“I Can’t Believe it’s Not Cream” Whipped Cream!!
All of this time I have been trying to work out a cream that will whip that is dairy free. I have tried coconut cream, mock cream, butter frosting, nut frosting, you name it, I’ve had a go! Do you know that saying: “You can’t see the forest for the trees?” Yep, well, I needed to stop and think about the very nature of cream and start from scratch. As usual, I was over-complicating it.
Dairy cream has a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent. Double cream has 48% butterfat and it is the fat molecule that incorporates the air to double the volume when whipped.
When you first begin whipping cream, millions of tiny air bubbles get whisked into the liquid. The cream becomes frothy and lightens. If you stopped whisking now, the bubbles would eventually work their way out and the cream would become a uniform liquid again.
But if you keep whipping, something more happens. Bubbles are still getting whisked into the liquid, but now the action of the whisk also starts stripping away the protective outer membranes on the fat globules. This allows the fat to join together and gradually form protective bubbles around the tiny pockets of air to create an emulsion. Whip too much and the fat molecules accumulate together and separate from the water molecules and you will end up with butter! If there is less fat, the globules are stretched too thin and it is harder for it to become stable.
Colder cream is easier and better (resulting in more volume) to whip as the cold keeps the fat molecules solid.
So how do we do this without dairy, you ask? You can use any “milk” as long as you incorporate enough fat! While nut milks have some naturally occurring fat, the fat content is less than milk and the fat structure is different. In order to incorporate extra fat into a nut milk it needs to be “homogenised” by cooking.
Commercial milk homogenisation is accomplished by forcing milk at high pressure through small holes to break up the fat cells. It is a tool of the milk industry to unify the quality and flavour but is known to compromise the nutritional value of milk. Some people would argue that this is part of the cause of some milk allergies.
Cooking the fat into the nut milk is a much more gentle way of homogenising – and quicker!
Now, which fat?
I admit, ghee or butter tastes better than coconut oil. Both coconut oil and tallow work but have their own flavour. You could mask this if sweetening of flavouring with vanilla.
Most people who have a dairy sensitivity are reacting to the lactose (sugar) or casein (protein) in the milk. Butter has less than .8% of lactose and can be tolerated by lots of lactose-sensitive people, whereas ghee has no lactose content at all. Butter has approximately 1% of casein (depending on the cow) whereas ghee has none. If you can tolerate ghee or butter, this whipped cream will be the closest thing you will find to real whipped cream as it has the best flavour!
I made this with home-made almond milk as it has the most neutral flavour. Any nut milk will work although home-made is much better as it doesn’t contain any gums or sugars. I taste-tested this cream on 4 unsuspecting people and they all assured me they were tasting real cream. There is no after-taste, no texture, just wonderful mouth feel cream!! I am so excited!! You can keep it dairy free and vegan if you use coconut oil and nut milk. Keep it nut-free by using ghee and rice milk!150g nut milk 150g unsalted butter or ghee 1/4 teas lecithin (optional) Cook the butter and nut milk at 80°C on SP 3 for 4 minutes with the MC tilted. Blend on SP 8 for 30 seconds. Pour into a glass jar or dish and refrigerate overnight. You can keep the cream like this for several days and even just use it for cooking. It makes great carbonara! When ready to whip, return the “cream” to the TM bowl with butterfly and whip on SP 4 until increased in volume. Alternatively, whip the cream in a stand mixer to get light fluffy whipped cream. Tips
- Make sure the cream is very cold and the TM bowl or mixer bowl is cold.
- Don’t use salted butter – it will be awful!
- The cream should not separate and look like normal dairy cream after resting.
- Nut cream will whip quicker than dairy cream so keep a close eye on it.
- The lecithin will help keep the cream from “falling” for longer but is optional.
- I made the cream and it lasted for 2 days before “falling”.
This cream is easily over mixed which will turn it grainy so add sugar or flavours at the start of whipping to prevent over mixing.
I like to sweeten it with a bit of stevia and vanilla. I’ll post a new recipe for a flavoured cream very soon – stay tuned!