By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:
Bonet (pronounced bunèt) is a typical soft dessert of the Langhe region, a historic area of Piedmont, Northern Italy, famous for its excellent traditional cooking. This type of pudding dessert has ancient origins, and there are stories about it (sans chocolate) being served at royal banquets in the thirteenth century.
Bonet in Piedmontese means “hat”—a nightcap or bonnet—possibly indicating its shape. One of the Bonet's ingredients is the famous amaretto cookie made with sweet and bitter almonds (the soft part of the apricot kernel), sugar, and egg whites. Amaretto was invented by the Arabs and spread throughout the Mediterranean thanks to its long shelf life. The Bonet is a spoon dessert and requires, as the crème caramel, to be cooked in a bain-marie.
The secret to a perfect Bonet is that the water in the bain-marie must never boil, so as not to make the mixture harden too much or have bubbles inside. If you follow this little trick, the Bonet will be soft and smooth.
Are you ready to try this ancient recipe?
200 grams amaretti
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp. white sugar
70 grams sugar for the caramel
3 cups (apprx. ¾ L ) whole milk
Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites in two different bowls.
Crumble the amaretti.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the egg yolks and continue to beat the eggs for 1 minute.
Add the amaretti powder, cocoa powder, sugar, and Amaretto di Saronno liqueur and mix.