Walnut Cream

Spanish Almond Cake
Sponge Cake With Nut Cream. Getty
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups (8 servings)
Ratings

This walnut cream dessert sauce is great with any cooked fruit or with simple cakes, but it's particularly good with pears. Enjoy it at holiday dinners or just because you want to pamper yourself. The recipe is vegan, but you can make some variations if you don't follow a strict vegan diet.  

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups walnuts (halves and pieces)
  • 1 cup almond ​milk (or hazelnut milk)
  • ¼ cup coconut nectar (or rice syrup) 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt (sea salt)​

How to Make It

  1. Place the walnuts in a bowl with enough water to cover them and allow them to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 325° F. 
  3. Drain the walnuts well and blot them dry with a paper towel. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet or cookie tray and bake for 10 minutes. Let the walnuts cool completely. 
  4. Place the almond milk, nectar or syrup, vanilla and sea salt in a blender. Blend for 10 seconds.
  1. Add the nuts to the mix and blend again until smooth. This could take as long as a minute. You may have to stop periodically to scrape down the sides. 
  2. Chill for 30 to 45 minutes in the refrigerator.

Tips, Variations and Other Information 

  • This sauce is also excellent as a variation over pasta. You can add Swiss chard or other vegetables to the pasta to round out the meal. 
  • You can substitute other nuts for the walnuts if you have another favorite. Chestnuts work well, especially at the holidays.
  • You can use honey in place of the coconut nectar or rice syrup, but this is not strictly vegan. Honey is not included in a vegan diet because it derives from bees, and bees are often farmed and confined to make it.
  • A vegan diet is based purely on plant-derived foods. It eliminates all animal and dairy products, even eggs. This differentiates from a vegetarian diet, many versions of which permit eggs and dairy products — vegetarians simply avoid meat, poultry or fish flesh.  
  • Two teaspoons of maple syrup can also be added. As long as it's made from pure maple sap, it's considered vegan. 
  • Try crème fraiche, heavy cream, half-and-half or sour cream in place of the milk if you're not sticking to a strictly vegan diet. You might also try cream cheese, or one half part cream cheese and one half part sour cream. You can tinker with the recipe until it meets your personal dietary goals and your family's tastes. 
  • A dash of cinnamon can also make a nice touch. 

Copyright 2008 by Jen Hoy