Why do we always bring cream to a boil?

Joined Sep 5, 2008
In recipes incorporating heavy whipping cream, I keep seeing the instruction to add the cream, bring to a boil, and you're done. In French the term is "donner un bouillon" (give a boil, which means bring to the boil and stop). For example I just read it in Ducasse's recipe for sauce au poivre vert (green peppercorn sauce). 

What is the point of bringing cream to a boil? 


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Probably dates back to scalding milk. This was more common befor pasteurization was widespread. But it does a few other things. Heat can inactivate enzymes which keeps the milk more stable. Heating also helps with infusing the flavor increasing the energy of the fluid helping those compounds move and bind.

The boil or long simmer with the dairy can lead to curdling or braeaking of the dairy.

So just to the boil would be an easy visual clue that you're done but also includes a time element invisibly in the instructions.
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