spilt milk and split cream

You probably all know the expression “no use crying over spilt milk” or some variation of it, right? Well, whenever I hear it, I think of this one time in my childhood when I actually did cry over spilt milk – not just figuratively speaking, but literal spilt milk and literal crying.

I was quite young at the time (maybe six? maybe four?) and it would’ve been at home one day, in the kitchen. I really don’t remember the circumstances surrounding it, but I remember there was milk spilt, and for some reason I was really upset and cried.

Of course, my mum was there at the time, and she cleaned it up, and I probably got more milk and stopped crying. The whole incident probably didn’t even last that long. But for some reason I’ve remembered that ever since. I’m not sure if I knew that saying about crying over spilt milk back then (probably not) or when I would’ve learnt it (probably not directly from that incident), but now the connections are all there.

What a silly thing to do, to cry over spilt milk…

Maybe I became more careful after that; I don’t remember spilling milk much after that, or spilling much of anything, for that matter. I also don’t cry very easily in general. As such, that saying about “spilt milk” probably hasn’t crossed my mind all too often since childhood.

However, a couple of weeks ago, when I was making profiteroles (since learning how to make them, and realising that they really are quite easy to make, but also such a crowd-pleaser, I’ve made them so many times), I thought of that spilt milk incident from my childhood again.

See, I had made the shells of the profiteroles, and just had to whip the cream to fill them, before adding the glaze/topping. As you can probably guess from the title of this post, I split the cream. This was probably the fourth time I’d made profiteroles, so whipping cream was not a new concept to me, but I’d never split cream before.

It’s interesting, though, that I don’t think I’ve ever seen split cream before then, yet I recognised it instantly. (I never really could tell, from watching TV shows like MasterChef, what split cream was supposed to look like.)

Anyway, one minute I was furiously whipping this cream, and then in a moment it had become a runny mess. I was devastated. Well, maybe “devastated” is a bit too strong of a word, but I was quite upset. The thought “this is the saddest thing ever” crossed my mind at one point. Of course, I immediately reproached myself for thinking something so melodramatic and exaggerated, and started thinking of what I should do.

I had made the profiteroles earlier in the day, and had waited until night-time to make the filling, so my regular supermarket was already closed (they close earlier on Sunday nights, and it was after 9pm anyway). Fortunately, I remembered there was another one, not too far away, that was open until midnight every night. With barely a second thought, I grabbed my wallet, phone and keys, and was in the car on the way to this other supermarket.

I went in, picked up some more cream, and left, making my most random grocery store run ever. I hesitated for a short time, wondering whether or not I should get extra cream in case I split it again, but took the risk and went with just enough for the one batch I was making. Part of my reasoning, I’ll admit, was that if this didn’t work, I was going to abandon the whole thing. Maybe a small part of me was confident that I wouldn’t stuff it up twice in one night.

Well, anyway, the second attempt did work out ok (probably because I omitted the Nutella which had probably caused the first batch to split). And the profiteroles worked out fine, and they were very quickly eaten up by my colleagues the next day.

As for the split cream, I kept it in the fridge, as I’d also Googled what to do with split cream, and somewhere suggested keeping it to make a ganache. Being too lazy to make something with which I could use the ganache, I made truffles instead, adding lots of chocolate and Frangelico-soaked Oreos. These, too, didn’t last very long.

And now I think of that time in my childhood when I cried over the spilt milk, and I think of this time when I got upset about split cream, and it’s easy to see that none of that really mattered – it wasn’t such a big deal after all. There’s no use crying or making a fuss over split cream.

3 thoughts on “spilt milk and split cream

  1. I’ve had no end of trouble with split ganache. It has split so often that I now just expect it to happen. But now I think I know how to stop it so will try a different way the next time I make it. I’ll probably still make sure I have some ‘spare’ cream just in case 🙂

      • I tried a few solutions after googling ‘how to fix broken ganache argh!’. So now I can recognise the signs when things start to go wrong and can fix it when it breaks. It still gives me a head in hands moment but I’m better equipped to deal with it. Both mentally and in terms of keeping spare ingredients. ☺

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