Diplomat Cream is a classic Italian dessert recipe combining Crema Pasticcera (Italian pastry cream) and sweetened whipped cream (Chantilly cream).
It’s a creamy, rich yet light cream used to fill or garnish desserts and cakes.
In Italy, this preparation is also called “Crema Chantilly all’Italiana”.
In the Diplomat Cream recipe, Chantilly Cream (that is just sweetened whipped cream) is combined with Italian Pastry Cream in a 1/3 and 2/3 ratio.
The consistency and proportion of the two creams can vary depending on the intended use and taste. Thicker and with a fuller taste or softer and more delicate.
What is Diplomat Cream?
We could define Diplomat Cream as an Italian pastry cream lightened with sweetened whipped cream.
Diplomat Cream is a classic pastry recipe perfect for filling pan di spagna or puff pastry cakes, for filling cream puffs, and for making many spoon desserts with ladyfingers.
It also tastes great on its own, perhaps sprinkled with cocoa or served with fresh seasonal fruit!
Here is the recipe for Diplomat Cream with all the tips and tricks, illustrated with step-by-step pictures, to make it to perfection!
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How to Make Diplomat Cream
- Prep Time: 15 Min + cooling time
- Cook Time: 5 Min
- Servings: 4
Diplomat Cream Ingredients
Doses for about 600 g (2 3/4 cups) of Diplomat Cream
For Italian Pastry Cream (Crema Pasticcera)
- 4 medium egg yolks
- 80 g (2/5 cup) of granulated sugar
- 40 g (1/3 cup) of all purpose flour
- 1/2 liter (2 cups) of whole fresh milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean or zest of half lemon
For Chantilly Cream
- 250 ml (1 cup) of whipping cream
- 30 g (3 3/4 tablespoons) of icing sugar
Make the Pastry Cream
To make Diplomat Cream, first you need to prepare the Italian Pastry Cream (Crema Pasticcera). Let’s see how to do it in a few steps.
Step 1) – To make a good Italian pastry cream, first beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a saucepan with a wooden spoon. Then add the sifted flour a little at a time.
Step 2) – Continue stirring for about 5 minutes until the mixture is blended. Then set aside.
Step 3) – Pour the milk into a saucepan. Flavor with vanilla or grated lemon zest to taste. Then put it on the heat and bring it to a boil. When the milk comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and slowly pour it into the mixture of sugar, eggs and flour. It’s very important to keep stirring.
Step 4) –Return the saucepan to a very low heat and continue to stir. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes until the cream begins to thicken. It’s very important that the cream DOES NOT BOIL.
Step 5) – When the custard is well thickened, pour it immediately into a cold container. It’s very important to remove the cream from the hot saucepan as soon as possible to prevent it from continuing to cook.
While cooling, cover the cream with plastic wrap. Keep it in contact with the cream. This precaution will prevent the formation of a skin on the surface of the cream.
The Italian pastry cream is ready! Allow to cool completely.
PLEASE NOTE: For more tips and insights on how to make homemade Crema Pasticcera, read “Italian Pastry Cream Recipe“.
Make the Chantilly Cream
Now you need to make the Chantilly cream, which is nothing more than heavy cream mixed with icing sugar and then whipped.
Step 6) – TIP: We recommend that you place the container and whisks in the refrigerator for an hour before use. Of course, the heavy cream must also be VERY cold.
Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and begin to whip with an electric whisk.
When it’s almost whipped, add the sifted icing sugar and finish whipping. The cream should be smooth, shiny and not too stiff.
PLEASE NOTE: Pay attention to the consistency of the whipped cream as it should still be soft and not too firm. This is to preserve the flavor of the heavy cream and avoid the aftertaste of butter.
Mix the two Creams Together
Step 7) – Add the Chantilly Cream to the Pastry Cream a little at a time, mixing gently with a spatula or hand whisk.
You should get a smooth cream with a soft but consistent texture.
