Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bonet : ( sweet chocolate/amaretti pudding from Piedmont)

"If I could work my will, said Scrooge indignantly, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"
The holiday season is still in full force. Christmas is now over and many are now looking towards  New Years celebrations, and resolutions. I am not sure what mine will be. In the meantime, here is something I would love to share. 

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


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


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean 
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 5 oz granulated white sugar
  • 4 oz amaretti cookies or  french macarons -crushed fine ( store bought are ok!)
  • 1 ¼ oz cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon  cognac

For caramel

  • 3 ½ oz water
  • 1 cup


15 minutes preparation + 45 minutes cooking


 Prepare a baking pan with hot water in pan . Place in oven to  heated 300F degrees. This heated pan is the 'Bain -Marie". Keep a pot of hot water available on stove to add if water level drops while baking.  


Put the 1 cup sugar into a a thick bottom pot on stove and add the water.


Heat on  medium -high heat,  sugar and water will  begin to boil. The water will evaporate and the sugar will thicken. Coninue heating , watching closly . The sugar will start to turn light gold to  light amber. Once it reaches  light amber, remove from heat. The sugar will continue to darken from the heat of the metal pot. ( I do this to not burn it) 

Pour the caramel into the appropriate molds for Bônet and leave to cool. ( I used small tin jello molds, ramekins, or a ceramic souffle dish) 

Por two cups of milk into a pot on stove. Split vanilla bean. Scrape seeds with a knife. Add seeds and pod to milk, add lemon zest. Heat milk on medium heat until it reaches a slow boil.

Put the 3 whole eggs and 1 yolk  into a bowl and beat them together with the 5 oz white sugar. Blend until all sugar is incorporated into eggs.

Blend in the cocoa powder into egg sugar mixture  and mix thoroughly, and then add the crushed Amaretti biscuits, mix thoroughly.

Remove vanilla pod from hot milk. 

Temper hot milk into egg mixture- Add milk slowly while whisking the entire time. Whisk until all milk is combined. Whisk in cognac

Pour the mixture into the caramel-coated molds.

Put the molds into a baking tray containing hot water( The water should come 1/2 way up sides of mold)  and cook bain-marie style in the oven at 300°F for 40’-50’, until the dessert has completely coagulated. Check water level after 30 minutes. If it has dropped , add more hot water from pre heated pot you have kept on stove.

Let it cool well before turning it out. The taste is better if consumed the following day.

 This pudding is silky smooth, and delicious. If the almond flavors of the amaretti are not of your liking, I would crush  french macarons, of any flavor. I would recommend chocolate, or pistachio, hazelnut, raspberry, coconut  :)

large souffle dish


  1. This is so much a favorite dessert my family would love Buon Natale this is marvelous, thanks for leading me here you have a lovely blog!

  2. Thanks Pegasus! It really is soo yummy! I know you will love t :)