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Italian Chocolate Custard with Amaretti (Bonet alla Piemontese)

6 Servings

3½ hours 25 minutes active

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Amaretti are crisp, airy Italian cookies with an almond flavor. In this elegant dessert from Italy's Piedmont region, the cookies are crushed, then soaked and baked into a cocoa-enriched custard. A layer of caramel on the bottom of the pan becomes a sauce once the dessert is unmolded, similar to crème caramel or flan. During baking, the amaretti crumbs rise to the surface of the custard and form a cake-like layer that, after inverting, becomes the base of the dessert. Coffee heightens the chocolatey flavor and a bit of dark rum adds a subtle bite that balances the sweetness. If you can’t find amaretti, substitute an equal amount of Stella D’oro Almond Toast. To crush the cookies, place them in a heavy-duty zip-close bag and bash them gently with a rolling pin. Either Dutch-processed or natural cocoa works in this recipe.




Don’t let the custard mixture cool before baking or the timing will be off. The baking time may also be affected by the temperature of the water in the water bath, so make sure to use room-temperature, not hot or boiling, water. Don't be surprised if a little caramel remains in the pan after the custard is unmolded; this is normal.

3½ hours

25 minutes active


  • 107

    grams (½ cup) plus 71 grams (⅓ cup) white sugar

  • cups heavy cream


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