Now you have your Diplomat Cream! Enjoy it plain with a spoon or use it to fill your own amazing pastries!
How to Store Diplomat Cream
You can store Diplomat Cream in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 to 3 days.
Can you Freeze Diplomat Cream?
Yes, you can freeze Diplomat Cream with a few precautions.
Before freezing Diplomatic Cream, place it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few hours. It must be COLD!
Also, the cream must be fresh, made a few hours before. Do not freeze it if it’s more than 24 hours old.
It can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month to maintain its flavor and texture.
Thaw Cream Diplomat directly in the refrigerator.
It’s best to use thawed cream in baked preparations such as cakes, cookies and tarts, or small pastry treats such as cream puffs.
Diplomat Cream Recipe WITH Gelatin or WITHOUT Gelatin?
You can safely make Diplomat Cream WITHOUT GELATINE. Just “play” with the proportions between the two creams, the pastry cream and the Chantilly.
In general, the ratio between the two creams (Chantilly and pastry cream) is 1 to 2, that is, one part sweetened whipped cream and two parts pastry cream.
With these proportions, you will have a firm, soft and delicate diplomat cream in which the taste of the pastry cream is lightened by the whipped cream.
Of course, you can vary these proportions according to your taste or the use of Diplomat cream.
For example, to make layers in cakes, it’s best to have a thicker diplomat cream. So increase the amount of the pastry cream.
Or to fill cream puffs or cannoli, the diplomat cream should be softer and more velvety. Therefore, increase the amount of Chantilly cream.
Sometimes gelatin is added to give the cream a firm consistency, particularly good for filling certain types of cakes.
For example, this consistency allows the cream to better support the weight of the sponge cake layers.
Mix 1 tablespoon of granulated gelatin with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Stir and let stand for 1/2 hour. When the pastry cream is ready, add the gelatin, mix and follow the recipe above.
What is Diplomat Cream Used for?
In Italy, Diplomat Cream is most popular for the famous “Torta Diplomatica” (Diplomat Cake) to which it gives its name.
It’s a cake with alternating layers of puff pastry, diplomat cream, and sponge cake soaked in Alchermes (or another liqueur).
Diplomat cream, however, can be used to fill a wide variety of desserts.
It’s perfect for classic birthday cakes and for the famous Italian Mimosa Cake.
With a baked pasta frolla (Italian sweet shortcrust pastry), you can make fantastic tarts with Diplomat cream and fresh fruit.
Diplomat Cream can be used to fill cream puffs, Zeppole di San Giuseppe, carnival tortelli (Italian fried dough balls) or bomboloni.
Crema Diplomatica can also be enjoyed as a spoon dessert, with cookies or fresh fruit.
In short, Diplomat Cream is an alternative to Crema Pasticcera or Mascarpone cream. Tiramisu with Crema Diplomatica is excellent.
IMPORTANT: Unlike Crema Pasticcera, it’s not necessary to use Crema Diplomatica in cooking, but only raw.
Diplomat Cream: Some Variations
Cinnamon Diplomat Cream
Typically, you flavor Diplomat Cream with lemon zest and/or vanilla, as suggested in the ingredients above.
For a different flavor, you can add lemon and orange zest to the cream. Or add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Yummy!
Pistachio Diplomat Cream
You can also add a tablespoon of pistachio paste to the whipped cream – without adding powdered sugar – and mix well.
Chocolate Diplomat Cream
If you love chocolate, you can add 2 tablespoons of bitter cocoa powder to the heavy cream with icing sugar, then add the chocolate Chantilly cream to the pastry cream as described.
Why is it Called Diplomat Cream?
The etymology of the word “diplomat” comes from the Greek δίπλωμα (diploma), a document folded in two. In the ancient world it referred to the double written and sealed tablet by which Roman citizenship was granted.
Later it loosely referred to a “doubled thing”. In fact, diplomat cream is doubled by combining pastry cream with sweetened whipped cream (or Chantilly cream).