I was interested in this idea that whipped cream doesn't hold together for some reason. In general, over here in the UK we use double cream for making desserts, which is 48% fat, rather than whipping cream which is 35%. In the US whipping cream seems to start at 30% fat, and then heavy cream is 36%. I guess double cream whips up more firmly, whereas whipping cream gives a lighter texture. I just whip it as I need it, though, so I never even thought about how long it holds up for.
We would use single cream (18%) to pour over desserts like crumble.
Huh. I never thought there might be a difference between cream across countries, but that makes sense!
That makes a lot of sense. I find with whipped cream it does hold up over time but tends to get a little harder it you keep it - presumably as it dries out slightly. It depends how much you whip it, too, if you only lightly whip to a 'folding' consistency then I think it can get more thin and floppy if you leave it.
If I was whipping cream for something where the presentation was important, I would include a small amount of icing sugar and a dash of vanilla essence to make it a little firmer, but mostly I'd just use it as it comes.
I know you can buy 'elmlea' which is a sort of UHT long-life cream substitute - you can buy it in different thicknesses to replace different types of real cream, but it tastes nothing like cream to me. I think it's made of buttermilk and vegetable oil, so perhaps in the same general family as cool whip? I can't stand it, and would sooner go without, but I had a friend at university who would drink it by the spoonful, given half a chance. Maybe you have to be exposed to it at an impressionable age?
(BTW, in our family we don't pour single cream on crumble. Clotted cream all the way
Or double cream, if we have failed to get any clotted cream in. But we do come from Devon, originally.)
I don't think I have ever had Cool Whip or Dream Topping. I don't like the whipped cream in a can you can get as it always tastes quite thin and watery to me (which is inconsistent of me, as I prefer skimmed milk to any other kind, and find full milk just tastes fatty, to me)