The chocolate ganache, Cointreau and walnut praline will transform your package of chocolate fudge cake mix into an elegant dessert in no time. Your guests will wonder when you had time to bake such a decadent dessert during the busy holiday season!
1 (315 g) package two-layer chocolate fudge cake mix

Praline

1 cup
2 cups
2 tbsps
3 cups
water
granulated sugar
35% whipping cream
California walnuts, coarsely chopped
250 mL
500 mL
30 mL
750 mL

Chocolate Ganache

2 cups
1 cup
1/4 cup
3 tbsps
real semi-sweet chocolate chips
35% whipping cream
butter
Cointreau liqueur
500 mL
250 mL
50 mL
45 mL


1. Bake cake in a 9x13-inch (3 L) baking pan according to package instructions.
2. Grease a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
3. In saucepan bring water and sugar to boil over medium heat. Cook, without stirring, brushing down sides of pan with a brush dipped in warm water to prevent crystallization. Cook about 18 minutes, until dark amber. Remove from heat immediately and stir in cream and walnuts. Spread onto prepared sheet and cool completely. Break into pieces and pulse in food processor until coarsely ground.
4. In microwavable bowl, combine chocolate chips, cream and butter. Heat on high for 2 minutes, stirring twice, until melted and smooth.
5. Slice cake in half lengthwise and then slice each half to make 4 layers that measure 4.5 x 12-inches (11 x 28 cm).
6. Brush 1 tbsp (15 mL) of Cointreau on the bottom layer of cake. Spread 1/4 cup (50 mL) of chocolate ganache and sprinkle with 1/3 cup (75 mL) praline. Repeat twice; top with last layer of cake. Cover cake with remaining ganache and cover sides with praline. Refrigerate for 1 hour and up to one day before serving.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.

This creamy soup is perfect for a crisp fall night or as a hearty starter at your next gathering. If using canned pumpkin, be sure to use pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. For an alternate recipe, you can also replace the pumpkin with butternut squash.

1 tbsp
1 cup
1/2 tbsp
1 tbsp
4 cups
4 cups
canola oil
chopped onion
each salt and pepper
mild curry past
vegetable or chicken broth
cubed pumpkin (or 28 oz. canned pure pumpkin puree)
chopped, toasted California Walnuts
milk
15 mL
250 mL
2 mL
15 mL
1 L
1 L
250 mL
500 mL

Garnish

plain yogurt
coriander springs
butter
chopped, toasted California Walnuts


1. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook, without browning, until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in curry paste and cook one minute more.
2. Stir in broth and bring to boil over medium high heat. Add pumpkin and simmer, over medium heat until pumpkin is very tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer pumpkin with liquid to blender, add walnuts and process in batches until smooth. The mixture will remain quite thick.
3. Return pumpkin walnut purée to pot and slowly whisk in milk. Heat soup over low heat just until heated through. Do not bring back to boil or soup will separate.
4. Serve in warmed bowls, garnished with a dollop of plain yogurt, a sprig of coriander and toasted walnut pieces.
Makes 4 servings.

1 cup
2 tbsps
2 tbsp
1 tbsp
4
2 tsps
chopped California Walnuts
dry bread crumbs
grated lemon rind
olive oil
chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp/5 mL dried)
salmon fillets (skin on), about 1 lb/ 500 g
dijon mustard
lemon juice
250 mL
30 mL
30 mL
15 mL
15 mL

10 mL


1. In food processor, add walnuts, bread crumbs, lemon rind, oil, dill and salt and pepper to taste; pulse until crumbly [mixture should stick together slightly]. Set aside.
2. On pan, place salmon fillets, skin side down, and brush tops with mustard. Divide crust mixture into four; press onto mustard. Cover salmon with plastic wrap; refrigerate 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. Bake at 350°F [180°C] 15 minutes or until salmon flakes with fork. Drizzle with lemon juice.
Makes 4 servings.

This classic southern Spanish-style dish is the perfect warm-weather appetizer showcasing herbed walnuts as the finishing touch.

