What is clotted cream
Our Guide to making, tasting, and using English Clotted Cream
William Gladstone served as Queen Victoria’s Prime Minister on four occasions so he was certainly a skilled politician. But he also knew a thing or two about high tea because he described clotted cream as “the food of the gods”. He wasn’t wrong.
So this month we dive headlong into answering your top four questions about clotted cream because it is not only the food of the gods – it’s also an essential part of the perfect high tea. With no further ado here are your top four questions:
• What is clotted cream
• What does it taste like
• Is it bad for you and
• Can I make it at home?
What is clotted cream?
There are several kinds of cream which you may know by different names, depending on where you live:
• single/pouring cream: usually used for pouring or enriching sauces etc. It has a minimum fat content of around 18%
• thickened/whipped / heavy/double cream. Double cream is skimmed from the top of milk, aerated and sometimes contains gelatine to thicken and stabilize. It has a minimum fat content of 48%.
• clotted cream. A very thick cream with a jaw-dropping minimum butterfat content of 64%. It is produced by gently heating cow’s milk until the cream rises to the top, creating a delicious rich, thick crust layer on the top.
The cream’s quality is judged by its consistency (more spreadable than butter but firmer than whipped cream, a silky, thick crust, and its colour (higher butter fat content results in a golden-yellow colour, and richer taste).
There is a long history of clotted cream making in two particular counties of southwest England. Cornwall and Devon. According to the British Food website, however, its origins go back some 2,000 years – to settlers from the Middle East who preserved buffalo milk with the clotting process. It must have worked because legend has it that not even a witch’s breath can sour clotted cream.
What does clotted cream taste like?
But it’s the rich, buttery, nutty, taste that keeps us coming back for more today. And that flavour is influenced by the breed of cow, the richness of their pasture and the method of cream production. Devon and Cornwall have a long-running rivalry over which of produces the best clotted cream but, when all is said and done, the better the cows’ diet, the higher the butter fat content in the milk and tastier the cream will be. If you’ve ever tried scones with jam and clotted cream you’ll know there’s nothing quite like the luxurious taste of clotted cream.
Is clotted cream bad for me?
As you might guess from its high fat content, clotted cream is an indulgence. Delicious as it is, we recommend eating n moderation, rather than on a daily basis. Nor, being a dairy product, is it included in a plant-based diet. (We offer an alternative as part of our vegan high tea menu
That said, avoiding fats completely is unhealthy too so we can enjoy it as part of a High Tea treat guilt-free! We also note that real clotted cream doesn’t generally contain the additives found in other dairy products, such as double cream. Plus, its natural sweetness means it doesn’t need additional sugar either.
If you’d like to substitute clotted cream for something with a lower fat level you could try adding a little icing (powdered) sugar to creme fraiche or marscepone. Or simply use whipped cream. As long as it’s eaten in moderation, as a treat, real clotted cream can’t be beaten for flavour and luxury.
How to make clotted cream?
Yes, you can make clotted cream yourself. It’s a bit of a labour of love because it takes 12 hours in a very gentle oven, followed by resting overnight in the fridge. Even so, clotted cream can be made at home and is well worth the effort.
We do love to spoil you with our own clotted cream, either here in our beautiful high tea parlour or in one of our lovingly-prepared hampers, so we felt generous and prepared a step-by-step guide on how to make a creamy clotted cream recipe from home. Enjoy!
How can I try clotted cream with Aimee Provence?
So, was Queen Victoria’s Prime Minister right? Is clotted cream a food of the gods? There’s only one way to find out ……… whether you join us here at our gorgeous high tea parlour or decide to make your own, you need to try this delicious treat for yourself!
It might be a luxurious treat; a once in a while kind of food, rather than (unfortunately) the everyday kind but clotted cream is the kind of deliciousness we all need in our lives now and then.
Why not book a special high tea with us? We’d be honoured to introduce you to clotted cream, served with our light-as-a-feather scones (baked to our own secret recipe) and fruit-filled boysenberry jam at our elegant parlour.
And, you can choose a gluten-free High Tea menus or, if you’d rather go dairy-free, we are pleased to offer you a scrumptious plant-based alternative as part of our vegan menu.
However you choose to try clotted cream – or come back for more (who could blame you?) – we hope you have enjoyed our four top questions and found this article useful. If you have any comments or questions we’d love to hear them!