Is heavy cream the same thing as whipped cream?
Short answer - no, they are not the same thing.
Whipped cream is not heavy cream because whipped cream can be made out of multiple types of creams, not just heavy cream. So you can use light cream, heavy cream, or even whipping cream to make it. That’s the most basic reason they are different. However, this is not the only answer to this question.
If you’re asking the question “is whipped heavy cream still heavy cream?” you will get the same answer - no - but for a different reason.
This is a little complicated, so we’ll get slightly scientific. While whipped cream is made from heavy cream (or other forms of cream), the process of whipping it physically changes the substance.
Heavy cream is made when higher fat parts of milk get separated from lower fat parts. The high-fat portion consists of roughly 36% fat, much more than standard milk. This is also a higher fat percentage compared to light cream or whipping cream.
Fat inside the cream gets its physical structure changed by the whipping. That’s how it gets from a liquid to foam. Once these fat particles are altered, they will not change back.
There are a few different ways to make this change happen.
(See also: 12 alternatives to heavy cream )
Different methods of making whipped cream.
As the name implies, traditional whipped cream was made by physically whipping cream with a whisk. This can be done by hand, but also is quite common to see done with an automatic mixer. Either way, it still takes the time and work of the cream being whisked before the whipped cream is ready.
A newer innovation has been the use of whipped cream dispensers and whipped cream chargers. These are convenient devices that quickly make the cream into whipped cream. The process is quite simple. It starts with pouring whatever cream you’re using into the container. Then to dispense, you pull on a lever that infuses the cream with nitrous oxide. The result is perfectly textured whipped cream in the easiest fashion.
These cream dispensers have become extremely popular because of their ease of use. It’s common in homes and restaurants, so people have possibly eaten cream using cream chargers and they don’t even know it.
Another positive of this method is a guaranteed result. Over-whipping cream is one step towards creating butter. That’s not what you’re wanting to do. So using a whipped cream canister will ensure consistent results every use, rather than have to eyeball the texture as it is mixed.
Plus, using a dispenser and cream chargers means there is a wide range of things to whip. Not every cream is the same, but this allows for many options. Some alternatives include lower-fat cream, Flavoured creams, Alcohol infused creams and vegan-friendly options. The use is far more than only heavy whipping cream.
Whipped cream chargers make things effortless.
What’s nice about the whipped cream dispensers and cream charges is that it is so easy for anybody to work with. It used to take labour or an expensive mixer to be able to make whipped cream. Now with simple to use dispensers, anybody can quickly, easily, and affordably do it.
There is a very convenient process to use them. All you need is the dispenser and to make sure your cream charger is full. Start with pouring whatever cream you’re using into the dispenser. Then place the cream charger into the plastic cap, and screw it on until the charger is pierced.
From there, just squeeze the handle and it will let out the perfect whipped cream! It makes decorating and frosting deserts so much easier. It comes out at a good rate so you can cover large areas.
When you run out add more cream or replace the whipped cream charger for more. Dispensers are airtight and allow for the cream to stay good for much longer than traditional whipped cream. That has to sit in a bowl, already fluffed up, and be used within a couple of days. Once too much time has passed, the whipped cream will settle back into a more liquid state, making it unusable for its purpose.
Whipped cream cannisters are generally the same size and come in a variety of brands. Differences in cream chargers can be things like consistency of weight, Oil and metal swarf left from manufacturing and quality of nitrous oxide but are usually a standard size to fit into most dispensers.
Certainly, there are lots of options for whipped cream. But using a dispenser and charger is the quickest and most convenient method these days.