What is Bitter Cream? [Explained]

Cream is an essential part of a dessert. It gives a rich and creamy texture and makes the dessert more delicious. It also makes the plating easier for the chefs. Do you know that sometimes they can turn bitter and spoil the dessert? Yes. The whipped cream can become bitter. 

In this article, we shall discuss more what bitter cream is, the reasons why the cream turns bitter, how to identify if your cream has turned bitter and how to use the bitter cream. Let us get started.

What is Bitter Cream?

Bitter cream is when the whipped or fresh cream turns bitter. The cream is a combined mixture of sugar and milk. You can store them and use them for a few days post the preparation. If you are using store-bought cream, you can use them for at least a week after the expiry date if you store them properly.

You should also remember that the sugar and milk in the whipped cream tend to ferment if stored for a more extended period or if not stored properly. The fermentation can make the cream taste bitter.

Before using your long-stored whipped cream, you need to check the smell and taste. 

Why does my Cream Taste Bitter?

The cream is the cherry on top of the dessert. It gives a new look and feels to the desserts. The cream, in general, is a heavy substance whipped rigorously and made light to include in the desserts. You may also notice vanilla essence in some whipped creams.

The sugar and milk in the cream tend to ferment and give a bitter taste to your cream. The protein and lactic acid in the sugar and milk tend to break down quickly during fermentation. The fat in the milk begins the oxidation. In the process of Oxidation, the bacteria in the cream begin to gulp in the milk components. And this is the reason why your cream tastes bitter.

How Long does whipped cream last?

The life span of a whipped cream depends on storage. The preferred mode of storage is to freeze them. While refrigerating them is still accepted, freezing proves to lock the life span of the cream. There are two forms of whipped creams available.

  • Home-made whipped cream
  • Canned store-bought whipped cream.

The following table gives a summary of the life span of the different forms of whipped cream.

Form of Whipped CreamConditionRefrigeratorFreezer
Canned CreamUnopened1 to 3 Weeks3 to 4 Months
Canned CreamOpened7 to 10 days3 to 4 Months
Homemade Cream2 to 3 days2 to 3 Months

From the above table, it is evident that freezing increases the shelf life of the cream. It is important to note that, while storing the whipped cream in the freezer, use an airtight container. You can thaw the cream before using it in the dish. Remember that the frozen heavy cream cannot be whipped once they are thawed. That is the reason why you need to freeze the whipped cream. You can make whipped cream by yourself.

How to check if your cream has gone bitter?

Before using the stored whipped cream, it is essential to check the taste and smell even if the shelf life has not expired. You need to know if your cream has gone bitter. Else, it may ruin your dessert. Here is how you can check if your cream has gone bitter.

Step 1: Check how it is stored.

Storage is an essential factor that decides whether to make cream live or die. The whipped cream can be easily spoilt if not stored properly. The whipped cream cannot stand a warm temperature. That is the reason why you need to freeze them. Refrigerating would be a better option but not as much as freezing.

Step 2: Check the Expiry Date

There is no expiry date for homemade whipped cream. So, when you buy canned whipped cream from the store and freeze them, check the expiry date. Interestingly, you can still use the Store-bought cream past its expiry date but not later than one week after the expiry. You need to store them at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Step 3: Check the smell and taste of the whipped cream.

The fresh or frozen whipped cream, which is not spoilt, smells like light milk. So, smelling the frozen whipped cream can tell you if it is suitable for use. If you have stored the whipped cream for more than a week since its expiration, there are equal chances of being excellent and spoilt.

You can use just a pinch of cream and smell it. If you find a rotten smell, your cream has gone already. You can also taste a bit to confirm. You can confirm that your cream is spoilt if you find it sour and bitter.

Ensure to take only a pinch for tasting. You may consume a lot of bacteria if you taste a lot of creams.

Read our article on How To Make Peanut Butter Stiff.

Can I Use Bitter Cream for Desserts?

No. You cannot use bitter cream in any desserts. It is not safe and healthy. But, it has some uses. The bitter cream can be used to give a sour and rich flavor to 

  • Potatoes
  • Burritos
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Oatmeals
  • Custard
  • Ice Cream.

Remember that you can only drizzle them and not use them in huge quantities. The spoilt cream is going to the bin, and you must make or buy a new cream.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is heavy cream supposed to taste bitter?

The Heavy cream usually lasts a bit longer than the whipped cream. But, they have to be frozen. Everything has an expiry, and so does the heavy cream. If you store them past their expiry date, you will surely get a spoilt and disgusting smell from the heavy cream. Heavy cream is not supposed to taste bitter. But, if you use it to post the expiry date, you will get a bitter and sour taste.

2. How do you remove bitterness from cream?

The Severity of the bitterness will determine if we can remove the bitterness or not. If there is mild bitterness, you can mix them with fresh cream. This will bring in the milky flavor and remove the bitterness from the cream.

Even after mixing, you can still add some more milk if you feel some bitterness. You cannot use the cream if the bitterness is moderate to high. You have to throw them away.

3. What can I substitute for heavy cream?

Assuming you have spoilt cream, you must prepare your favorite dessert. The Unsalted butter comes to give you a helping hand. You can melt the butter and add milk to it. Whisk the mixture continuously to get a creamy texture. You have the creamy texture to include in your dish.

Take Away

Bitter cream is when your freshly whipped cream becomes sour and bitter. Well, if the severity of the bitterness is mild, you can still use them. Else, you just need to forget about it and go for a new one. Always remember that storage is the primary factor determining the shelf life of the cream. 

Your cream can stay fresh if you keep it refrigerated but not as much as frozen. But, if kept outside, you will indeed have a bitter cream. Store them wise and Happy cooking!