Rosemary & Black Pepper Bonet with Brown Butter Crumble Recipe

image of citrus bonet via greedy guts

Bonet (pronounced bow-nay) is a sweet typical of the Piedmont region that was initially served at noble banquets in the 13th century but is now seen as more of a home dessert to be enjoyed with families or at a local family run trattoria. Traditionally served in the colder months, its a soft, rich creme caramel like dessert.

If creme brulee or panna cotta turns you into a quivering pool of excitement, the bonet might just be the dessert for you. If the soft, silky, creamy custard in any form whets your appetite, you need to dip your spoon into a little bowl of bonet. The brown butter crumble sprinkled liberally on top creates a divine textural contrast that just keeps that spoon dipping in for more.

For the Bonet

2 1/2 cups cream, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar

1 bunch fresh rosemary

Bring ingredients to a boil then let cool for 20 minutes.

5 egg yolks, 1 whole egg, 1/4 cup sugar, pinch of salt

Cream together then slowly add rosemary cream mixture then strain.

For the Caramel

2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup water

Caramelize sugar then add boiling water to make a pourable caramel.

In the bottom of a ramekin, pour caramel crack black pepper on top then cover with custard base.

Bake in water bath and cover with aluminium foil for 40 minutes at 300F. Rotate halfway through cooking.

Brown Butter Crumble

1/2 cup butter, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until it forms pea sized rounds.

Place rounds on cookie sheet, bake at 350F until they brown.

Remove brown butter cookies from sheet and pulse in food processor till desired texture is reached.

Sprinkle generously on rosemary & black pepper bonet.



In Piemontese dialect, the word bonet means hat and there are two theories explaining why: some linguists believe that bonèt ëd cusin-a (chef’s hat) was the name of the hat-shaped copper mold used to make the dish. Many people in Piedmont, however, will tell you that the name comes from the fact that it was the last thing that you would eat during a meal, just as a hat is the last thing you put on when you get up from the table to leave a restaurant or a friend’s home.