Bonet (typical sweet from Piedmont)

Bonet is traditionally served during the colder months of the year. It is a soft, rich dessert, that can be eaten with a spoon.

  • Time

    1 hour

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Course

    Desserts and Fruit

  • Italian Region

    Piedmont

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 oz granulated sugar
  • 4 oz amaretti cookies or macaroons
  • 1 ¼ oz cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Rum

For caramel

  • 3 ½ oz water
  • lb granulated sugar

Preparation

15 minutes preparation + 45 minutes cooking

Step 1

Put the sugar into a casserole and add the water, then put it onto the heat and leave to cook.

Bônet (typical sweet from Piedmont) - step 1

Step 2

Check the coloring of the caramel, which must end up a deep brown.

Bônet (typical sweet from Piedmont) - step 2

Step 3

Pour the caramel into the appropriate moulds for Bônet and leave to cool.

Bônet (typical sweet from Piedmont) - step 3

Step 4

Put the whole eggs into a bowl and beat them together with the caster sugar.

Bônet (typical sweet from Piedmont) - step 4

Step 5

Blend in the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly, and then add the crushed Amaretti biscuits and the rum. Heat the milk separately and then add it to the mixture, mixing continuously with a whisk.

Bônet (typical sweet from Piedmont) - step 5

Step 6

Pour the mixture into the caramel-coated moulds.

Bônet (typical sweet from Piedmont) - step 6

Step 7

Put the moulds into a baking tray containing hot water and cook bain-marie style in the oven at 300°F for 40’-50’, until the dessert has completely coagulated.

Bônet (typical sweet from Piedmont) - step 7

Chef's tips

The mixture must be well shaken to make sure the bitter cocoa is properly dissolved This is to avoid lumps.
The baking must be carried out in a preheated oven, and the water to be put in the tray must already be hot, to avoid the dessert being exposed for too long to the heat of the oven.
Let it cool well before turning it out. The taste is better if consumed the following day.

Food History

Bonet is a Piemontese preparation that was served at noble banquets all the back in the 13th century. Made the same way you would make a pudding or crème caramel, bonet originally did not contain chocolate. Chocolate was added to the recipe after the discovery of America and when cacao became available in Europe. The original version is hard to find today and is referred to as bonet alla monferrina.
In Piemontese dialect, the word bonet means hat and there are two theories explaining why: some linguists believe that bonèt ëd cusin-a (chef’s hat) was the name of the hat-shaped copper mold used to make the dish. Many people in Piedmont, however, will tell you that the name comes from the fact that it was the last thing that you would eat during a meal, just as a hat is the last thing you put on when you get up from the table to leave a restaurant or a friend’s home.

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