Cream is a deliciously smooth and rich dairy product that is commonly used in desserts. It is made from whole milk that has been boiled and allowed to cool, allowing a layer of fat and coagulated proteins to collect at the surface. This layer can be skimmed off, and the process can be repeated to collect even more cream. The cream is the portion of whole milk that is rich in butterfat, giving it a yellowish tint. If whole milk has not been homogenized, the cream tends to separate and rise to the surface.
In the past, the cream was extracted by allowing milk to settle in shallow pans, with the butterfat-rich portion being skimmed off after 12 hours, while the even richer heavy cream was skimmed off after 24 hours, and called double cream. In buffalo’s milk, which is rich in fat, more Malai (cream) is produced compared to cow’s milk. The cream can be made at home by allowing whole milk to settle and collecting the cream, or it can be easily purchased in the homogenized form at the market.