If you’ve not heard of nonnettes before, you’re in for a treat. They’re delicious egg-free French honey cakes with a lovely smooth texture. These white chocolate nonnettes are topped with marmalade to give a delightful bitter contrast to the sweetness of the cake.
Nonnettes, it seems, are little known outside of France. I searched on google for more information and alternative recipes, but Phil’s was the only one I could find in English. I gave up after page six. The name means “little nuns” and they are a speciality of Dijon in France. They’re little spiced honey cakes made with marmalade and rye flour and unusually, no eggs.
Orange & Poppy Seed Friands
To use up the rest of the orange zest (I did have a very large orange) as well as the 4 eggs whites left over from making the trifle, I also decided to make friands as I’d not made those before either. Friands are little cakes that contain only egg white. They’re Australian but are influenced by France where they are known as financiers.
For the friands I used a Waitrose recipe. I scaled down the quantities to four egg whites and added the zest of half an orange along with two tablespoons of poppy seeds. The friands are light and slightly crunchy due to the poppy seeds and are delicious little cakes. And a great way to use up egg whites too.
White Chocolate Nonnettes
For the nonnettes I mostly followed Phil’s recipe. But I did, of course make a few changes. I substituted some of the honey for agave nectar as I didn’t have quite enough honey. But I’ve only used honey for the recipe below. I also added more rye flour and less white chocolate as I was worried about the nonnettes being too sweet.
Although the friands were good, the nonnettes were my favourite. They are truly delicious and I’m not usually a fan of marmalade in cakes. But the bitterness of the marmalade contrasted really nicely with the sweetness of the cake. And the rye gives a satisfying smoothness to the texture. The lumps of white chocolate are an added bonus.
Thank you Phil. I shall ever be grateful to you for this recipe.
Other Orange Cakes You Might Like
- Beetroot & orange cupcakes
- Earl Grey fruit cake with orange icing
- Marmalade runeberg cakes
- Mini orange cakes
- Mini orange sponge cakes with blood orange curd
- Orange cassata cake
- Orange, poppy seed & white chocolate cake
- Spicy chocolate & orange Easter bundt cake
For more eggless cakes take a look at the best egg-free cakes recipes.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these white chocolate nonnettes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
White Chocolate Nonnettes – The Recipe
White Chocolate Nonnettes
- 80 g unsalted butter
- 200 ml good quality runny honey (I used 150 ml (pre-biotic NZ Beech Forest Honeydew with 50 ml of agave nectar)
- 100 g light brown sugar
- 100 ml milk
- 100 ml water (I used 90ml water and 10ml of homemade orange liqueur)
- 6 cardamom pods
- ½ large orange - grated zest
- 200 g plain flour
- 100 g wholemeal rye flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 50 g white chocolate - chopped
- 12 tsp seville marmalade
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- orange juice or orange liqueur
- Melt the butter in a large sauce pan.
- Add the honey and sugar.
- Turn off the heat and add the milk, water and orange liqueur (if using).
- Stir until smooth then leave to cool a little.
- Grind the seeds from the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and add to the mix along with the orange zest.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and gently stir until the mixture just comes together.
- Stir in the chocolate pieces.
- Leave in a cool place to stand for an hour.
- Divide the mixture between twelve buttered silicone muffin moulds.
- Place a teaspoonful of marmalade on the top of each one.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 20 minutes.
- Leave to cool in their moulds.
- Mix the icing sugar with a little of the orange juice to form a slightly runny icing.
- Drizzle over the warm cakes whilst still in their moulds. Leave to cool completely, then turn out.
I’m linking these white chocolate nonnettes to Baking Addict’s blog for #CitrusLove.