A traditional dessert from Northern Italy, Bonet Alla Piemontese (Italian Chocolate Custard) is deliciously rich, with a perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness in every spoonful. A dessert that you should whip-up when you want to impress your family and friends! Try it!
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Creamy, yes — but never heavy.
The secret is the balance of flavor between the sweetness of the sugar and the caramel’s bitterness. Heavenly.
Trust me; once you’ve tried making this chocolate bonet, you will always use it as an arsenal for special occasions. Did I also mention that you can definitely prepare it ahead? 🙂
- Rum – if you want to serve authentic Bonet Alla Piemontese, do not skip this liquor.
However, if you are serving it to kids, replace it with about one and a half teaspoons of almond extract. The extract is perfect with the almond cookies (amaretti), as well.
If you already have a preferred way of making caramel, use that instead and proceed directly to the instructions for the chocolate custards.
Start by preheating the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Using a small saucepan, combine sugar and water, and mix until the sugar has dissolved (photo 1).
Place the pan on medium heat, let the mixture boil, and turn brown in color (photo 2).
Once you have reached the caramel’s desired color, take the pan off the heat and pour it into the ramekins (photo 3).
Set aside to cool.
Using another small saucepan, place it on top of medium heat, then combine the cocoa powder with milk (photo 4).
Heat the milk, but do not let it boil; then set aside to cool.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the eggs with three tablespoons of sugar (photo 5).
Add cooled milk and cocoa powder mixture, crushed amaretti cookies, and rum (photo 6).
Mix everything to combine (photo 7).
Pour into medium-sized ramekins (caramel should be hard by now).
Place ramekins on a baking tray (photo 8).
Pour warm water (NOT BOILING) into the baking tray, about a third of the tray.
Place the baking tray in the oven for about fifty-five minutes.
Take out of the oven and set aside to cool.
Once completely cooled, place in the refrigerator for at least six hours.
Transfer on a serving plate and sprinkle some more crushed amaretti, if desired.
- Make sure the water in the baking tray does not boil. If it does, lower the temperature of the oven.
- Do not wait for the bonet to harden in the center before taking them out of the oven. The middle of the custard should still be slightly jiggly.
- For easier serving, place the ramekins on hot water for a minute, slide an angled metal spatula along the sides, then turn the ramekins over directly on a plate.
So, give it a try this weekend, and let me know what you think in the comment section below — enjoy!
Italian Chocolate Custard (Bonet alla Piemontese)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp sugar, heaping
- 1/4 cup amaretti cookies, crushed (plus more for serving)
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp rum
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Preparing the caramel:
- Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and mix until the sugar has dissolved.
- Place the pan on medium heat and let the mixture boil, then turn brown in color.
- Once you have reached the caramel's desired color, take the pan off the heat and pour it into the ramekins.
- Set them aside to cool.
Preparing the chocolate custard:
- Combine cocoa powder with milk in another saucepan over medium heat.
- Heat the milk while stirring to dissolve the cocoa powder. Do not let it boil.
- Take the pan off the heat and set it aside to cool.
- Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the eggs with three tablespoons of sugar.
- Add cooled milk and cocoa powder mixture, crushed amaretti cookies, and rum, then mix.
- Pour into medium-sized ramekins, on top of the caramel that should be hard by now.
- Place the ramekins on a baking tray.
- Pour warm water (NOT BOILING) into the baking tray, about 1/3 of the tray.
- Place the baking tray in the oven for about 50 to 55 minutes.
- Take the tray out of the oven and set it aside to cool.
- Once completely cooled, place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
- Transfer chocolate custards on a serving plate and sprinkle some more crushed amaretti, if preferred.
- If you want to keep it authentic, do not skip the rum. But if you are serving it to kids, you can definitely substitute 1 &1/2 teaspoons of almond extract instead.
- Once they are already in the oven, make sure that the tray’s water does not boil. If it does, lower the temperature of the oven.
- The chocolate custard center should still be slightly jiggly when you take it out of the oven.
- For ease of serving, place the ramekins on hot water for a minute, slide an angled metal spatula along the sides of the bonet, then turn the ramekins over directly on a plate.