Piemonte is one of my favourite dessert destinations. Not only are they famous for their chocolate making skills but they have a mouthwatering range of desserts using local hazelnuts, almonds, eggs, cream and milk. These range from from peaches stuffed with amaretti, panna cotta, gianduia (a hazelnut chocolate spread), hazelnut cakes and biscuits, nougat, brut e bon (almond and/or hazelnut biscuits sometimes flavoured with cocoa or cinnamon), chestnut cake with apples and bunèt (a type of creme caramel flavoured with cocoa and amaretti).
Bunèt is a creamy custard dessert coated with caramel and flavoured with amaretti biscuits and cocoa. Think of it as an improved creme caramel. Amaretti are typically gluten-free (check the packaging when you buy them) so this dish is celiac friendly.
For an illustrated step-by-step recipe, see here.
80 grams sugar
25 mls water
a few drops of lemon juice
100 grams amaretti biscuits
40 grams dark cocoa powder
4 eggs, room temperature
70 grams sugar
500 mls whole milk, tepid
15 mls rum (optional)
Place the 80 grams of sugar and water in a small frying pan to make the caramel. Heat it on medium heat, swirling the liquid occasionally to ensure it heats evenly. When the caramel is golden in colour, about 4 minutes, add the lemon juice to stop it from burning. Add the caramel to the bottom of a rectangular oven pan or bread tin.
Heat a large, deep saute pan large enough to fit your bread tin with enough water to reach 3/4 of the way up the side of the bread tin. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer. (Alternatively, heat a baking tin withe enough water to reach 3/4 of the way up the side of the bread tin in a 180C oven.)
Finely grind the amaretti with the cocoa powder.
Whip the eggs with the 70 grams of sugar until foamy.
Whisk in the tepid milk, rum (if using) and the amaretti and cacao mixture until combined.
Place the mixture into the bread tin and cover with parchment paper, foil or cling film and place in the already heated water.
Cook for 1 hour, uncovered, ensuring the water doesn’t boil. The ideal temperature for the water is between 80 to 90C.. (If baking in the oven, bake for 45 minutes.) Cool the bunèt and refrigerate. When ready to serve, invert the bunèt onto a plate and slice.