Diplomat cream

Diplomat cream is a combination of two pastry-making creams, as it’s a crème pâtissière bound with gelatin and gently combined with whipped cream. It’s found in many desserts, such as the Transparence praliné strawberry cake in a cup created by L’École Valrhona. It can be used in desserts, yule logs, millefeuilles or in fruit-based cakes such as strawberry tarts. Let’s learn how Valrhona chefs make it.

Diplomat cream recipe

First, we’ll give you a classic diplomat cream. Then we’ll see how to adapt this recipe to prepare a gelatin-free praliné diplomat cream (below).

Diplomat cream ingredients

Diplomat cream uses the same ingredients as crème pâtissière, except it is combined with gelatin (which changes its texture) and whipped cream.
- 0.5l whole milk
- 100g egg yolks
- 90g icing sugar
- 35g cornstarch
- 6g gelatin (leaf or powder)
- 200g liquid cream (35% fat)
Of course, you can choose other ingredients to flavor your cream. For instance, cherry-based liqueur maraschino makes an Italian-style diplomat cream. Vanilla beans are a more classic, but always popular, option.

Preparing your diplomat cream: the crème pâtissière

All diplomat creams begin with a crème pâtissière. If you have already prepared some for this recipe, there are several steps you can skip! However, you will need to warm it up and bring it to a boil so it adheres to the gelatin, then let it cool.

First, soak the gelatin leaves in cold water to rehydrate them or dilute your gelatin powder in five times its volume of water.

  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan to bring it to a boil.
  2. At the same time, blanch the egg yolks away from the heat.
  3. Add the sugar and whisk it in vigorously.
  4. Stir in the cornstarch and mix until smooth.
  5. Take it off the heat and gradually pour half the boiling milk into the egg, sugar and starch mixture.
  6. Stir so that the other ingredients warm a little.
  7. Gradually stir in the remaining milk.
  8. Heat your crème pâtissière until it boils, stirring all the while.
  9. Boil for at least 2 minutes.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat.
  11. Wring out the gelatin to remove excess water and add it to the boiling pastry cream.
  12. Pour your crème pâtissière into a cold container.
  13. If necessary, cover the cream’s surface with a thin layer of melted clarified butter.
  14. Cover your container with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator.

Preparing your diplomat cream: the whipped cream

Now it’s time to make your whipped cream:

  1. Whip your liquid cream in another container until it’s stiff and light.

Once your crème pâtissière has cooled, combine both creams:

  1. Add the whipped cream to the cold crème pâtissière, folding them together gently.
  2. Use your diplomat cream immediately.

Desserts filled with diplomat cream can be stored for up to 24 hours, provided they are refrigerated at 37°F (3°C).

Adaptations for a gelatin-free praliné diplomat cream

Our pastry chefs often blend diplomat cream with chocolates and other Valrhona products. This is why we suggest making a praliné diplomat cream that doesn’t need gelatin.

Praliné diplomat cream ingredients

You can use the same ingredients in your praliné diplomat cream as in the classic recipe, replacing the gelatin with:

Preparing the praliné diplomat cream

To make a praliné diplomat cream, simply follow the classic diplomat cream recipe above, but change one detail. In step 11, instead of adding gelatin to your pastry cream, emulsify it with your hazelnut praliné.

Using “princess” or “madame” cream

When it isn’t bound with gelatin, diplomat cream is also called princess cream or madame cream.

Gelatin-free diplomat cream doesn’t have the same uses. It doesn’t have the same firmness and isn’t recommended for filling a cake, but it is very well suited to a creamier dessert, such as examples served in a glass.