When you think of the grill, you might not necessarily think of desserts. Burgers, steaks, chicken, and other savory foods come to mind. But dessert? Not so much. Recently I joined a dinner club where five couples get together to create a gourmet meal. Once a month we meet at rotating homes with a different theme, and each couple is in charge of one course. I was faced with the task of thinking up a grilled dessert to comply with the theme. The thought of grilling desserts inspired me to come up with these ideas:
Grilled fruit. Grilled fruit might be the only grilled dessert you have heard of. Stone fruits such as peaches and nectarines are commonly used, but fruits such as pineapple, strawberries, or bananas are also delicious on the grill. The natural sugars are drawn out and become caramelized and even sweeter. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
Pizza. Pizza is made on the grill all the time. Topping your pizza dough with sweet ingredients like marshmallows and chocolate or chocolate spread, fresh berries, and confectioners’ sugar makes a delicious dessert pizza on the grill!
Grilled sandwich. Instead of a grilled cheese, substitute pound cake for bread and fill with marshmallows and chocolate for a s’mores sandwich or chocolate-hazelnut spread and bananas or strawberries.
Ice-cream sandwich. Choose your favorite cake: banana bread, pound cake, chocolate. Fill with ice-cream flavor of your choice. The warm cake with the cold ice-cream filling will be a perfectly balanced summer dessert.
Stuffed bananas. Slice open a banana and stuff it with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap in foil and grill until everything inside is ooey-gooey and melted. It’s a fast, no-mess grilled treat. Top with ice cream for a twist on a banana split.
Kabobs or skewers. Make dessert kabobs using marshmallows and berries or skewers with cubed cake and strawberries or pineapple. Dip after grilled into whipped cream or chocolate fondue. v
Grilled Berry Pizza
You can use a store-bought pizza dough for a really great shortcut!
1 package active dry yeast (0.25 oz)
¾ cup warm water
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. chocolate-hazelnut spread
½ cup white chocolate chips, chopped in food processor or blender (optional)
mixed berries of your choice
In a medium bowl, whisk yeast, water, and honey together. Allow yeast to ferment and become frothy a few minutes. Add olive oil and stir to combine. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Pour wet mixture into flour and gently mix with fingers until dough forms. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Form into a ball and place in bowl greased with oil. Cover with damp towel and set aside in a warm spot for about 45 minutes until doubled in size.
After it rises, punch dough down and knead again for 1 minute. Let rise in bowl another 10 minutes. Divide the dough in half. Roll out dough on parchment paper to very thin. Spread with chocolate-hazelnut spread and top with berries and chopped white chocolate. Place pizza with parchment either on a pizza stone or pizza pan directly on the grill. (Pizza stone can be placed on grill 20 minutes before to heat up for a crisper crust.) Cover grill and bake pizza for 8–10 minutes until crust is crisp. Repeat with second pizza.
Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook that you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.