CHEF Jose’ LUCCA of La Manada Ribs in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, might have earned his name by selling pork tortillas. But it’s his approach to grilling desserts that makes him stand out from other pitmasters on the island.
“I like to change the thinking on how to use the grill,” Lucca stated. “You can cook similar things on the grill just as you could bake in the oven. So why not create desserts too?” His cinnamon rolls featuring bacon and chocolate lava cake, as well as cheese and guava flan, all cooked on the grill, are equally well-known as his signature meats.
“I like to alter the way people think about how to utilize this grill.’
Lucca isn’t the only chef who extols the virtues of grilling desserts. Joe Papach of the Harvey House in Madison, Wisc., believes that it’s an excellent reason to cook the entire dinner outside. “If you’re grilling up some steaks or burgers for dinner, you can just throw a dessert into the mix and have it finished by the time you’re done eating the main courses,” he explained. Aaron Allen of Silas Creative Kitchen in Versailles, Ohio, loves how grilling can make the flavors pop and creates a sense of nuance. “Whether it’s caramelizing sugars or adding a little char or smoke, it can create a contrast on a dessert that would otherwise be one-note.”
Do you want to spice up your summer barbecue? In this article, Lucca, Papach, and Allen simplify the process and offer three delicious and easy recipes.
Get recipes for Grilled Semolina Cake With Honey and Seasonal Berries below.
Which tools do I need?
The essential tools are a sheet pan, cast-iron skillet baking dish foil, a sauce pan, an offset spatula, a well-equipped set of tongs, and a grill mat. These can be used to grill virtually any dessert, chefs claimed. Wood chips can be used to enhance flavor and aroma.
Which kinds of desserts are the best to cook on a grill?
Fruits are simple to grill and are great for those who are new to grilling, according to Papach. “It can be as simple as brushing with butter, keeping whole and letting it do its thing,” Papach explained. He uses this method to cook his Grilled.
“Split” with Rum Caramel, Coconut Ice Cream and Toasted Coconut. Papach advised slicing up fruits like peaches and watermelon and then giving them a quick sear. Allen recommended completely blackening citrus fruits, like blood oranges and using food processors to crush to create an ashy powder. “It does not taste burnt at all,” Allen claimed. “What you are tasting is the essential oils of the fruit. It’s amazing when you eat ice cream or whipping macarpone.” Stone fruit, like the plums and peaches, is completely blackened and followed by peeling. “The flesh on the inside will taste intensely sweet and smoky,” Allen explained. Smaller fruits, like berries, are grilled on foil or grill mats. Get recipes for grilled Pineapple “Split” With Rum Caramel, Coconut Ice Cream and Toasted Coconut.
Cakes can be cooked entirely in the oven or in baking dishes, a pan, or Lucca’s favorite tool, which is a cast-iron skillet. The recipe of Allen’s for Grilled Semolina Cake With Honey and Seasonal Berries, on the right, the slices of a baked cake that has been baked in the oven are placed by grilling them over direct heating.
Bake the cookies raw on the grill mat or sheet pan. “If you flatten them down, you’ll get this incredibly crispy texture and a gooey center,” Allen stated. “They’ll taste a little smoky as well.” Allen recommends baking cookies in a par-bake and putting them right on the grill to give them some charcoal.
Custards like creme brulee, flan, and flan can be prepared using an en-suite bain-marie (water bath) in a roasting pan that is placed on the grill or in baking dishes or ramekins with indirect heat. Panna cotta, as well as caramels and compotes, are able to be cooked in a pot on direct heat.
Learn recipes for Grilled Guava and Cheese Flan below.
How can I manage the temperature when grilling desserts?
The temperature of the grill for most desserts should be in the range of 350 degrees. Lucca insists on having two heat zones to ensure optimal control. “Otherwise, your desserts will burn and caramelize too quickly,” Lucca said. “Put everything you’ve got on your grill to create a hot zone. The side that has no charcoal is called the indirect heat zone.” His grilled Guava and Cheese Flan was cooked in the indirect heat zone.
Another thing to think about while grilling my desserts?
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Desserts are more time-consuming to cook on the grill than baking in the oven. However, it is important to avoid the temptation to lift the lid and look. “Be patient,” Lucca stated. “When you open the lid you are interrupting the cooking process.” Papach insists on the importance of having clean grates that are well-oiled and ready for release. For Allen, the most important thing is the balance. “Keep composition in mind,” Allen said. “Caramelization, for example, can lead to intense sweetness, so be mindful of how to counter that, perhaps with a softer, savory component.”
Grilled Semolina Cake With Honey and Seasonal Berries
This sweet and honey-scented treat reminds us of memories of the Lebanese Semolina Cake namoura in our minds. Making the cake dry by grilling gives the cake a rich, smokey texture and nice smudges in grill marks. The honey drizzle and the sprinkle of seasonal berries lighten the cake.
Total Time:1 1 hour and 30 minutes(includes resting)
F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, FOOD STYLING BY KIM RAMIN
- 2 1/2 cups semolina flour
- 1 cup of local honey plus more honey for drizzling
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- Two teaspoons of baking soda
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- One teaspoon of water with orange blossoms
- Vegetable oil, suitable for pan and grill
- Seasonal berries
- With a mixer on the stand, mix honey, flour, and melted butter. The mixer should be on the high setting for one minute. Add baking powder and milk. Mix until it is the mixture is smooth. It should take a couple of minutes. Add vanilla and the water of orange blossoms and stir to combine.
- Cover bowl, and let the batter sit for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Make sure to grease a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet with oil. Incorporate the batter. Bake till a toothpick placed into the center is clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cool the cake for about 20 minutes, and then cut into rectangular pieces.
- The grill should be heated to high. Clean the grill and scrub with oil.
- Place cake squares on the grill and grill until the cake has a golden brown color and marks of grill appear on the the underside within a couple of minutes. Grill for 2 minutes and flip them over. further.
- Take the cake off the grill and set it on a plate or plates. Serve with seasonal berries and drizzle honey.