Marco Pierre White offers up a vintage and tasty pudding.
Marco Pierre White's chocolate and amaretti creme caramel
Did you miss me last week? I thought so. For those of you who didn't even notice, it was M's annual Fashion Issue and so I was callously sidelined to make way for more fashionable things. Not that I'm bitter. Anyway, one thing that certainly is not bitter is this week's tasty treat.
The bunet (otherwise known as the bonet) alla Piemontese has been served at banquets since the 13th century, but is rather out of fashion now. Or at least it was until I mentioned it here. The word bunet comes from hat. The theory being that this refers to the fact that the bunet be the last thing you eat during your banquet, just as your hat is the last thing you put on before you go out.
It is not as complicated as it might seem, and when you have done it once you will wonder what took you so long. It is an extremely impressive little dish and very unusual. Unless you are unlucky enough to be invited to dinner at another one of my followers' homes, I suspect you are going to be the only one serving this in the UAE (apart from my restaurants, of course, which I hope you frequent).
The key to a successful bunet is to make sure the cocoa powder is properly blended to avoid any lumps. Lumps in anything, be it gravy or custard (my favourite) or a crème caramel, are the cooking equivalent of a fashion faux pas and will not be tolerated. And make sure the water in the outer pan is hot before you put everything into the pre-heated oven.
This is a pudding to prepare the night before as it needs to chill for several hours. I find a lot of puddings taste better if they sit overnight; the flavours seem to deepen somehow. Tiramisu is one example. And chocolate mousse. Both things that get better with (a certain amount of) age.
I hope you are pleased to have me back and that you enjoy this vintage pudding. See how the fashion jargon flows? I should have been on the cover of the Fashion Issue. Maybe wearing my hat?
MAKE IT YOURSELF
Bunet alla Piemontese (chocolate and amaretti crème caramel)
70g granulated sugar (No. 1)
200g granulated sugar (No. 2)
100g amaretti biscuits (8-10)
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
750ml full-fat milk
400ml sweetened whipped cream
1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Caramelise granulated sugar (No. 1) with 1 tablespoon of water in a pan. Divide the caramel into 8 small aluminium cups and leave to cool.
3. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with the granulated sugar (No. 2).
4. Place amaretti biscuits into a food processor and crumble until fine.
5. Sift the cocoa powder and stir throughout to avoid lumps.
6. Add the cocoa powder and amaretti crumbs to the egg-and-sugar mixture.
7. Add the milk (at room temperature), stir gently but thoroughly and pour into the prepared cups.
8. Set the cups in a larger jelly roll-type pan. Pour boiling water into the outer pan before placing into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
9. After baking, allow the cups to cool to room temperature before chilling overnight in the fridge.
10. To serve, slide a knife around the edge of the cups to loosen the edges and place the custards onto a platter. Discard the cups and decorate the custards with whole amaretti biscuits and whipped cream.