Many of us cannot differentiate between different cream and milk labels. The availability of wide options can confuse any. All kinds are made from whole milk that has three components: butterfat, solids, and water. When the unpasteurized milk is let stand, it will separate the cream (butterfat) and skim milk (water).
Butterfat will be the key determining factor. It can enable users to differentiate between different types of creams and milk. We will start with whole milk. In whole milk, the percentage of butterfat is 3.5. By changing the butterfat percentage in whole milk, you can expect many different variations. Here is the percentage of butterfat and other components to enable you to understand different concentrates.
- 3.5 % butterfat in whole milk
- 2% butterfat with 2% low-fat milk
- Skim milk with minimum butterfat less than 0.5 %
- 1% butterfat and 1% low-fat milk
In addition to the above differentiation, you can change different milk and cream concentrates by minimizing water quantity. After minimizing the water amount in whole milk, you can expect the following percentages. We can say that a different quantity of components will give a different label to whole milk. In the following, we will know how the percentage will contribute to cream concentrates.
- 10.5% through 18% Half and Half in the U.S.
- 20% butterfat will make light cream
- 35% butterfat in the milk will make whipping cream
- 38% butterfat will make heavy whipping
Here again, the percentage of the butterfat decides the level of the cream. When the percentage is more, you can get heavy cream. When the percentage of butterfat is low, you can expect light cream.
Now you know how to get more cream in whole milk and which percentage makes heavy creams. Next, we will cover the butter. For butter, you will have to reduce water. More water reduction means the butterfat must be 80% to create butter.
The mixture of half whole milk and half light cream will have around 12% butterfat. If you live in the UK, you might be familiar with the terms ‘half cream’ or ‘light cream’: 12% butterfat means half cream. Some might have come across fat-free. When it is referred to fat-free, you should understand the milk has come from corn syrup, skim milk, or even a thickener. Fat-free milk might not be a great option for your recipes. But yes, you can use fat-free milk for your coffee.
Condensed & Evaporated Milk
In the above, we discussed the concentration of butterfat and water in milk. Now we will know about condensed and evaporated milk. These are sweetened and canned milk. These options can easily confuse any. In evaporated milk, mostly 60% of water is removed. As these milk types are sold in cans, these are called canned milk. Canned milk was popular in 1900 due to its shelf life. It was used in infant milk as well. The canned milk was also used as a cream and fresh milk substitute.
Evaporated milk is available in different varieties. We can take the example of fat-free, low-fat, and regular milk. Unlike skim milk, you can substitute canned milk in your recipes. It will be creamier and richer and can add to the taste and feel of your food. However, you will have to dilute canned milk with water to use it as a substitute. Use equal parts of water and evaporated milk to get the creaminess of your regular milk.
Condensed sweetened milk is stable milk. The key difference between these types is sugar. In sweetened condensed milk, a large quantity of sugar is added. The sugar makes the sweetened condensed milk an ideal choice for baked goods and candies. The sugar contributes to the longer shelf life as well.
Substitutions For Dairy
If you want, you can whip heavy and light cream for different variations. However, it is not suggested to whip the light cream or the above combinations in half-in-half. The reason is butterfat content. A large percentage ensures a better outcome.
You can try substitutes in your recipes. But it is worth mentioning that the dish will not be rich if the butterfat is less. Even if you do not know the cream type, you should always use heavy cream when the cream is required. Heavy cream will prevent curdling and make your sauce more stable.
You can also combine three parts of whole milk and one part of light whipping cream or one part of heavy cream and four parts of whole milk.