Bunet (Chocolate Crème Caramel with Amaretti)

Bunet (also known as bonet) is a creamy, rich custard dessert hailing from Piedmont. The addition of amaretti cookies as a garnish enhances the almond flavor of the pudding while adding a lovely crunch. This version is from Daniel Zeilinga at Fàula Ristorante, whose recipe offers a simple technique for this silky Piedmontese dessert.

Bunet (Chocolate Crème Caramel with Amaretti
Photo: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins


  • 1 ½ cups superfine sugar, divided

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream

  • 1 ½ cups amaretti cookies (such as Asturi) (about 2 3/4 ounces), crumbled, plus more whole cookies for garnish

  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa (about 2 1/2 ounces)

  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Hot water, as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Bring to a boil, undisturbed, brushing sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Boil, swirling pan occasionally, until caramel is a medium amber color and registers 400°F on a candy thermometer, 4 to 6 minutes. Immediately pour caramel into an 8-inch round cake pan. Quickly tilt pan to evenly coat bottom of pan with caramel. Set aside.

  2. Whisk together eggs and remaining 1 cup sugar in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring milk and cream to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; whisk in crumbled cookies, cocoa, and salt. Let stand 5 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually pour milk mixture into egg mixture in bowl. Whisk until well combined.

  3. Set a fine wire-mesh strainer over cake pan with caramel; pour milk mixture through strainer over caramel in cake pan. Discard solids. Let mixture in cake pan stand 10 minutes. Set cake pan in a medium roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan. Carefully transfer roasting pan to preheated oven. Bake until bunet is set on the sides with just a slight wobble in the center, about 1 hour. Remove from oven. Carefully remove cake pan from roasting pan, and place on a wire rack; let cool at room temperature 1 hour.

  4. Cover bunet with plastic wrap, and chill until cold and firm, at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.

  5. Fill a large skillet with water to a depth of 1/2 inch; bring to a simmer over medium. Unwrap bunet. Run a small offset spatula around edge of cake pan. Dip cake pan in simmering water until bunet releases from bottom of cake pan and spins when pan is rotated side to side, 3 to 5 seconds. (Don't leave it any longer or pudding will melt.) Invert bunet onto a large rimmed platter. (If bunet doesn't come out once inverted, keep inverted until it releases.) Garnish with whole cookies. Slice and serve.

Make Ahead

Bunet can be kept chilled up to 1 day.

Suggested Pairing

Herbal, lightly sweet Barolo Chinato: NV G.D. Vajra Barolo Chinato

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