One of the most typical and traditional desserts of the Piedmont, this version is from La Contea, Tonino and Claudia Verro’s lovely restaurant and inn. Rich and satisfying, the bonet is a perfect dessert after a light meal.
While it is baking, a crust forms on the bonet, so that there is a thin, firm layer on the bottom when the dessert is unmolded. Be careful not to bake the bonet too long or it will be coarse-textured instead of delicate and creamy.
For the caramel, combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Mix well with a metal spoon (a wooden spoon might carry traces of grease, which could make the sugar crystallize as it melts) and place over low heat. At the first sign of smoke, stir occasionally until the caramel is deep golden in color. Add the water, allow to return to a boil, and cool the caramel for about 1 minute.
Pour the caramel into a
For the bonet, preheat the
Combine the cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs to break them up and whisk in the rum and coffee. Whisk in the boiled cream mixture in a stream.
Pour the mixture into the caramelized loaf pan and set in a pan that contains 1 inch of warm water. Bake the bonet for about 1 hour, until it is firm to the touch and well colored on top. Be careful that the water in the pan does not simmer; add cold water to prevent it from becoming too hot, if necessary.
Cool the bonet at room temperature for half an hour, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To unmold the bonet, insert the point of a paring knife about
© 1990 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.