Cream-Free Cream

Cream is harder to fake than milk, as it’s the fat content which is important for whipping, flavour and all-round sinfulness. That hasn’t stopped a few companies from trying, though. None of the available products will behave like cream under all circumstances: see our cooking tips page for information on what you can and can’t get away with.

Alpro Dairy free alternative to single cream

This is (if you’ll pardon the expression) the crème de la crème of soya creams. We buy it by the shipload and use it for everything from crème brulée to beef stroganoff. If anyone from Alpro reads this, can we have a bulk discount? Many of the recipes in our recipe section call for this, and there is in general no substitute.

Where to get it: Surprisingly ubiquitous nowadays. Most health food shops stock it, and it can be found in Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s and Waitrose. After extensive investigation on behalf of my folks back in Australia, it’s apparently not available there at all unless you can find someone in the UK to ship it to you.

Gotchas: don’t leave an open carton in the fridge too long since it goes bright red. Yes, you read that correctly. I have no idea whether it still tastes acceptable in this state and have no wish to find out. The other thing to watch is adding soya cream to a hot liquid: it has a tendency to split. See our cooking tips for more details.

Granose Soya Creem

Not quite as good as Alpro soya cream, more expensive, and comes in irritatingly-small boxes. It behaves in much the same way, though.

Where to get it: Health food shops (occasionally).

Gotchas: Again, has a tendency to split. Also, the name ‘creem’ just does not sound appetising.

Rich’s Whip Topping

This has been in the freezer for months now, and we still haven’t got around to trying it. I have a horrible feeling that it will taste like that nasty artificial American whipped-cream-in-a-can stuff, but I may be maligning it.

Where to get it: Health food shops.

Gotchas: Will let you know when I’ve tried it.

GranoVita Organic CremoVita

This product is a real breakthrough. It’s a soya cream you can whip. This makes it ideal for use on top of trifles. It doesn’t taste quite like real cream, but if you visualise a vanilla chantilly, that’s close to it. I add a few drops of vanilla extract to increase the similarity.
Where to get it: Health food shops.

Tofutti Sour Supreme

Surprisingly close to sour cream. Perfectly acceptable spooned over a burrito, for example. It tastes closer to the real thing if you add a small amount of lemon juice and some paprika to it.

Where to get it: Health food shops.

Gotchas: we haven’t tried cooking with it, so can’t comment on its stability.
Update: brilliant in stroganoffs. It is more heat stable than soya yoghurt and can be substituted for yoghurt in curries. Good stuff!