A creamy and delicious Cappuccino Parfait, easy and simple, made with a delicate Italian Coffee Pastry Cream and layered with a Chantilly cream. Just like a cappuccino only better!
Every time I make a this pastry cream I have a hard time not eating it all with a spoon before I use it for something, it’s definitely one of my favorites. Italian pastry creams, known as Crema pasticcera is not a difficult thing to make, it just needs time and your undivided attention. It’s perfect to use as a filling for Sporcamuss, a Fruit Pizza, a Summer Trifle or even to fill Bigne/Zeppole.
After I made this cream I knew I had to make a dessert that wouldn’t hide the cream, nothing baked or frozen, something simple, a No-Bake Parfait would be perfect, a little like a Tiramisu in a glass.
Ingredients to make a Cappuccino Parfait
For the Coffee pastry cream
- Milk – whole milk
- Cream – whole/whipping or heavy cream with at least 30% fat content
- Sugar – granulated sugar
- Egg yolks – room temperature
- Coffee – strong coffee
- Flour – all purpose flour
- Sugar – powdered sugar
- Cream – whole/whipping or heavy cream
- Vanilla extract
- Chocolate – grated chocolate or cocoa powder
How to make a Cappuccino Parfait
First thing to do is make the coffee pastry cream.
On medium heat, heat the milk, cream and coffee in a medium saucepan or pot until hot but do not boil, let cool to warm.
In a medium pot add the egg yolks and sugar whisk to combine, whisk in the flour.
Place the pot over low/medium heat, slowly add the warm milk mixture and continue whisking (don’t stop until very thick).
Transfer the pastry cream into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, make sure the plastic wrap touches the pastry cream, refrigerate for at least 3 hours or even better overnight, before using.
Beat the refrigerated pastry cream before using to bring it make to its creaminess.
In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form, add the sugar and beat until stiff.
Using 3-4 glasses (depending on the size of the glasses) make five layers, start and end with the coffee cream. Chill the dessert for about an hour, then, add a dollop of the remaining Chantilly cream on top of each parfait, sprinkle with grated chocolate or cocoa powder before serving.
In Italy there is a type of gelato that we all love called “Coppa di Nonno” it is the best store-bought Cappuccino Ice Creams I have ever eaten. When my daughter who was the first to try this Cappuccino Parfait said “Ma, this tastes just like the gelato”! I knew I had a winner!
Who invented the Cappuccino?
The belief has that the drink was invented by Marco da Aviano, a friar of the Capuchin order. When the Pope arrived in Vienna in 1683, he was served a cup of coffee. The friar, believed the drink to be too bitter, so he requested some to sweeten it.
A waiter then gave him some milk, which he added to the Pope’s coffee. The milk gave the coffee the color similar to the friar’s capuchin tunic. It seems that the waiter, after seeing the result, exclaimed ”Kapuziner!”, and hence the name.
Different types of Cappuccino available in an Italian coffee bar
- Light or dark cappuccino – This depends on the larger or smaller quantity of espresso in the drink.
- Cappuccino with cream – Once the drink has been made you can add a dollop of whipped cream to the top, with a sprinkle of cocoa or chocolate flakes.
- Spiced cappuccino – For this type of cappuccino, the preparation is made with the addition of spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or star anise powder.
- Cold cappuccino – The perfect drink for a hot summer day, sometimes ice is added.
- Flavored cappuccino – A more indulgent drink, with a hazelnut, chocolate, pistachio, caramel syrup added.
Different ways to make a Cappuccino Parfait
- If you prefer you could add a layer or two of lady finger, sponge or pound cake pieces. You could also dip them in coffee before adding them if you prefer.
- You could serve it in dessert bowls rather than glasses and use 1-2 layers.
- To the Chantilly cream you can also add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
How to store it?
The Italian dessert should be kept in the fridge in an airtight container or well covered with plastic wrap, it will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge. Because it contains pastry cream, I don’t advise freezing.
This Creamy Cappuccino Parfait dessert has become one of our favourites. Simple but absolutely delicious. Enjoy!
Creamy Cappuccino Parfait
COFFEE PASTRY CREAM
- ¾ cup milk (whole)
- ¾ cup cream heavy, whole or whipping cream at least 30% fat content
- 5 tablespoons strong coffee
- 4 large egg yolks (room temperature)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3½ tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup cream whole, heavy or whipping cream
- ½-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons grated chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder
COFFEE PASTRY CREAM
- Heat the milk, cream and coffee until hot but do not boil, let cool to warm.
- In a medium pot add the egg yolks and sugar whisk to combine, whisk in the flour, place over low heat add the warm milk mixture and whisk continuously until very thick. Pour the pastry cream into a clean heat resistant bowl, cover with plastic wrap refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or even overnight.
- In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form, add the sugar and beat until stiff. Remove 3-4 heaping spoonfuls of the cream to a small bowl to use as a topping, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Remove the pastry cream from the fridge and beat the chilled pastry cream before using to bring it make to its creaminess.
- Using 3-4 glasses (depending on the size of the glasses) make five layers, start and end with the coffee cream. Chill the dessert for approximately 1-2 hours, add a dollop of the remaining Chantilly cream on top of each parfait, sprinkle with grated chocolate or cocoa powder before serving. Enjoy!
Updated from May 13, 2016.