Blessed are the curious in the kitchen, for they shall have adventures. When we think of walnut desserts, they are food that can really distract you. As usual, the French have it right.
France – Opera Cake
The Opera Cake is a Queen among desserts, known with its delicate, and intensely flavored layers. It has got several renditions, but it’s a French classic and legend has it has been first presented at the Paris Culinary Exposition in 1903. One bite of the cake is a beautiful little piece of heaven. You need the courage to bake an Opera Cake if you want it to be an absolute success. It is layered: cake, buttercream, and ganache; it is full of crunchy walnuts, it is delicious and addictive, it is insane. It creates music in your mouth.
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Ukraine – Kiev Cake
It’s the iconic and famous Ukranian Kievsky Cake – a simple everyday recipe. Experiment with it and make your family happy. White like a bride, loved by everyone, so renowned that you simply have to make it. According to the legend – the famous dessert was the creation of a group of absent-minded confectioners who stirred egg whites in order to prepare biscuit flour but forgot it. In the morning, while trying to solve the mistake, they baked the whites, spread cream on them, spiced it up with delicious walnuts and created the first Kiev Cake.
Greece – Karydopita
It’s a spiced walnut flat cake drenched in syrup and it looks like a walnut pie and smells like Christmas. Some cooks prefer to use finely ground breadcrumbs instead of flour. You will have to spoon the hot syrup over the cool cake. It can be served cold or hot, you can add to it ice-cream, whipped cream or rich meringue. Children and adults are fascinated with this traditional, fragrant, juicy and really easy Greek dessert.
Turkey – Baklava
Turkey’s favorite sweet and one of the most delicate desserts on our planet, baklava is carefully crafted from thin sheets of yufka (a kind of pastry.) Full of finely chopped walnuts, it has got a layer with melted butter and it is traditionally soaked in syrup to create the perfect mid-afternoon snack with famous Turkish coffee, or strong, black Turkish tea. It is a home cooking trick made and often for big occasions- this oriental treat is really worth the effort. In Turkey, you are offered baklava wherever you go. It’s a perfect gift and an excellent edible souvenir to share with friends and family when you go home.
Hungary Walnut Rolls
These outstanding traditional cookies are usually made at Christmas, but even if they are part of the holiday celebration, they are actually sweets, which can make any day better. They used to be baked as church fundraisers and were commonly given as gifts.
Their taste is magical and remarkably different. They have a sweet walnut filling inside a flakey and rich pastry and they are really not that hard to make. They are served alongside a delicious cup of tea.
Oreshki means walnuts in Russian. Oreshki are most unique home-made cookies and they are shaped like a real walnut. They are filled with dulce de leche mixed with tasty walnuts. The cookies practically melt in your mouth. To achieve their exquisite form, they are baked in a skillet called oreshnica (the maker of walnuts). You can find oreshnica on Amazon or Etsy and make your own very tasty oreshki. They are an iconic treat in the Russian culture – served on weddings, holidays, parties and other special occasions. Every Russian native has nibbled at oreshki in their childhood.
Switzerland – Walnut Christmas Cookies
A traditional recipe – these are homemade Swiss seasonal cookies made from ground walnuts and adorned with a walnut sliced in half. This recipe is created by Betty Bossi – a renowned figure in Switzerland, who has written a lot of cookbooks for simple, tasty Swiss recipes. You can find her cookbooks in every home. She is perhaps, the most successful entrepreneur in Switzerland. Alas, she is fictitious, she is a brand. But the walnut Christmas cookies are for real. They are sweet and nutty and appealing, and they remind very much in taste to the Italian Ricciarelli, made with ground almonds. In short – they are delicious.
Austria – the Secrets of The Apple Strudel
When we talk about Vienne, inevitably we touch the subject of the renowned Viennese cafes and the classical desserts like apple strudel. According to the most widespread legend, the sweet temptation first appeared in the Renaissance, under a strong Arabic influence. The Moors loved such an apple dessert, this is why it is believed that the recipe comes from Spain, through France, and then it reaches Vienne where it gets its current name. The oldest known recipe is from 1696 and is preserved in the National Library of Austria. Until 1800 recipes for a lot of different kinds of strudel were created, with sweet or salty filling. Strudel means “a whirlpool” – this is why it is rolled. The most important thing about the preparation is the pastry – it has to be so thin, that a love letter, the Bible or a newspaper can be read through it.
Walnut desserts are fantastic with fruit – such as pumpkin, bananas, grapes, figs, raisins, plums, pears and apples. Walnuts are widely spread ingredients of fruit salads, seasoned with cinnamon, caramel, and coconut flakes. They taste fine with chocolate, or for that matter with brier marmalade but there is hardly a sweeter elixir in the world than honey with walnuts – it’s the fastest and the most perfect dessert in the world. Apart from the desserts, we meet those fair nuts in combinations such as baked figs, full of goat cheese, honey, walnuts, and sage – what a lavish appetizer! Sweet and savory, the walnuts are simply an omnipresent ingredient for delicacies. It is not accidental that the walnut paste is included in the menus for space-men and walnuts are widely present in the healthiest diet on Earth – the Mediterranean. We hope you will savor the walnut delicacies with great delight.