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Italian Chocolate Custard - Piedmontese Bonet

Do you fancy a genuine dessert from Piedmont? It is really delicious! I really want to share a little secret I learnt when I attended a pastry course.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bonet, bunet, Italian Chocolate Custard, Piedmontese Bonet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people


For the dessert

  • 2 cups of whole milk (½ liter)
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar (125g)
  • 4 large eggs (200g)
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp  of cocoa powder (50g)
  • 1 cup of amaretti cookies  (100g)
  • 1 tbsp of white rum

For the caramel

  • ¾  cup of granulated sugar (150g)
  • 3 tbsp of water (50g)
  • 1 tbsp of honey (20g)


  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the sugar, water and honey and bring to a boil over medium-high heat (3-5 minutes). Cook but do not stir, until the mixture turns golden (1-2 minutes). Gently swirl the pot until it is golden (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and swirl the pan until the sugar mixture is reddish-amber and fragrant (15-20 seconds). Swirl in 2 tablespoons of hot water and pour into one big mold, in single-serve silicone molds, or in ceramic ramekins;
  • Heat the milk until it boils; 
  • In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, add the cocoa powder, and stir in the crumbled amaretti cookies;
  • Add the rum and the warm milk, stir slowly;
  • Then, pour the mixture into the molds;
  • Pre-heat the oven to 300°F (150°C) and prepare the water bath by lining the bottom of a 9” by 13-inch baking pan with a tea towel fitting smoothly. Once the baking pan with molds are in the oven, fill the baking pan, using a tea kettle, with roughly 2 quarts of boiling water until the water reaches halfway up the baking pan;  
  • Bake them for about 40-45 minutes. If you use single-serve molds, reduce the cooking time to 25-30 minutes;
  • Test if the bonet is evenly cooked by inserting a toothpick into the middle, which should come out clean. If it is not so, continue baking for a few more minutes or until the custard jiggles slightly;
  • Set it aside to cool. Once cooled, run a paring knife around the edge of the mold; place a serving dish on top of the mold and turn it upside down with a rapid movement. Choose a serving dish with sides because the liquid caramel will run out. This is a typical rich sauce which greatly enhances the flavor of this treat. 
  • Garnish it with a little whipped cream and a generous handful of crumbled amaretti cookies.