Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Blackcurrant and Rose Nonnettes

The letter for this month’s Alpha Bakes is N. Apart from nuts, I could think of nothing else other than Nonnettes and as I haven’t made any of these wonderful eggless French honey cakes for a while, this seemed like a good opportunity. I decided I’d adapt and use half the amount of the original Nonnette recipe to make 12 smaller cakes using my new muffin cases. A half eaten jar of my mother’s delicious blackcurrant jam was sitting in the cupboard and I still had a bit of rose syrup that really needed using up. Blackcurrant and rose proved to be a nice combination as evinced by the blackcurrant, rose and white chocolate ice-cream I made in the summer.

Here’s what I did:

  • Melted 40g unsalted butter in a pan.
  • Added 100g local Cornish honey and 50g light brown sugar.
  • Turned off the heat and added 50g milk and 50g rose syrup.
  • Stirred until smooth then left to cool.
  • Sifted 100g plain white flour, 50g rye flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda into a bowl.
  • Added the grated zest from 1/2 a small orange.
  • Stirred in 25g chopped white chocolate.
  • Made a well in the centre and poured in the honey mixture.
  • Stirred until just combined.
  • Divided the mixture between 12 silicone muffin cases and left in my cold kitchen for half an hour.
  • Placed a small teaspoonful of blackcurrant jam on the top of each one.
  • Baked at 180C for 16 minutes.
  • Left to cool
  • Mixed 1 heaped tbsp icing sugar with about a tbsp of rose syrup to form a slightly runny icing.
  • Drizzled these over the cakes whilst they were still slightly warm.

These were as good as I imagined they would be, that is to say, thoroughly delicious. They were sweet, sticky and flavoursome with a lovely smooth texture. The blackcurrant was a good strong flavour and its tartness helped to counteract the overall sweetness. CT was surprised by the little bits of white chocolate, but enjoyed them. Licking fingers is an occupational hazard with these, although CT didn’t seem to be unduly bothered.

I am entering these into Alpha Bakes with Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes as N for Nonnettes.

As October is such a great time to preserve Autumn’s bounty, Kate of What Kate Baked has cleverly chosen preserves for this month’s Tea Time Treats. TTT is co-hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

Chris over at Cooking Around the World has started a new challenge Bloggers Around the World. Sadly I didn’t manage to join in last month with Germany as the selected country. This month, it’s France so I’m submitting these Nonnettes.

As these honey cakes are eggless, I am also submitting them to Cook Eat Delicious Desserts where the theme this month is honey. It is being hosted this month by Nivedhanam.


  1. belleau kitchen

    22nd October 2012 at 3:04 pm

    oooh, they look quite sexy!… love the jammy topps, very nice. (now regretting the sexy comment because looking at them again you may think i’m being pervy..)… ((and now regretting that even more because you probably think i’m filthy!))… oh well x

    • Choclette

      23rd October 2012 at 7:43 pm

      Dom, your, errr, secret, is safe with me 😉

  2. Chele

    22nd October 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Where have I been living?? I’ve never heard of nonnettes before, this is quite the revelation for me. They look lovely and colourful.

    • Choclette

      23rd October 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Chele, where have you been looking? This is the third Nonnette recipe on my blog 😉

  3. Phil in the Kitchen

    22nd October 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Lovely. I’ve seen blackcurrants used in nonnettes before but the combination of flavours with the rose syrup is inspired. I’m pleased to see that someone is keeping the nonnette flag flying. I recently saw some in Picardy which had a sharp, almost savoury sounding filling – I didn’t get a chance to sample them but I must try making some more when I get the chance.

    • Choclette

      23rd October 2012 at 7:49 pm

      As you know Phil I’ve become a big fan of Nonnettes and it’s all down to you. I’m still waiting for you to write your cookery book of little French cakes though – I’m sure there are plenty of other delights out there waiting to be discovered.

  4. Miss C Flash

    23rd October 2012 at 8:11 am

    I’ve never heard of nonnettes before, but the certainly look delicious x

    • Choclette

      23rd October 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Miss C, you’ve missed an absolute treat and they are doubly good if you want to bake and don’t happen to have eggs in the house.

  5. laura@howtocookgoodfood

    23rd October 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Oh these look delicious. I have to really compliment you on the photos here. The colours are beautiful and the light is crisp and clear. Any changes to what you normally do? The little nonnettes are jumping out of the screen to tempt me! Another great recipe xx

    • Choclette

      28th October 2012 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks for the compliment, always welcome, but it was more luck than judgement. Must have got just the right light.

  6. Karen S Booth

    23rd October 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Lush little nonettes! And I love the jammy topping too…….thanks so much for an inspired tea time treats treat! Karen

    • Choclette

      28th October 2012 at 9:18 pm

      Mini nonette? How does that go nonetteettes?

  7. cityhippyfarmgirl

    24th October 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Oooo, I haven’t heard of nonnettes either. Anything that involves jamy business and licking sticky fingers has got to be a good thing though.

    • Choclette

      28th October 2012 at 9:15 pm

      They really ought to be better known because they are very good. Plenty of sticky fingers with these.

  8. rita cook italian

    25th October 2012 at 12:02 am

    I like the soft brown sponge, and the blackcurrant jam topping: sharp and sweet, a tea time treat! PS I haven’t heard of nonnettes either…thank you for introducing me a new cake!!

    • Choclette

      28th October 2012 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks Rita. Traditionally they are cooked with marmalade so again you have the tart bitterness to offset the sweetness. I am now a big fan, though I have never tried an authentic one from France.

  9. Katharine

    25th October 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Can’t believe that I lived in France for a year and have been going on holiday there all my life and yet have never come across nonnettes! What have I been doing all this time? They look and sound divine and the flavours you’ve used are inspired! Gorgeous!

    • Choclette

      28th October 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks Katharine – I’ve never come across them in France either and I’ve been a fair few times. But now I know about them I shall be on the look out 😉

  10. Kate@whatkatebaked

    25th October 2012 at 6:41 pm

    What a lovely Autumnal recipe! I too have never heard of nonnettes, but I can see why they must be super popular! Thank you for such a wonderful entry into TTT!

    • Choclette

      28th October 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks Kate – I think I shall be posting about nonnettes here until everyone is thoroughly sick of them 😉

  11. Caroline

    28th October 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I really must get round to making nonnettes, you always make them look so good – I’ve just found a jar of honey in my cupboard BBE July 2012 – wonder if it’ll still be ok to use?

    • Choclette

      28th October 2012 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks C. Your honey will be absolutely fine.

  12. Baking Addict

    31st October 2012 at 11:54 pm

    An impressive multi blog challenge entry. They look absolutely amazing!! I love the flavour combinations and nonnettes is a brilliant N for AlphaBakes.

  13. prwilson

    2nd March 2014 at 12:29 am

    Never heard of a nonnette before.


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