Bored of plain coffee?
Switching milk with heavy whipped cream sounds like a good way to turn coffee into a delicious treat.
But can you use heavy whipping cream in coffee?
In short, you absolutely can.
But not exactly in the same way you’d add milk.
Let’s see what you should do instead.
Is it a Good Idea to Put Heavy Whipping Cream in Coffee?
Do you like rich, delicious coffee drinks?
Then my answer is – adding heavy cream to your coffee is definitely a good idea.
What it does is it makes your coffee silky smooth. It also adds a bit to the flavor, but your coffee still tastes like, well, coffee.
You see, heavy whipping cream is the fattiest part of dairy milk. Milk naturally separates when processed, and heavy cream is what rises to the top, due to its high-fat content.
Speaking in numbers, heavy whipping cream has at least 36% of milk fat. That’s slightly less than regular light whipping cream, and about twice as much fat compared to half-and-half or coffee creamer.
Now that we got technicalities out of the way, you’re probably wondering – what does heavy whipping cream do to your coffee?
Most noticeably, it changes the look and texture. Since heavy whipping cream is bright white, your coffee will gain a light brown hue, depending on how much cream you add.
At the same time, your coffee will get much thicker and smoother.
Of course, with all that fat content, it’s no surprise that heavy whipping cream is rather caloric. A single tablespoon has roughly 52 calories.
Drinks that Pair Well with Heavy Whipping Cream
A cup of joe and heavy cream might sound delicious, but not all coffee-based drinks will be just as good. Here are those you can’t go wrong with:
This one is no surprise, given that Starbucks has been using heavy cream for a lot of its recipes.
What’s great about using heavy whipping cream in a frappuccino are the options. You can add it to the coffee while blending, to create a rich, velvety texture. Or, you can whip it and use it as a topping. Finally, why not do both?
Next on the list is cold brew. Since both cream and coffee are cold, they will seamlessly blend into a beautiful, smooth iced coffee drink.
When combining cold brew with heavy cream, it’s best to use a concentrate. In that case, you can add cream in a 1:1 ratio, without losing the flavor of the coffee.
Did you know that a shot of espresso topped with whipped cream is a popular way to drink this type of coffee in Europe?
It’s called “espresso con panna,” and you can get it at most coffee shops around the States nowadays. This is the perfect drink for those who find espresso to be too strong.
Finally, what’s Irish coffee without heavy whipped cream? The deep brown color of the coffee creates a perfect contrast to the thick, white whipped cream on top.
But that’s not just for the looks, but flavor as well. The whipped cream also balances out the strong flavor of Irish whiskey and makes the drink much more smooth and sweet.
Heavy Whipping Cream in Coffee: What Does It Taste Like?
First of all, adding heavy whipping cream to your coffee means changing not just the texture, but the flavor as well.
With the first sip, you’ll notice that your coffee is rich and has a thick, buttery mouthfeel. But the overall coffee flavor of your drink hasn’t changed much.
You can still taste coffee, but it’s much smoother. And since heavy whipping cream has no added sugar, your drink won’t be overly sweet.
Of course, you can always add sweetener, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, or any type of flavoring to further alter the taste of the heavy cream. But as it is, it doesn’t have a prominent flavor.
It will taste and feel similar to bulletproof coffee (coffee + butter + MTC oil), with a delicious creamy texture but milkier. And same as bulletproof coffee, it is great for those on a keto diet, since it’s high-fat and low-carb.
With that being said, not all coffee is a great match with heavy whipping cream.
So, for instance, light and medium roasted coffee usually have a delicate flavor profile with subtle notes. If you add whipped cream, those notes will be even less noticeable.
In other words, your coffee taste will be more like cream and very little like actual coffee.
Darker roasts, however, pair exceptionally well with heavy whipping cream. Even when diluted, the prominent notes of dark roasted coffee will still shine through.
If your coffee ends up bitter, adding heavy whipping cream can be a quick fix. It will tone down the unwanted taste and make coffee more palatable.
How Do You Add Heavy Whipping Cream to Coffee?
And now, let’s get to the real thing – how do you add heavy whipping cream to your coffee?
Well, the quickest and easiest way to do it is to pour a splash directly from the carton into your cup. By doing so, the heavy cream will blend with your drink and give your coffee a thick consistency.
Another way would be to actually whip the cream and then use it to top your coffee.
Now, you can buy heavy cream that’s pre-whipped, so it’s ready to go. The only thing you need to do is shake the can, then press the nozzle while aiming at your coffee. By moving your hand in a round motion, you can create a nice swirl on top of your drink.
Alternatively, you can whip the heavy cream yourself. There are two ways you can do that at home:
Using a Hand Mixer
This method is pretty straightforward. Here’s what you need to do:
- Add heavy whipping cream into a bowl.
- Start mixing at a medium speed. Very soon, you’ll see froth starting to thicken. Once the trails of cream you leave behind stop sinking in the second you make them, that means you’re almost done.
- Keep whisking until the peaks of the cream start flopping over.
- Switch to a slower speed and continue whisking until cream peaks stop flopping and cream becomes solid.
With a Whisk
Of course, you can do it the old-fashioned, manual way. This method requires a lot of input as well as effort from you. But that makes the heavy cream even more delicious. Here’s how to make it:
- Add heavy whipping cream into a bowl.
- Start whisking by moving the cream around the bowl back and forth. The cream will first develop frothy bubbles before turning into a thick liquid.
- Continue whisking until the heavy cream develops stiff peaks that don’t flop over.
Whipping by hand takes a bit of time and can cause your hand to hurt a bit. So take your time and make breaks when necessary.
How to Make Heavy Whipping Cream From Scratch
Out of heavy whipping cream?
No problem. You can easily make it at home, as long as you have both ingredients. Those are:
- Whole milk
- Unsalted butter
The process is pretty simple. Here’s what you need to do:
- Add both fresh milk and butter into the saucepan and place it over medium to low heat. Let it heat until the butter melts all the way.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and let it chill at room temperature.
- Store in the fridge.
Alternatively, you can use the microwave to achieve the same results. In that case:
- Add butter into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it up in the microwave until it melts.
- Take out the melted butter and let it rest for a minute or two.
- Add milk into the bowl and whisk for a minute.
- Store in the fridge.
Have unanswered questions related to heavy whipping cream? Here’s a quick FAQ that should solve your doubts.
Does heavy whipping cream curdle in coffee?
If you add heavy whipping cream to an acidic or hot coffee, it can curdle similarly to coffee creamer. But even if that happens, the coffee is still safe to consume.
Can you use heavy cream instead of milk in coffee?
You absolutely can. Of course, expect it to change the texture and density of your coffee. Generally, you can add less heavy cream than you would add milk to your coffee drink to achieve similar effects in terms of flavor.
What is coffee with heavy cream called?
There’s a drink named “espresso con panna,” which translates to espresso with cream in Italian. This is a common option on coffee menus, including the one at Starbucks.
To Sum Things Up
If you want to enjoy a creamy coffee with a rich mouthfeel, then consider adding heavy whipping cream to it. It pairs exceptionally well with dark roasted coffee, as it accentuates its prominent notes.
You can either add heavy whipping cream as it is or whip it on top of the drink with it. Whichever way you choose, you’re going to get a delicious cup of java.
Searching for good coffee to pair with heavy whipping cream? Check out the best dark roast coffee beans that will shine through the creaminess.
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