By J.M. Hirsch Associated Press
Even for major holidays, I’ve never been much into spending a lot of time on dessert.
The Fourth of July is no different. This year I decided to come up with a fast and easy dessert that is festive, delicious and made on the grill.
The trick is using purchased angel food cake. I tart it up by brushing it with melted butter spiked with cinnamon, cardamom, sugar and lemon juice.
A few seconds on the grill and my slices of cake get wonderfully caramelized, the perfect host for cool sliced strawberries and whipped cream.
If strawberries aren’t your thing, any fresh fruit would be delicious, including mango, kiwis, blueberries and raspberries.
While you’re at it, to up the delicious contrasts, top the warm slices of cake with vanilla ice cream.
Spiced and grilled angel food cake
1quart strawberries, hulled and sliced
6tablespoons sugar, divided
1cup heavy cream
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4teaspoon ground cardamom
113-ounce angel food cake, cut into 8 slices
In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Gently mix, then set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the lemon zest (reserve the lemon juice), then continue beating until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Heat the grill to medium-high.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, lemon juice, cinnamon, cardamom and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved. Use a pastry brush to coat all sides of the cake slices with the butter mixture.
Place the cake slices on the grill and cook for 30 seconds per side, or until grill marks appear and the cakes are nicely toasted. Serve each slice topped with whipped cream and berries.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 320 calories; 160 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 17 g fat (11 g saturated; 0.5 g trans fats); 55 mg cholesterol; 41 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber; 360 mg sodium.