for cooking purposes should be very similar): dietdoctor.com/recipes/flying-jacob-casserole – Max May 19 at 8:49
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    What type of cream are you using? "heavy whipping cream" in the US often has stabilizers in it (and at least 36% fat). You're likely not in the US (as you mention 225c (which is also hotter than the recipe calls for)) – Joe May 19 at 15:45
  • @Joe I'm using 40% "whipping cream" without stabilizers (36% with stabilizers exist, but usually I go for the 40%). It should be fairly similar to US cream, and it says it's pasteurized at a low temperature. I could only find one recipe already translated to english which is the one posted, but most Swedish ones put the temp at 225c. – Max May 19 at 18:57
  • @Max : although this is an English language website, there are a lot of people on here who speak some other language. If you're actually following some other recipe, it would be a good idea to post a link to it, even if it's not in English. We can always use Google Translate to get the basic idea of the recipe. – Joe May 20 at 19:19
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The splitting of cream depends a lot on the ratio of fat to water in the sauce, and can be influenced through stabilizers. Some possible reasons for the change are:

  • the chicken or the bacon of your childhood might have exuded less liquid. Nowadays, chicken meat gets injected with water for "plumpness", and that water seeps out in the oven. The same happens with bacon.
  • the chicken of your childhood might have been fattier. Due to customer preference and economic pressure, today's food animals are raised to have lower amounts of fat than several decades ago.
  • your mother might have been using a different recipe, or might have stabilized the cream somehow. This can be done with packages of "whipped cream stabilizer" from the supermarket, or adding some flour or starch to the sauce, or using other thickeners. Or she might have been using a brand of curry made with emulsifiers.

My suggestion for you is to try some kind of thickener. The simplest way would be to dredge the chicken and bacon through flour and see if this helps. If not, consider making a slurry with a tablespoon or two from the cream and some flour or starch, or some emulsifier like xanthan, and folding it into the whipped cream.

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  • Additionally, the milk and cream from decades ago is different than what is found today. Today almost all milk and cream is pasteurized, sometimes ultra-pasteurized, and homogenized. Homogenization means essentially spraying the milk through a very fine sprayer to make all of the fat globules equal in size, and this can increase the milk's tendency to curdle or break when used in a sauce. The milk and cream of decades ago was not always homogenized. – Uncle Long Hair May 19 at 12:24
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    @UncleLongHair you are right about milk and cream being almost certainly homogenized nowadays. I am a bit surprised from your conclusion that it will split more easily - both in theory and in my own experience, homogenization is a process that reduces the likelihood of splitting. – rumtscho May 19 at 14:09
  • I think you're spot on about the stabilizers, I knew she didn't use any extra stabilizer but I think it's likely she used 36% pre-stabilized whipping cream instead of the 40% I usually use. I think I'll start at something like 1 teaspoon of corn starch for every 2 dl cream and try it out at 225c and 175c and see if I can perfect the recipe. Thank you. :) – Max May 19 at 19:04

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