Diplomat Cream and Cherries Tart

Crostata crema diplomatica e amarene | tortaoragione.it

I wanted to try a sponge cake (Pan di Spagna) with cherries in syrup inside. I opted for a shortcrust shell with a modern look. Inside I would put the disc of sponge cake with cherries, moist with a Kirsch based syrup. The tart would be then filled with diplomat cream and garnished with more cherries in syrup. This is how this Diplomat Cream and Cherries Tart was born.

The shortcrust shell did not come out at first. I wanted to use a perforated pastry ring 3 cm in height (1.2 in) but the shell was either collapsing or breaking when I was removing it from the ring.
I am grateful I have Instagram.

After having posted yet another failure on my Instagram stories my IG friend @andrea_sfravara came to help. He suggested the shortcrust recipe of Pastry Chef Gianluca Fusto.
It was pure magic. I blind baked the shell and it almost seemed that the shortcrust shrank during baking. That made the un-molding process work like a charm. Perfect shell!

But other issues were around the corner: the first sponge cake did not come out well. I was lucky I bake two separate discs. In the first one I have put too many cherries, so it got too moist and fell apart.
The second was ok but I would have liked to have more cherries.

It is then of paramount importance to drain the cherries well on kitchen paper to let some syrup out. Same thing for the cherries used to garnish, as they would otherwise release syrup creating patches on the cream.

Diplomat Cream and Cherries Tart

Servings: 8
Ingredients for a 21 cm (8.3 in) perforated pastry ring, approx 3 cm (1.2 in) high. For the sponge cake disc, a 18 cm (7 in) pastry ring.


For the shortcrust of pastry chef Gianluca Fusto:

  • 125 g butter 4.4 oz
  • 95 g confectioner sugar 3.3 oz
  • 35 g almond flour 1.2 oz
  • 55 g eggs 1.9 oz
  • 250 g flour 8.8 oz
  • 2 g salt 0.07 oz
  • grated lemon zest not present in the original recipe

For the blind baking:

  • dried chickpeas or baking beans

For the cherries sponge cake:

  • 100 g eggs 3.5 oz
  • 75 g egg yolks 2.6 oz
  • 95 g sugar 3.3 oz
  • 42 g flour 1.5 oz
  • 42 g potato starch 1.5 oz
  • 100 g cherries in syrup 3.5 oz

For the Kirsch syrup:

  • 100 g sugar 3.5 oz
  • 100 g water 3.5 oz
  • 30 g Kirsch or any other liquor 1 oz

For the diplomat cream:

  • 500 g milk 17.6 oz
  • 4 egg yolks, approx 70g 2.5 oz
  • 125 g sugar 4.4 oz
  • 42 g cornstarch 1.5 oz
  • 200 g whipping cream 7 oz
  • 7 g gelatin sheets approx 1 and ½ sheet 0.25 oz
  • powdered vanilla bourbon the tip of a tsp. or vanilla extract

For garnishing:

  • cherries in syrup drained


For the shortcrust shell:

  • In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment put the cold butter, cubed, together with the confectioner sugar. Mix on low speed just enough time to combine the ingredients.
  • Add the eggs and mix for 1 minute or less.
  • Add 80g (2.8 oz) of the total flour and mix again for a few seconds.
  • Add the remaining flour (170g / 6 oz) and mix just enough to combine the ingredients.
  • Using your hands shape the dough in a flat disc, wrap it with cling film and put it in the fridge for 3 hours (even better overnight).

For the blind baked shortcrust shell:

  • Once stabilized roll out 60% of the dough on a slightly floured surface.
  • Score the dough randomly with a fork. Cut a disc using the pastry ring.
  • Line a cardboard cake disc with parchment paper and place the ring on it.
  • Place the disc of dough inside the ring.
  • Roll out the remaining dough and cut out two or three strips to make the borders.
  • Line the inside of the ring with the strips, pressing firmly at the bottom to make them stick to the base. Remove the excess dough from the edge.
  • Transfer in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven at 180° C (355° F).
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the pastry ring with the dough on it.
  • Wet and wring a piece of parchment paper. Dry it with kitchen cloth and place it over the prepared dough.
  • Fill the inside with baking beans or dry legumes (I used dried chickpeas).
  • Bake at 180° C (355° F) for 30 minutes. Gently remove the parchment paper with the chickpeas and bake the shell for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let the shell cool off before taking the ring off.

For the sponge cake with cherries:

  • Drain the cherries with the help of a strainer. Dab with kitchen paper to absorb as much syrup as possible.
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment put the eggs (but not the yolks yet) and the sugar. Mix at high speed for a couple of minutes.
  • When the mixture is fluffy light in color add the egg yolks together with the vanilla. Mix at high speed for 13-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile sift together twice the flour and the potato starch.
  • Preheat the oven at 180° C (355° F).
  • After 15 minutes the batter should be very “airy”. Add half of the sifted flours and mix at high speed for 3-5 seconds.
  • Add the rest of the flours and mix again for a few seconds in order not to deflate the mixture.
  • Gently fold in the cherries using a spatula.
  • Grease and flour the inside of two 18 cm (7 in) pastry rings. The second one is optional and can be used as a backup. If you only have one ring bake just the one. You can bake the remaining mixture in a different pan to make something else.
  • Place the ring/s on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake with the open valve (or the oven door slightly open) for about 30-35 minutes.
  • Take out of the oven, sprinkle the tops with sugar and turn the sponge cake upside down on a piece of parchment paper. Remove the pastry rings and let the cake cool off completely before cutting.
  • Cut one of them horizontally to get a disc approx 2.5 cm (1 in) in height.

For the Kirsch syrup:

  • Put the water and sugar on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Let it cool off and add the Kirsch. Stir and set aside.

For diplomat cream:

  • Heat the milk with the vanilla.
  • Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
  • In a large bowl combine the sugar and the cornstarch. Add the egg yolks and mix well.
  • When the milk starts boiling add half of it to the egg/sugar mixture and stir quickly to avoid the formation of lumps.
  • Add the remaining milk and stir again.
  • Transfer back in the pot and cook on low-medium heat while stirring constantly. After a few minutes the cream will thicken. Remove from heat and stir briefly every minute.
  • Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
  • Transfer the cream in a (possibly cold) bowl and stir vigorously with a whisk for 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Add the wrung gelatin sheets to the cream and stir to dissolve.
  • Cover with the cling film touching the surface of the cream and set aside.
  • Whip the fresh cream and fold it gently into the custard cream.
  • Transfer in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and refrigerate for approx 30 minutes. The cream should not be warm but also not too solid.


  • Place the disc of sponge cake inside the shortcrust shell.
  • Moisten the sponge cake with the Kirsch syrup. Alternatively you can use the syrup of the cherries.
  • Using the pastry bag fill the gap around the sponge cake with the diplomat cream.
  • Decorate the whole surface with dollops of custard cream.
  • Place in the fridge for 2 hours.


If you don't want to use Kirsch, or any other liquor, you can use the syrup of the cherries instead to moisten the sponge cake.
Did you try this recipe?Mention @tortaoragione and tag #tortaoragione!

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