We The Italians | Italian cuisine: Bonet

Italian cuisine: Bonet

Italian cuisine: Bonet

  • WTI Magazine #126 Apr 18, 2020
  • 487

Bonet is a typical and undoubtedly tasty spoon dessert from Piedmont (in particular from the Langhe area), perfect to serve at a party or holiday dinner. It is prepared with amaretti cookies, cocoa, eggs and milk, and is covered with rum-flavored caramel. You can also add 1 tablespoon of rum to the batter if you like. 

It was often served at noble banquets in the 13th century and originally did not contain chocolate. Chocolate was added to the recipe after its discovery in America, when cacao then 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 about the name: some linguists believe that bonèt ëd cusin-a (chef’s hat) was the name of the hat-shaped copper mold used to make the dessert. Many people in Piedmont, however, will tell you that the name comes from the fact that it is the last dish that you eat during a meal, just as a hat is the last thing you wear when you go out.


Total preparation time: 5 hours    Baking time: 60 minutes      Cooling time: 4 hours Servings: 8-10


5 medium whole eggs + 1 yolk

200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar

50 g (2 oz)  bitter cocoa

200 g (7 oz) amaretti, finely crumbled + some whole to decorate

750 ml (1cup + 2 tablespoons) lukewarm milk

Caramel Sauce

150 g (¾ cups) sugar

30 ml (2 tablespoons) water

1 tablespoon rum


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350°F) and place the rack in the middle.
  2. In a bowl beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk, add the cocoa, amaretti and milk. Mix and set aside.
  3. Prepare the caramel: in a saucepan over medium heat the sugar, water and rum without mixing but only by moving the saucepan, until the sugar turns brown, while remaining liquid. Pour into a rectangular baking mold (25x14cm, 10X5.5 inch) and rotate to coat the sides.
  4. Pour the batter into the caramel-coated mold, taking care not to burn yourself.
  5. Bake “bain-marie” in a large baking pan with 2/3 of water for about 60-70 minutes. After 60 minutes check, the mixture should be solid and begin to detach from the sides of the mold. If this does not occur, continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes.
  6. Leave to cool in a semi-open oven.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight covered with plastic wrap. It is better the day after.
  8. Remove from the mold with the help of a knife and turn the mold upside down on a serving plate. Decorate with amaretti and serve.