Advice on: Substituting Cream in Dessert Recipes
My go-to substitute for heavy cream in sweet recipes is coconut cream. Despite the name, coconut cream contains no dairy. It’s made purely from puréed coconut, but has a rich, creamy texture. Like dairy cream, coconut cream is high in saturated fat, allowing it to solidify at cooler temperatures. Thus, coconut cream can be whipped, and maintains a rich and creamy texture when frozen.
Coconut cream is also surprisingly easy to locate; you’ll find it in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores under the guise of canned coconut milk. Coconut cream is simply the rich part of full-fat coconut milk. As the coconut milk rests, the cream rises to the top to form a very thick layer that can be scooped out like soft ice cream.
In fact, the sign of a good canned coconut milk is one that separates into a watery base with up to three-quarters of a cup of “stand a fork in it” cream on top. In warmer months, chill the coconut milk in the refrigerator for a few hours to assist in the separation.