5
1
1
1
1
1/4 cup
1-1/2 cups
ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
small red or green bell pepper, chopped
clove garlic, minced
small red onion, finely chopped
white vinegar
tomato juice
5
1
1
1
1
50 mL
375 mL

Herbed Walnuts

1 tsp
2 tsp
2/3 cup
walnut oil
chopped fresh rosemary
Chopped California Walnuts
5 ml
10 ml
1
150 ml


1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, garlic, onion, vinegar and tomato juice.
2. In food processor or blender, blend vegetable mixture in batches just until coarsely puréed. Return blended soup to bowl; cover and chill thoroughly. Before serving, if the soup seems too thick, stir in more tomato juice. Season with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce to taste, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls and top with herbed walnuts.
3. Herbed Walnuts: Preheat oven to 350°F [180°F]. In small baking pan, spread oil; heat in oven 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, in small cup or bowl, stir rosemary, cayenne and salt, if desired; set aside. To heated oil, add walnuts; toss to coat. Sprinkle walnuts with rosemary mixture and stir until nuts are lightly toasted. Set aside until serving.
Makes 4 servings.

For a simple yet stunning appetizer, these bite-sized morsels are incredibly delicious. The combination of fresh figs, prosciutto, Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts is exceptionally good.

8
16
4 oz
32
Medium-sized figs
sliced prosciutto
Gorgonzola cheese
California Walnut halves, toasted
8
16
80 g
32


1. Cut the tip off of the figs and quarter lengthwise. Cut each piece of prosciutto in half, lengthwise.
2. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around the bottom each fig quarter so that the fig is nestled in the prosciutto. Spread 1 tsp (5 mL) of Gorgonzola over each fig and top each with a toasted walnut half.
3. Serve at room temperature as an hors d’oeuvre or on a bed of baby arugula and drizzle with aged balsamic as a starter.
Makes 32 pieces.

Children and adults alike will love the sweet chocolate caramel surprise tucked in the middle of this delicious cookie. Using a package of cookie mix makes this recipe super simple to prepare and the addition of walnuts and oatmeal make them nutritious too.

1
2 cups
1/4 cup
1/2 cup
36
36
package oatmeal cookie mix
California Walnut, finely chopped
all purpose flour
butter
squares of caramel chocolate bar
California Walnut halves
200 g
500 mL
50 mL
125 mL
36
36


1. In bowl, whisk together oatmeal cookie mix, chopped walnuts and flour. Stir in butter to form stiff dough.
2. Shape a heaping tablespoon of dough around chocolate caramel pocket and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet 2-inches apart. Press a walnut half onto each cookie.
3. Bake in the centre of a 350°F (180°C) oven until lightly golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Let cool 1 minute before transferring to rack to cool completely.
Makes 36 cookies.

1 cup
2 cups
2 tsps
1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp
1 cup
2 tbsps
3/4 cups
2
1 tsp
2 tbsp2
2 tbsp2
1 cup
3 tbsp2
2 tbsp2
chopped California Walnuts
all-purpose flour
baking powder
baking soda
salt
granulated sugar
finely grated lemon zest
buttermilk
eggs
pure vanilla extract
unsalted butter, melted
canola oil
fresh blueberries
granulated sugar
fresh lemon juice
250 mL
500 mL
10 mL
2 mL
1 mL
250 mL
30 mL
175 mL
2
5 mL
30 mL
30 mL
250 mL
45 mL
30 mL


1. In dry skillet, toast walnuts over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
2. In large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. In medium bowl, combine sugar, lemon zest, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, melted butter and oil. Whisk just to combine.
3. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients. Add liquid ingredients and mix gently just to combine; do not over-mix. Gently fold in walnuts and blueberries. Pour batter into a greased and floured 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf pan. Bake at 350F (180C) for 55 to 60 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool on rack for 20 minutes; remove from pan, cool to room temperature.
4. Combine 3 tbsp sugar and lemon juice in small saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat then cook, stirring until sugar dissolves. Brush glaze over cake while still warm.
Makes 1 loaf.