Located at the foot of the Italian Alps, Piedmont is among Italy's most gastronomically inspired regions. Home to hazelnuts and chocolate (which, when married, create sublime gianduja), the Piedmontese borrowed ingredients and cooking techniques from their French neighbors. One of the region's, most genuine desserts is chocolate bûnet, which gets its name from budino ("pudding") and buono ("yummy").
7 tablespoons sugar
9 ounces unsweeetened cocoa powder
7 ounces (or 1 package) amaretti cookies, crushed 1 lemon rind, grated
4 1/4 cups milk
Beat the eggs and sugar until thick. Add cocoa powder, crushed amaretti, lemon rind and cookies. Pour in the milk and let rest for 15 minutes. Bûnet is cooked in bagnomaria, or over hot water: Place the chocolate pudding into single-serving aluminum shapes partially submerged in a water bath on medium heat for 25 minutes. The water must not boil, otherwise air bubbles get trapped inside the bûnet. Let cool and remove from metal forms. Bûnet can be served over a bed of zabaglione and dusted with confectioners sugar and amaretti crumbs.
Wine recommendations: Sweet and low in alcohol, sparking Moscato d'Asti is a perfect companion to bûnet. Volo di Farfalle ("flight of the butterfly"), a Moscato d'Asti made by brothers Mario and Maggiorino Scagliola, is a fine example.