Pandoro Christmas tree filled with Crema diplomatica

Serves Icon
Time 40 Minutes
  • 750g Pandoro
  • 100ml Vinsanto (alternatively use a sweet dessert wine such as Noble one)
  • 100g red glacé cherries
  • 100g green glacé cherries
  • Icing sugar (confectioners' sugar), to dust
Crema diplomatica
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 65g flour
  • 625ml milk
  • Zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 35g icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 30g instant skim milk powder
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds removed (alternatively 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)

Requires: Disposable piping bag

How to Make It
Step 1

To make the Crema diplomatica, you need to create Crema Pasticciera (Italian pastry cream) and Crema Chantilly and blend them. It is a combination of 2 parts Crema Pasticciera and 1 part Crema Chantilly. To make the Crema Pasticciera, heat the milk in a medium-sized saucepan over low to medium heat until just before boing point, then remove from the heat. Place the egg yolks and castor sugar in a large stainless-steel bowl. Whisk until foamy and creamy then slowly whisk in the flour tablespoon by tablespoon until well combined. Continue to whisk and slowly add the warmed milk to the egg mixture until combined. Return the Crema pasticciera to the saucepan over low heat. Add the orange and lemon zest and continue to whisk until thick (it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon). Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

Step 2

To prepare the Crema Chantilly, refrigerate a stainless-steel bowl for 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the fridge. Place the thickened cream into the cool bowl. Add the sifted icing sugar, instant skim milk powder and vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla bean paste). Use an electric mixer or hand beater to beat until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Tip: The skim milk powder is used to stabilize the whipped cream.

Step 3

When the Crema Pasticciera has completely cooled, use a spatula to fold the Crema Chantilly into the Crema Pasticciera a little at a time until well combined and smooth. The Crema diplomatica is now ready – refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 4

Remove the pandoro from the packaging. Place the pandoro onto a chopping board and cut into 4 slices of an even thickness– refer to note. Place 1/3 of the Crema diplomatica into a piping bag.

Note: If you would like thinner slices of pandoro, cut into 5 slices of even thickness. You will need to use less Crema diplomatica in between each layer and add extra Vinsanto.

Step 5

To assemble the Pandoro tree, place the cut base of the pandoro onto a serving plate. Drizzle the pandoro with a third of the Vinsanto (or other dessert wine). Spread a little over 1/3 of the remaining Crema diplomatica over the Vinsanto soaked pandoro excluding the points. Arrange the next slice of pandoro on top of the Crema diplomatica. The points should be within the points of the base slice of pandoro. Press the pandoro slice down lightly. Once again soak using half of the remaining Vinsanto. Continue layering using the remaining pandoro, soaking with Vinsanto and the remaining Crema diplomatica to form the shape of a Christmas tree.

Step 6

Add the finishing touch by piping the points of the Pandoro Christmas tree with Crema diplomatica. Decorate the points with glacé cherries and refrigerate.

Step 7

Remove the Pandoro Christmas tree with Crema diplomatica from the fridge 20 minutes before serving. Top with sifted Icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar) and serve – buon appetito.

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