This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Hey, Friends! Have I got a great dessert for you! Grilled Pound Cake with Balsamic-Macerated Strawberries and Mascarpone Cream is easy, elegant, crazy good and will make you look like a culinary genius.
Grilled Pound Cake with Balsamic-Macerated Strawberries and Mascarpone Cream is an Italian twist on classic American strawberry shortcake.
You may have noticed I don’t do a lot of desserts because it’s just my hubby and me.
However, this dessert is perfect for when we entertain. It’s perfect for any summer special occasion you’ve got coming up like a birthday party, graduation party, Father’s Day, Independence Day or any elegant, backyard soiree! Best of all, you won’t need to turn the oven on for this show-stopping dessert.
Strawberries hold a very special place in my heart. My father LOVES them and he loves to grow them. He’s going to be 91 years old this summer but you would never know it. I firmly believe that growing his fantastic garden every year is what keeps him young.
And shortcake. I swear he lives on strawberry shortcake the entire month of June. When we head up to Wisconsin to visit him this time of year, we take bags of strawberries home because he has such an abundance of them.
Except, my husband also loves strawberry shortcake but I don’t really like to bake. I can bake; I just don’t like to bake.
I know! I’m a chef so I should be able do it all, right? However, high-end restaurants have pastry chefs to take that burden off the executive chef, chef de cuisine and sous chefs.
After all, it’s summer and summer should be easy, so may I let you in on a little secret?
Sara Lee from Tyson is my pastry chef. I call on her frequently when I’m busy preparing a dinner for guests. Because we always have strawberries in our freezer or we’re bringing them home fresh from our summer visit to my Dad’s farm, Sara Lee Pound Cake is what I reach for!
Sara Lee Pound Cake is available at your local Kroger store or Kroger banner store (banner stores are owned by Kroger—just under a different name).
Sara Lee Pound Cake comes in a number of great flavors! Look for these varieties in the frozen dessert section at Kroger:
- All-Butter (which is what I used….mmwwaaahh!)
- Light and Dreamy (reduced calorie)
And if I’m super-stressed, I don’t even need to slice it with these varieties:
- Double Chocolate Sliced
Here’s more information on Sara Lee Pound Cakes: (http://saraleedesserts.com/products/pound-cakes/)
No matter how you buy or slice it, Sara Lee Pound Cake is going to make you look great in front of your guests!
Sara Lee Pound Cake is simply amazing sliced right out of the box and you can certainly serve it with the strawberries and mascarpone cream that way. However, the simple added step of lightly grilling the pound cake puts a toasty warm goodness on those beautiful, buttery pound cake slices.
Here’s all you do:
Start by macerating the strawberries. Macerating sounds complicated but it’s like marinating–only for fruit. The fruit softens up in either it’s own juices or helped along by another liquid such as the balsamic vinegar I used in this dish.
The first time I had balsamic-macerated strawberries was in Italy a number of years ago. I traveled there on a culinary tour with a group of personal chefs. I remember how we all oohed and aahed when our chef instructor poured balsamic vinegar over strawberries! He, of course, added sugar, but the final touch was a good grinding of freshly ground black pepper.
Freshly ground black pepper has the amazing ability to bring out the flavor of strawberries. You don’t need a lot; a quarter-teaspoon will do.
You can macerate the strawberries for as little as 30 minutes at room temperature or they will keep in the refrigerator up to 12 hours.
Whip up the mascarpone cream while the berries are enjoying their nice little soak.
Mascarpone (pronounced mas-car-pone-ee) is a lovely, naturally sweet Italian cream cheese that’s easy to spread. Combine the mascarpone with powdered sugar and vanilla then whip the whipped cream until it’s fluffy and peaks easily form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture then place it in the refrigerator to keep it cold and whipped.
Time to move onto grilling the Sara Lee pound cake. It’s so easy!
- Start with as clean of a grill as possible and preheat it to high. It doesn’t have to be perfectly new-ish clean, you just don’t want your pound cake tasting like the last hamburger you grilled. After grilling dinner for your guests, give the grill a quick scrape with a wire brush to clean it off.
- Lightly butter each side of the cake slices with softened unsalted butter then place on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet. (This can be done ahead of time. Simply cover the baking sheet of prepared pound cake slices with plastic wrap.) Lining the baking sheet with plastic wrap will help you remove the buttered slices from the baking sheet a little more easily. If you butter the slices as you’re placing them on the grill, you may want to have someone helping you because the grilling process goes quickly.
- Grill 1-2 minutes per side–just until they’re marked and heated through then transfer to an unlined baking sheet. If you place the hot, grilled slices back on the plastic wrap, the plastic wrap can melt onto your hot cake slices. (Voice of experience talking here.)
That’s it! I realize some readers may live in an apartment or condominium complex where grilling outdoors is not allowed. Or, if the weather is bad, you can also grill the pound cake on a stovetop grill pan making this dessert doable all year long!
Top with the balsamic-macerated strawberries and mascarpone cream, garnish with fresh mint sprigs then sit back and enjoy the accolades of your guests.
Remember to visit Sara Lee Pound Cakes for more great recipes and make Sara Lee Pound Cake part of your summer celebration!
An Italian twist on American strawberry shortcake, this easy and elegant dessert is perfect for entertaining.
- 2 pounds (4 pints or 8 cups) fresh strawberries, trimmed and sliced thick
- 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar (as needed, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- MASCARPONE CREAM
- 1 (8-ounce) container Mascarpone cheese
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- TO FINISH
- 2 (10.75-ounce) boxes Sara Lee Pound Cake, sliced 1/2-inch to 1-inch thick
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- Mint sprigs, for garnish
STRAWBERRIES: Combine strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar and black pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 12 hours refrigerated.
MASCARPONE CREAM: Blend Mascarpone, powdered sugar and vanilla extract together in a bowl until combined and smooth. Set aside.
Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff and peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
TO FINISH: Preheat a grill to high. Coat each side of the pound cake slices with butter. Grill 1-2 minutes per side or until nicely marked.
Serve the strawberries over the cake along with any accumulated juice. Top with a dollop of Mascarpone cream and garnish with mint sprigs.