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In my area the typical type of cream you can get is the one for whipped cream. It contains a fat percentage of about 35%. Some recipes call for higher fat percentages like 50% and up, so I'd like to mix in other things to up the percentage. The things I seem to have available are:

  • Regular cream (35% fat), this is probably my base ingredient
  • Milk (0,5% through about 3,5% fat)
  • Mon Chou or Philedelphia cream cheese
  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Crème fraîche
  • Many different types of Quark (Dutch, Greek, Bulgarian, etc)

As well as perhaps a few others that I wouldn't consider at first (like Huttekase) for my purpose, though as long as it's readily available (in the Netherlands) I'm happy to accept unconventional alternatives, as long as they work.

The above ingredients mostly don't list their fat percentage, which makes things more difficult. In addition, I worry that these may also differ a lot between regions (that is, if an English recipe suggests using cream cheese, it intends use of a different kind with a specific fat percentage). Is there any way to compensate for that issue?

I've checked the English "Double Cream" Wikipedia entry, but it redirects to the plain "Cream" entry. This in turn (obviously) links to this Dutch page for generic cream, which mentions

"Double Cream - A variant from Great Britain, with higher fat percentage, can not be substituted by [regular] cream."

Which isn't very helpful.

The intended usage would be sweet dishes, in this particular case ice cream.

Bottom line: which of these ingredients should I mix together to get e.g. a 50% fat cream?

  • Double cream has a high fat percentage and it is cream so you can substitute it for creams with less fat if you thin it out. – GdD Oct 12 '14 at 18:56
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    You didn't ask this, but for the record, you can make ice cream perfectly fine with 35% fat cream. I've definitely made philadelphia-style ice cream with 2 parts 35% cream and 1 part milk, and had it come out plenty soft and smooth. You don't actually need 50%. – Cascabel Oct 12 '14 at 21:44
  • @Jefromi Aye, good point indeed. In fact, lacking double cream, I just did make my ice cream that way :D. Also, typically ice cream recipes call for a mixture of milk and cream, so you I guess you could tweak the ratio for those in a way that also increases the fat percentage. It was just that the recipe I had claimed "double cream" would improve the "silkyness", which I was wanting to try (and the reason I asked this question). – Jeroen Oct 12 '14 at 21:49
  • @Jeroen Yup, and the other thing you can do is make French-style, where the silkiness comes from egg yolk, and the fat content of the cream is even less important. – Cascabel Oct 12 '14 at 21:50
  • related : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/29395/67 – Joe Dec 17 '14 at 21:26
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There's only one thing that's typically sold with a high enough fat content that you'd be able to mix it into other dairy to get 48-50% fat ... butter.

I've found a page that says it can be done, but they're using a 'cream maker' ... a bit of searching seems to keep coming up with the name 'Royston Bel' or simply 'Bel' and attachments for a Kenwood mixer. I managed to find a patent from 1945, but it has only external diagrams, nothing internal.

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I think it is quite difficult to increase the fat content of the cream with your proposed ingredients.

  • Philedelphia cream cheese has about 35% fat.
  • Mascarpone cheese is made from curdled cream. It has a higher fat content than cream due to the removal of whey. There can be about 44g fat in 100g mascarpone. The real fat content might differ. The only thing that I know for sure is that mascarpone has a fat content of 80% in the dry product.
  • Crème fraîche is just soured cream and has the same fat content as cream - 35% (see also the wiki article in Dutch).
  • Quark (full fat) in Germany has 52 - 68% fat but I think the regular quark has less than 10%.

Have you seen double cream / crème double (40% - 60% fat) in a grocery store? It's just cream with higher fat content. This could suit to your ice cream.


EDIT: I found an older question here on cooking.SE: Is there any way to make single cream to double cream? and Could I add butter to single cream to make whipped/double cream?


I'm wondering if it's possible to increase the fat content of cream if the cream is drained in a cheesecloth...

  • Thanks for taking the time to answer. I'm not sure if Dutch grocery stores have this, I looked around earlier today, but didn't find it (yet). Specialty stores may have it of course, haven't checked yet. (I'll add my response/note on "double cream" to my question.) – Jeroen Oct 12 '14 at 16:17
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No, it's not possible to make high percentage cream from mixing normal cream. Not even with a high-speed blender. (Yes, I've tried). I don't know about Joe's device, but I'd be very skeptical about it. You might somehow get the fat inside, but I don't think it will behave like high percentage cream.

So, you have three cases

  • You really need the high percentage cream. Typical case: the recipe requires to whip it. Sorry, but then you are out of luck. There is nothing you can do, short of buying non-homogenized milk (you'll have to go straight to the farm for that) and churning your own.
  • What matters is the ratio. Your ice cream is one of these cases. There, you can use butter, but not any of the other products you mentioned, because they contain lots of other solids, which will throw the ratio off. You could find tricks for emulsifying the butter into the milk, but frankly, there is no need to bother. Just combine the butter with the other ingredients at some other time, not together with the milk. In a custard, you can mix it in after the custard has cooled. Creamed butter will make it especially fluffy, it will go like making buttercream. Calculate the proportion with a simple ratio formula, using 35% for your cream fat content and 83% for the butter fat content.
  • The ratio doesn't matter, you don't really need heavy cream, but just need something richer or just a different taste or texture. There, you can use anything you want, in any proportion. Just mix away. And while you will be able to mix some of the things you listed with the cream, there isn't much need to do that. It is probably again simpler to add it together with the rest, instead of premixing.
  • Thanks for your answer. It's actually the perfect companion to @ChingChong's answer (which explained about my "considered" options), as you continue to explain about the options I do have. Wish I could accept both :P, not sure what to do; probably will accept this answer as it's "what answered/solved my problem for me" (I changed the 35% cream / milk ratio), even though ChingChong's answer taught me a lot too. – Jeroen Oct 13 '14 at 19:31
  • On a minor side note about your first point, the Dutch 35%-fat-cream is in fact usable for making whipped cream; no need for double cream for that. – Jeroen Oct 13 '14 at 19:32
  • @Jeroen it is OK to accept whichever answer you want to. Hopefully, the second best answer will rise by votes :) You can give ChingChong the mark too if they are equally good, I stopped caring for reputation some years ago and he still has some privileges levels to climb. – rumtscho Oct 13 '14 at 19:32
  • Thank you, I understand. Just wanted to let both know I appreciate the insights! – Jeroen Oct 13 '14 at 19:33
  • I know that you can whip 35% cream (whippability starts at 30%), but the texture and stability of 50% cream after whipping is different from 35%. So, you won't be able to perfectly reproduce a recipe with the lower fat cream. – rumtscho Oct 13 '14 at 19:34
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Run your whipping cream through a couple of coffee-filters.

That should drain-off some of the water and leave you with more milkfat. It will take 2 hours or more for 2 cups to filter through, so you'll need to set it up in your refrigerator. As the comments have pointed out - SOME of the fat will filter through the paper-filter, so the end ratios of fat will be hard to estimate. It is going to take some experimentation on your part to make your recipe(s) to work right with your end-results.

Here's the relevant Alton Brown instructions: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/clotted-cream-recipe.html

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    Have you tried it? I think the typical fat globules in homogenized cream are around 30 micrometers. I don't know if this will be held back by a coffee filter. And if yes, how long does it take? – rumtscho Oct 13 '14 at 16:38
  • @rumtscho typical paper coffee filters range from 10 to 20 microns, so the smaller fat globules will trickle through, but the bigger ones should create a barrier after the first few. – jsanc623 Oct 15 '14 at 15:28

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