More than almost any other type of cooking, grilling is a form of theatre. It can be a tricky performance for the person holding the tongs – trying to get everything finished at the same time, to varying degrees of done-ness, moving things closer and further away from that one really hot spot, and everyone asking how much longer?
Sometimes it doesn’t all come together as planned. Steaks get overcooked, chicken gets undercooked, or most of the onions fall through the cracks. But don’t worry. You have a surprise ending that will eclipse the minor imperfections in your performance: grilled dessert.
No one expects a platter of grilled pineapple or peaches to arrive on the table at the end of a meal, and grilled fruit is one of the easiest desserts you can make. This was the seed idea for this recipe: a simple and surprising fruit-based, grilled dessert.
Blackened Forest Cake
NOTES: Any sort of jam will do if you don’t have cherry on hand.
Vanilla ice cream
Pit the cherries, and slice most of them into quarters. Slice the rest of them in half. Simmer the cherries over low heat with a spoonful or two of jam, until the cherries have softened and released some juice. Meanwhile, make thick slices of cake and grill them briefly on each side, about 20 seconds, or until just slightly charred.
Sprinkle some kirsch over each slice of cake, then top with a scoop of ice cream and some of the warm cherry compote. Before spooning the compote over the ice cream, you may wish to flambé it with some kirsch.
For even higher drama, warm the kirsch in a small saucepan, set it alight at the table, and pour the flaming liquid over the plated desserts in front of your astonished guests. They will forget all about your burnt asparagus.