How to make Diplomat Cream (crème diplomate recipe), A delicious vanilla frosting made from a mixture of vanilla pastry cream and whipped cream (crème chantilly). It is an easy recipe to make and perfect for filling and decorating all your cakes.
This French crème diplomate (diplomat cream) also called "Crème Madame" is a delicious icing recipe with a smooth and creamy texture that is often used in French pastries but also all over the world to fill and decorate cakes.
This beautiful vanilla frosting is simply made by preparing a vanilla pastry cream (creme patissiere) with gelatin and in which we add chantilly cream which is simply a whipped cream.
The result is just incredible, it is much smoother and firmer than a mousseline cream or stabilized whipped cream, and much lighter and tastier than a buttercream.
This diplomat cream recipe is the ultimate cake-filling cream, perfect to fill the choux pastry, it is also found in the French fraisier cake or in the tart tropezienne recipe.
It's a very easy-to-make recipe and you don't need to be a pastry chef to make this delicious frosting, follow this guide and my tips to make it.
Ingredients and substitutions
Here is an overview of the ingredients needed and possible substitutions to make this delicious vanilla diplomat cream, scroll down the page to see the quantities in the recipe card.
Pastry cream is a delicious vanilla-flavored filling that is usually used in pastries to fill pâte à choux or mille-feuille.
The pastry cream comes into the composition of many recipes, mixed with unsweetened whipped cream as here it gives the diplomat cream, with unsalted butter it becomes the mousseline cream and with almond cream, it is used to fill the galette des rois.
Classic pastry cream is a basic recipe very simple to make and in which we add in addition gelatine leaves, to give it a much firmer hold.
- Milk: use whole milk or semi-skimmed milk.
- Vanilla: a vanilla bean or use a vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
- Eggs: whole eggs or egg yolks for a more flavourful cream.
- Sugar: granulated sugar.
- Cornstarch: cornstarch helps to thicken the pastry cream.
- Gelatin: sheet gelatin or an equivalent amount of powdered gelatin, which you can also replace with agar agar.
Heavy cream: full heavy cream with at least 30% fat or heavy whipping cream and very cold. You can replace the heavy cream with mascarpone or make a mixture of heavy cream and mascarpone for an even firmer texture.
You will find the quantities and instructions in the recipe card below
How to make vanilla diplomat cream
1 - Make the Pastry Cream
- Rehydrate the gelatin sheets by immersing them in a bowl of cold water.
- Place the milk with the vanilla bean split in two and scraped (or vanilla extract) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let infuse for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Add the cornstarch and mix again to incorporate it.
- Pour the hot milk, previously separated from the vanilla bean, into the egg yolk mixture and mix vigorously with a whisk until you have a milk mixture.
- Transfer the hot milk mixture to the saucepan and while constantly stirring, heat over medium heat until the pastry cream thickens.
- Remove from the heat and add the drained gelatin leaves and stir to incorporate.
- Pour the pastry cream into a large baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until cool.
Tips: When the pastry cream starts to boil, cook for 2 minutes longer while whisking. Always stir vigorously to prevent the cream from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to avoid lumpy pastry cream.
2 - Add the whipped cream
- Place the cold, heavy cream in a mixing bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream at medium speed for about 3 minutes until you have a thick whipped cream with stiff peaks.
- Remove the chilled pastry cream from the refrigerator and place it in a large bowl.
- Mix the pastry cream with an electric mixer for a few seconds to loosen it.
- Gently fold in the whipped cream with a flexible spatula until you have a smooth, creamy diplomat cream.
- Your diplomat cream is ready to use immediately to fill your cakes or place it in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
Tip: Whip the pastry cream with the whipped cream at the last moment to have a smooth and firm cream to use in your desserts.
Frequently asked questions
You can add fruit purees or food coloring to color your diplomat cream.
No, diplomat cream is a rather fragile cream and cannot be frozen.
Diplomat cream can only be kept in the fridge for about 2-3 days max.
Mousseline cream is the mixture of pastry cream with butter, diplomat cream is the mixture of pastry cream with unsweetened or sweetened whipped cream.
What to do with this frosting
- Replace the mousseline cream
- Fill and decorate a layer cake or cupcakes with a pastry bag.
- In tiramisu.
- For a fresh fruit dessert.
- Flavored with praline past to fill a Paris-Brest.
- To fill a tart shell like a strawberry tart.
- To make a number cake.
- In mille feuille recipe.
More vanilla frostings
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Mascarpone frosting cream
- American vanilla buttercream
- Cream cheese frosting
- Italian Meringue Buttercream
- White chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream
- Whipped white chocolate ganache frosting
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