madonna del piatto

Italian family cooking


Grazia’s chantilly cream

Italian style Chantilly aka crema diplomatica

I must be the only woman on the Western hemisphere who is not on a diet after the holidays. It can’t be healthy to be on a diet in the dead of the winter. Besides – with all my food intolerances – I live in such a modesty I can afford some culinary cuddling. Don’t you also need a bit of consolation?

This recipe is from my friend and wonderful cook Grazia of Ristorante Nanà in Perugia. I will be forever grateful to her for wisely revealing that custard can be made with whole eggs. It’s disarmingly easy and not wasteful. In addition, it magically produces  a large amount of a delightful dessert with a small amount of fairly ordinary ingredients.


for the custard:

  • 250 ml ( 1 cup) milk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 scant tablespoon maizena (corn starch)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon jam or the zest of 1/2 organic lemon

to finish:

  • 250 ml ( 1 cup) whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoon organic brown sugar or  6 tablespoon caramel
  • light cookies or – much better – crumbled puff pastry

Please note that true Chantilly cream is sweetened whipped cream. In Italy however, this concoction of egg custard and whipped cream is called Chantilly and sometimes crema diplomatica.

Make the custard using my microwave method and let it cool completely. Please note that this recipe is slightly different from my classic custard as it has more sugar  and a whole egg. Whip the cream until firm and add to the custard. Refrigerate until needed.

Just before serving distribute the cream into pretty serving bowls, crumble the puff pastry over it and sprinkle with brown sugar or drizzle with caramel.

Beware, you will be asked for more.

Serves  6


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