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Recipe for Nonnettes – traditional cakes of Burgundy, France

The recipe for nonnettes, which means little nuns, is a speciality of Dijon in Burgundy finds its origins in the Middle Ages…

Gingerbread, icing and marmalade flavours make this an utterly delicious cake. Made by nuns in the middle ages and sold to travellers, they’re still a firm favourite in Dijon. The famous gingerbread making house of Mulot et Petitjean has been making them since 1796! Here’s how to make nonnettes at home…

Recipe for Orange Nonnettes with Grand Marnier

Ingredients: makes 12

150ml water
80g butter
200ml honey
50g light brown sugar
1 tbsp pain d’épices spices
2 tbsps Grand Marnier
180g whole wheat flour
100g all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
Zest of 1 organic orange
6 tsps marmalade
3 tbsps freshly squeezed orange juice
80g icing sugar

Instructions

Heat water, butter, honey and sugar, just until butter is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices and Grand Marnier.

In a large bowl whisk the flours and baking powder.

Add the orange zest and stir to combine. Pour in the syrup (it should still be fairly hot). Stir until combined.

Flour and butter a 12-hole muffin tin. Divide the batter over the holes.

Chill for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Using a teaspoon, make a little well in the centre of the batter and fill with half a tsp of marmalade.

Bake the nonnettes for 20 minutes. The nonnettes should be tender and spring back when pressed.

Allow to cool completely before unmoulding. Place the nonnettes on a rack, making sure there is a sheet of tin foil underneath it.

Make a thin glaze by whisking the orange juice into the icing sugar. Drizzle over the nonnettes and leave to set.

Paola Westbeek is a food, wine and travel journalist.  For more of her recipes, visit ladoucevie.eu, thefrenchlife.org and her YouTube channel, LaDouceVieFood

Discover Dijon – home to Mulot et Petit Jean gingerbread makers!

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