Double and whipping cream in France
……… fraîche– sour cream
……. ..chantilly – sweetened whipped cream.
……. ..fleurette – liquid heavy cream.
……….fouettée – whipping cream.
………légère – light cream
…….. anglaise – custard.
…….. brulee – rich custard dessert topped with caramelised sugar
……….chantilly – squirty cream from an aerosol can
Mascarpone – a cheese rather than a cream but add a little sucre glacé or powdered sweetener to it and it is a lovely thick cream.
Natillas de Vanilla – available across the border in Spain, it is a proper thick custard like Birds, not runny like Crème Anglaise.
There is no direct equivalent in France for double cream but there are several good alternatives. Some ‘crême fraiche’ can be a decent substitute but you can’t whip it. The ‘souring’ agent added varies from one cream to another so it is worth trying different ones until you find the right one to suit your taste.
For whipping, look out for Fleurette and the cardboard carton creams such as Elle et Vire. Choose ‘epaisse’ or ‘entière’ with a fat content of at least 30% for a consistency that resembles double cream. UHT cream (entière) will also whip but takes longer than English double.
Sachets of powder called ’creme fixe chantilly’ can often be found in the baking section. Add this to cream to help thicken and stabilize it when whipping. Bear in mind that the powder contains sweeteners and flavourings and may not always be suitable.