The Cream of Creams/Crème de la Crème

Pastry Chefs have long appreciated good quality cream as a vital ingredient in their exquisite creations. There is a delicate science involved in producing cream in its finest form, which gives it the power to enhance recipes. It is bound by strict guidelines, determined by climatic conditions and certainly entails intricate know-how. Recently, a professional workshop was held at the Starhill Culinary Studio to demonstrate the superior quality of European cream. Chef Jean Michel Fraisse conducted a brief theoretical introduction on the cream.

 

Cream is essentially a concentration of fat globules in whole milk that is derived by skimming milk, followed by a homogenisation stage to stabilise the skimmed milk fat. However, the term “cream” is governed by certain laws namely the law of 29th June 1934 and a decree from April 1980, which informs its production method and composition. To be deemed a cream, no additives are allowed save for very small quantities of sucrose (15%), lactic ferments or stabilisers (0.5%). As for its composition (fat content and consistency), only that which has at least 30g of milk fat per 100g from the skimming of whole milk is defined as cream. Anything between 30g and 12g of milk fat per 100g is considered light cream. The term “cream” is not allowed for any other levels than stated.

 

Irrespective of whether a cream is light (12% – 30% fat) or not (at least 30% fat), creams can be distinguished by the following factors; the heat treatment that is applied (ultrahigh-temperature sterilisation, pasteurisation or thermisation), their viscosity (fluid, semi-thick or thick), their structure (whipped cream or whipping cream) and their method of packaging (aseptic or not, jars, bags, bottles, cartons, aerosol, etc.)

 

The climate characteristics of Europe play a vital role in the quality and consistency of its cream. It gives the cream from this region a distinct texture and highly developed aromas. European cream is characterised by its roundness, smoothness, and a bright and fresh taste that at times provides subtle hints of cooked milk, sweet biscuits, fruitiness and freshness.

 

Whether used in cooking or in pastries, European cream responds perfectly to the creative demands of chefs. It is the choice cream in the finest kitchens in the world for its exceptional standards of aerating, holding, texture, consistency and stability that has no equal in the world. An essential ingredient in the culinary world for its important role in improving taste, texture, binding and even presentation, European cream is also appreciated for enhancing aromas and revealing flavours without dominating dishes.

 

Not only is luxurious European cream known for its superior traits, it has practical and dietary qualities. Rich in water, cream is the least greasy fat. In fact, it is soft luxurious and light. Over the years, European cream has managed to adapt to the needs and current trends in the culinary world: progress in the diversification of creams has allowed for greater control when cooking and the packaging has allowed it to be sold on store shelves (instead of refrigerators), providing greater freedom of use and storage. Based on all these factors, cream will always be an essential ingredient in the culinary world.

 

www.creamofeurope.com

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