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Gifts for the Chef

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Grilled Pound Cake with Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce

Serves: Makes 8 servings


Pound Cake:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for preparing the pan
  • 2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for preparing the pan
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce:
  • 1 pint strawberries, cored and quartered lengthwise
  • ½ pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons sugar
  • Mascarpone ice cream or store-bought vanilla ice cream


Many fans of pound cake know that toasting it heightens the cake’s buttery flavor. Grilling works the same magic, so when you have the grill going for a summer dinner, why not grill dessert, too? Be sure to brush the grill rack clean first. - From Janet Fletcher’s Eating Local.

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter. Coat the bottom and sides with flour and shake out the excess.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar gradually, the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, then beat in the lemon zest and poppy seeds. On low speed, add the dry ingredients gradually, beating just until blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.

Bake until the cake is firm to the touch and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 1¼ hours. A cake tester inserted in the middle should come out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack. Invert again so the top is up and finish cooling on the rack.

To make the strawberry-rhubarb sauce, put the berries, rhubarb, orange juice, and 6 tablespoons sugar in a medium saucepan. Set over moderate heat and heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cover, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit softens and forms a sauce, about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on the saucepan, reducing the heat if the mixture threatens to bubble over. Cool slightly, then taste and add more sugar if desired. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and chill thoroughly.

Prepare a moderately hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium-high (375¼ to 400°F). Cut the ends off the cake, then cut the cake into 8 equal slices. Grill directly over the coals or gas flame, turning once, until lightly toasted on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.

Put about ⅓ cup of the sauce on each dessert plate. Top with a slice of toasted cake and a scoop of ice cream. Serve immediately.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

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