The Real Difference Between Half-And-Half And Heavy Cream
By ANDREW BUI
Food - Drink
Half-and-half is equal parts milk and cream, but what does this really mean, and what difference does it make? It all comes down to fat content, as half-and-half is 10 to 18 percent fat, and heavy cream falls between 30 and 36 percent.
For the most part, half-and-half and heavy cream are interchangeable in recipes. Using half-and-half in place of heavy cream can lighten up a dish like clam chowder without any major consequences, while a drizzle of cream in place of half-and-half can add extra richness to something like macaroni and cheese.
The only exception to this rule is if you're making whipped cream, as the extra fat in heavy cream holds together all the air bubbles you're beating in with your whisk. If you see something labeled "heavy whipping cream," that means the minimum fat content is 36%, so it will whip up fluffier and last longer without deflating.