Whipping cream first became popular in the 16th Century, when it was called milk-snow, and was often sweetened and flavoured. Today, it has many uses including as a base for mousses and fools and as a topping or filling for cakes and desserts.
Whipping creams are created by mixing cream with around 30% or more butterfat with air. This roughly doubles the volume of the original cream as air bubbles are captured in a network of fat droplets. During the mechanical action of whipping, the cream emulsion is broken, releasing free liquid. The amount of liquid, and the time taken to seep from the cream, determines its stability.