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How To Grill A Cake For The Fourth Of July

Photo courtesy of Rao's
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It's true; Americans will throw almost anything on a grill, especially on the Fourth of July. So why not make dessert on the 'que, too?

Rao's pastry chef Laura Augsburger has graciously shared a patriotic pound cake recipe that's made by throwing generously-buttered slices on the grill and then topping them with fresh seasonal berries and whipped cream.

You can, of course, make a home made pound cake if you feel funny about bringing something store-bought. But it's hot, and the holiday should be about relaxing and hanging out with friends. If you do decide to make it from scratch, just make sure that your cake is dense enough to stand up to the grill and your spatula. (We love Martha's vanilla version here.) Pillowy white cakes won't stand a chance and will buckle under pressure.

Here's how it's done:

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Grilled Pound Cake With Mixed Berries
Makes 6 servings

Berry Compote

½ cup sugar
1 (6-ounce) basket fresh raspberries
1 (6-ounce) basket fresh blueberries
1 (6-ounce) basket fresh blackberries
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

For Grilled Cake

1 store-bought pound cake, cut into six 1 ½-inch slices
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, well softened
Whipped cream for serving

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1. To make the berry compote: Bring the sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let the syrup cool. Combine the raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries and stir in enough of the syrup to sweeten the berries to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.

2. Prepare an outdoor grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350 F).

3. Brush the cooking grate clean and lightly oil the grate. Spread the butter over both sides of the pound cake slices. Place the cake slices on the grill. Cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 4 minutes.

4. For each serving, place a cake slice on a plate and top with the berries and their juices. Add a dollop of whipped cream, if desired. Serve immediately.