Of all the sweet ingredients you can add to your dessert, double cream is definitely one of the best. It’s delicious whether you whip it or pour it and enjoy it in a variety of different ways.
But what do you do when you find yourself with too much double cream? What happens when the use-by date is coming up and you're not going to have a chance to eat it?
Isn’t it obvious? Freeze it. Like all dairy products, double cream can be difficult to freeze but this doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Freezing is a great way to preserve the double cream for future use, and a way to stock up on double cream if you ever find it in short supply.
There are some things you should consider before freezing which we will consider in this guide.
But if you are looking to freeze your double cream, follow this guide and the entire process will be sweet and easy.
How to freeze double cream
You may not be aware of this, but pouring and whipping creams are measured by the level of fat they contain.
Single cream has the lowest fat content while double cream usually has the most with more than 40% of its content made up of fat. So the process of freezing cream is not universal, it will differ depending on the type of cream you want to freeze.
Considering double cream has a high dairy content, the freezing process is fairly easy to complete. Depending on the format of cream you are looking to freeze, different methods will be more appropriate.
We’ll begin with leftover double cream. If you have used all the cream you need from a carton and know you will not use what remains within the next few days, you should freeze the leftovers.
To do this, all you need to do is pour what remains in the carton into an airtight container. You should never freeze the cream in its original packaging as this is likely not freezer-friendly and will probably burst once it is exposed to the cold temperatures of the freezer.
Similarly, if you are looking to freeze a large portion of store-bought double cream you should follow this method. In this case, you should leave at least an inch of space at the top of the container.
This will provide the cream with room to expand once it is frozen. After you have transferred all the cream you should label with the storage date and place in the freezer for future use.
The process is exactly the same if you are looking to freeze double cream which has been whipped.
How to defrost double cream
Once opened, double cream will only be edible for a day or two before it turns when kept in the fridge. If you freeze your leftover double cream, the shelf life will extend up to 3 weeks, but you should eat as soon as possible for the best taste and consistency.
There is only one way to defrost double cream, and it’s likely the most common method of defrosting that exists. All you need to do is take the container holding the double cream out of the freezer and move it to your refrigerator.
You should do this the night before you plan to use the cream as it will take a while to thaw.
The next morning you will find that the mixture has defrosted, however, it will probably look a lot different from how it looked when it entered the freezer. During the thawing process, it is common for the cream to separate which can look off-putting when you first see it.
But rest assured, the cream is still totally safe to eat and it won’t remain in that watery, clumpy consistency for long. If you find that your mixture has separated, all you need to do is give it a good thorough stir and the ingredients will recombine and look like cream again.
If you want to whip the defrosted cream you can do this. You might find that the thawed double cream appears grainy when whipped and is unable to hold its form as it did before freezing.
If this happens, don’t stress, all you need to do is add some more sweetening ingredients to the mixture and the cream should move back to a smoother consistency.
The most important thing to remember when using defrosted double cream is that you should not freeze it again once it has defrosted.
This may mean some of the cream going to waste. But it is not safe to refreeze double cream that has already been frozen unless you are using it in a cooked dish.
Factors to consider
As we’ve already mentioned, there are some factors you should consider before freezing double cream. These all mainly revolve around the ingredients within the cream itself. Double cream is totally safe to freeze, but some parts of the cream may be affected by the cold temperatures.
The first thing you should consider is the fat content. When in liquid form, the fat particles of the double cream are distributed evenly throughout, but when you freeze the cream these particles also clump together.
Once defrosted, the fat particles may not separate from one another which could leave the cream with a strange consistency. It will still be edible but might not look as you expected it to.
Similarly, you should consider the water content in the double cream. This may be something you overlook, but the high water content will cause the cream to expand while freezing.
So you must leave space at the top of the container to allow room for expansion and avoid any spillages.
Finally, you should be aware that the key to freezing double cream lies in the preparation. With this in mind, you should consider freezing the cream in portions rather than one container.
You can easily do this using an ice cube tray and dividing the mixture between the holes. Once the cream has frozen you could then pop the cubes out of the tray and place in an airtight container to store more easily in the freezer.
This will also reduce waste as double cream shouldn’t be frozen more than once.
In short, yes you can freeze double cream.
It requires preparation to ensure the double cream comes out edible on the other side but it is a great way to prolong the shelf life of your double cream.