For years post Christmas and post Easter I’ve been to the shops where they have a glut of cream and they reduce them to silly prices. Well, I always buy them because I’ve found clever ways to use up loads of double cream.
#1 CHOCOLATE GANACHE
As you are going to bring the cream to the boil, if it is past its sell by date but still smells fresh, you’ll be all right to use it. Basically, use equal amounts of chocolate to cream. I have used milk chocolate as well and it still works though not as chocolatey.
300ml / ½ pint double cream
300g plain chocolate
Break up the chocolate. Bring the cream to the boil. Let it boil for 2 minutes. Tip in the broken chocolate pieces. Turn off the heat and stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is fluid and shiny. Otherwise, pour into a container and store in the fridge.
You can use this when cool to cover a cake. Can be flavoured with alcohol.
What can you do with a tub of chocolate ganache? Apart from eating it straight from the tub for whenever you need your chocolate fix, here are some tips.
1) Use it to fill a swiss roll, sponge type cake or chocolate cake. Leave it out of the fridge until soft enough to beat and use a filling.
2) Use it as a topping for cakes. Take out what you think you need, heat it very gently until it just melts. Then let the ganache run over the top of the cake in a smooth layer.
3) Pipe onto biscuits or cakes. Leave it out of the fridge until soft enough to beat. Place into a piping bag and pipe.
4) Chocolate truffles. Leave the ganache out of the fridge until just soft enough to
scoop a teaspoon through. The next bit gets messy if you use your hands.so I prefer to use teaspoons.
Use 2 teaspoons to make a quenelle type shape, then squash it down to make a round shape. If you want a perfect round, put back in the fridge to harden, then use your hands to shape it. Roll in toppings like crushed biscuits, crushed nuts or cocoa powder or leave au naturel.
Here's an example of using ganache to fill and cover a cake that also happens to be chocolate. To be extra indulgent, I added some jam to the filling.
#2 CRÈME CHANTILLY
This light infused cream will go with so many desserts.
150ml / ¼ pint of double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
Whip cream and sugar together until they are soft peaks and flavour with good vanilla extract.
You can freeze crème Chantilly or any whipped cream as long as it contains at least 40 per cent fat. Place dollops, or pipe rosettes of whipped cream onto greaseproof paper lined trays, place in the freezer until they are solid. Then transfer to a freezer-proof container. To defrost for a dessert topping, leave out for about 15 minutes. Or place the frozen cream directly on top of your mug of steaming cocoa or indulgent coffee.
This is a recipe from the Hairy Bikers so of course it has cream! If you use single cream instead of double, it will still work because some people use just all milk in their custards.
2 large free-range egg yolks
2 tsp cornflour
½ tsp good-quality vanilla extract
250ml/9fl oz whole milk
250ml/9fl oz double cream
Put the egg yolks in a medium saucepan with the cornflour and sugar. Add the vanilla extract, and use a metal whisk to combine all the ingredients.
Gradually whisk in the milk and cream then place the pan over a low heat and cook gently for 6-8 minutes, whisking constantly, until smooth and thick. (Do not allow the custard to boil.)
I can eat a bowl of custard on its own but if you’re not like me, here’s some tips on what you can do.
1) Bananas with custard. Chop bananas, grill them or fry them with golden syrup.
2) Take croissants, slice them, fill them in the middle with melted chocolate and/or bananas then pour custard and more melted chocolate on top. Grill or heat them in the oven at moderate heat for a few minutes.
3) Make the custard, cover the top with clingfilm and leave in the fridge. Use as the custard topping for a trifle.
I’m giving you extra! This is use number 4 but it takes a bit of elbow grease. You can be saintly and use the buttermilk for something (red velvet cake?).
I was fascinated by how to make butter when I watched the Hairy Bikers do it once and it looked so simple! I used these instructions by Darina Allen. Here is the link:
These photos show my attempts at making butter.