Bonet: How the ICCO Taught Me About This Northern Italian Dessert

“The Italian comes to his table with the same open heart with which a child falls into his mother’s arms, with the same easy feeling of being in the right place.”
— Marcella Hazan
No truer words have ever been spoken.
Throughout the past 5 years, I have written often about my connection to my Italian heritage, how I identify, culturally, to being Italian and how that has curated my love of food, family and how it all comes together.
I have written about my dad’s olive oil, our tradition of “putting up” tomatoes (the first part and the 2nd part), roasting peppers and so much more.  To me, food and the culture behind it, is part of my fibre.
Last year, I began doing work for the Italian Chamber of Commerce, covering some events that they have organized in the city.
The most recent dinner that I attended was at the fabulous Luma Restaurant where Chef Michael Wilson recreated an Italian feast for a few of us to enjoy and it was all based on a trip that he made to Piedmont in northern Italy. One of the dishes that I fell in love with was his gnocchi in a white ragu.
Of course, I came home and re-created my own version!
While I sat at the table and listened to Chef Michael describe all of the dishes he made, I knew I had to re-make more than one dish.
So, of course it would make sense that I make the delish dessert that he served…a creamy Italian version of the french creme brulee called Bonet (which translates into “hat” because of the shape). Chef Michael was kind enough to send me the recipe he received from Italy but after doing a bit of research, I put my own Italian twist on it (my heritage, after all, is from central Italy!!)

But before I share this super easy dessert, I wanted to let you in on a little secret…

Over the past few months, the Italian Chambers of Commerce  has been celebrating the Authentic Italian Table (and the True Italian Taste Program) by hosting events across Ontario that connects those of us who love food and has tried to educate us with the hopes that we too would pass on this important information to others (which would include information on true Italian products and their designations like DOP, IGP, and DOC ).

But, how could I best learn about all of this first hand AND pass it onto all of you?

Well, by going to Italy of course.

I AM GOING TO ITALY!!!

(Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell but I am super excited!)

I was chosen to travel to Northern Italy where I will be part of a group of influencers that will learn about true Italian products in Piedmont…and I do hope all of you will join me in the journey!!!  I will be leaving on June 10th and of course, I will be documenting every single tidbit of information I learn and every succulent morsel of food that I am so honoured to have been chosen to try.  Won’t you come along with me??

I promise it will be like you are right beside me…honestly!!

Okay, okay…back to the recipe at hand…

The difference between my bonet and Chef Michael’s is that mine has some added amaretto liqueur and a shot of espresso…because, who’s not up for some extra alcohol and a shot of caffeine??

With the addition of crumbled amaretti cookies, the texture is amazing and it is, in true Italian fashion, much less sweet than it’s Parisian counterpart.

I do hope you give this a shot…and, the best part is it can be made ahead.  So if you are planning an outdoor dinner party, this makes the perfect finish to a warm summer night of entertaining with friends.

And stay tuned to hear about more Italian delicacies …. coming soon to a blog near you!!

Bonet: A Northern Italian Baked Custard Dessert
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • Caramel
  • 125 g (about ⅔ c) sugar
  • 80g (about ⅓ c) water
  • For custard:
  • 50 g amaretti cookies (about 15 small)
  • 250 g (1 c) milk
  • 30 g (about ¼ c) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 eggs (about 100g)
  • 100 g (about ½ c) sugar
  • 25 g (about 3 tbsp) dark cocoa
  • ¼ c espresso (optional but yummy)
  • 10 g (about 1 tbsp) amaretto liqueur
Instructions
  1. For the caramel:
  2. Place 4 - 6 ramekins (4 if they are larger and 6 if they are smaller) on your counter top.
  3. Put sugar and water in a sauce pan and stir well until the mixture is amalgamated; cook over low heat and when sugar is melted, boil until you get a golden brown caramel (it will almost looked burnt).
  4. Remove from the heat and pour the caramel into the ramekins, distributing it evenly over the bottom surface; set aside to cool as you prepare the custard.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350.
  6. Crush the Amaretti in a food processor or blender (try not to get it too fine).
  7. Heat the milk and dark chocolate in a sauce pan.
  8. While the milk is heating, beat eggs and sugar together in a small bowl.
  9. Stream/pour in the warm milk (very slowly while beating the eggs and sugar to ensure the eggs don't curdle) and mix well.
  10. Add the ground amaretti cookies, sifted cocoa, espresso and amaretto liqueur and whisk thoroughly.
  11. Pour the mixture in the caramel coated ramekins and create a bain-marie by placing the ramekins into a shallow pan and filling the pan with hot water until it is about half way up the sides of the ramekins and bake in the lower part of the preheated oven for about 40minutes or until custard is firm.
  12. Let it cool completely and refrigerate for at least four hours before pulling it out onto a plate to serve.
  13. To serve, dip the mold in very hot water for 15 to 20 seconds. Run a sharp knife around the sides of it and invert the bonet onto serving plate.
 

2 Comments
  • Pat
    June 1, 2018

    Have a fabulous trip !

    • Suzie Durigon
      June 1, 2018

      Thank you so much Pat!! I wish I had time to stop by for a hug!!

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