Grilling dessert brings out the flavor of summer
Meat, seafood, pizza, veggies, even fruit and lettuce taste great on the grill. But how about cake? You bet.
“It adds a nice surprise when you get a little bit of that grilled flavor in a dessert,” says Frank Hill IV, chef of the Alliance Country Club in Alliance, Ohio.
Pound cake is ideal for grilling because it is dense and firm. Hill uses it for his interpretation of strawberry shortcake.
“The combination of grilled pound cake, strawberries, mint-infused whipped cream and mango sorbet — it’s strawberry shortcake on steroids,” Hill said with a laugh.
Angel food cake also works great. McCormick recently released a recipe with grilled angel food cake, mascarpone and berries combined with the unexpected flavors of balsamic vinegar and black pepper. Sounds intriguing.
Just be careful when grilling cake, Hill said.
“It’s really easy to go from a subtle grilled flavor that goes well to a charred flavor that is going to overpower it,” he said.
Go easy and don’t overdo it, Hill says. We got to thinking about other cakes that would be tasty on the grill, too. I suggested Twinkies.
“Definitely,” Hill said. “I think banana-nut bread would be wonderful, melt a little cinnamon butter or cranberry butter on it after grilling.”
“Zucchini bread would be good,” I offered.
“Sure, get all the summer quick breads out and start grilling them, why not?” Hill said. “You could even give them a brulee treatment.”
In other words, brush on a little butter, pat on some brown or white sugar and grill away.
“It will get a nice caramelized crust like creme brulee,” Hill said.
Then add ice cream, whipped cream, sorbet or anything you like.
“And with that grill flavor,” Hill said, “it will give it the flavor of summer.”
Summer Strawberries with Grilled Pound Cake
- 1 1⁄2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 5 mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- 3 pieces pound cake, sliced about 1⁄2-inch thick
- 1 scoop mango sorbet or ice cream of choice
One day in advance: Pour heavy cream in bowl. Add mint leaves. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Day of: Toss strawberries in bowl of sugar until coated. Strain mint leaves from cream. Whip cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Lightly grill pound cake on a clean hot grill, just until grill marks form. Lay first piece of pound cake on plate, top with strawberries and a dollop of cream. Repeat with other two slices of pound cake. Add a scoop of mango sorbet and garnish with a mint leaf. Note: Cut pieces of cake into sizes to suit your serving needs.
-- Chef Frank Hill IV, Alliance (Ohio) Country Club
Grilled Angel Food Cake with Pepper Berries and Ice Cream
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
- 6 slices angel food cake (1 1⁄2-inch thick)
Beat cream, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gently stir in mascarpone cheese. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mix remaining 1⁄3 cup sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Stir in water and vinegar until well blended. Stir in blueberries. Stirring constantly, bring to boil on medium heat and boil 1 minute. Pour into medium bowl to cool slightly. Add raspberries and pepper; toss gently to coat.
Grill angel food cake slices over medium heat 45 to 60 seconds per side or until golden brown grill marks appear. To serve, spoon berry mixture over each slice of cake. Top with a dollop of whipped cream mixture.