I told you that this would be a Mediterranean year at Disturbingly Delicious and here I am keeping my promise . Today I’ll take you on a trip in Piemonte and I will treat you with a fine and delicate Italian dessert – the famous bonet, the Piedmontese dessert par excellence. Although in the past it used to be served during the cold season, nowadays it can be found always on every restaurant in Turin.
As I was saying, the bonet, is originally from Piemonte, more exactly Langhe. The name “bonet” pronounced [bunet] derives from the French “bonnet”, considering the French influence in the area and it is given by the shape of the mold in which it used to be baked ( similar to a chef’s hat - ”bonèt ëd cusin-a”) and also by the fact that it used to be served at the end of the meal.
Bonet is the cousin of crème caramel’s enriched with amaretti, cacao and rum and it is part of the spoon desserts family ( “dolci al cucchiaio”).
In the Italian culinary history, Bonet was already mentioned in the writings describing the thirteenth century noble feasts. The original recipe ,”bonet alla monferrina”, did not contain cocoa and rum. Instead of rum, Fernet was used in the past. The modern recipe with cocoa and rum appeared when the new ingredients were discovered in America and brought to Europe entering the wealthy families’ kitchens. There are recipes with coffee and brandy instead of rum and hazelnuts instead of amaretti but today we are going to talk about the classic Bonet with cocoa, amaretti and rum.
Now, after a bit of history, I guess it’s time to get to work.
- - 4 eggs
- - 120 g sugar
- - 50g dark cocoa
- - 500 ml milk
- - 120 g amaretti
- - 20 ml rum
- - 120 g sugar
- - 50 ml water
- Put sugar and water in a sauce pan and cook over low heat stirring occasionally. When sugar is melted stop stirring and boil until you get a golden brown caramel.
- Remove from the heat and pour the caramel into the warm mold, distributing it evenly on the entire surface.
- Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C
- Grind the Amaretti in a food processor or blender.
- Heat the milk in a sauce pan.
- In a bowl, beat eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Pour the warm milk and mix well.
- Add the ground amaretti cookies, sifted cocoa and rum and whisk thoroughly to get an homogeneous mixture.
- Pour the mixture in the caramel coated mold and bake at bain-marie in the lower part of the preheated oven for 60'.
- Let it cool completely and refrigerate for at least four hours before pulling it out onto a plate to serve.
- 1. Bonet must have a creamy texture that is why eggs do not have to be beaten too much, to avoid a spongy texture; for the same reason the water to be put in the tray for the bain- marie should be already hot.
- 2. To serve, dip the mold in very hot water for 15 to 20 seconds. Run a sharp knife around the sides of it. Invert the bonet onto serving plate.
- 3. Instead of rum you can use espresso coffee or brandy.
As you can see, we need few ingredients, lots of fun, a bit of patience and a pinch of love to get a disturbingly delicious dessert, intense and delicate at the same time, a mix of flavors and textures which complete and enhance each other.
In few words I would define define Bonet as a rich, delicate and elegant dessert.
Hoping that you liked our culinary trip today, let enjoy together a slice of this extremely flavored dessert, imagining that we are sitting at one of the tables of the elegant Caffé Torino in Piazza San Carlo.
Hugs from Milan ,