BBQ Ice Cream Cake

Barbecued Desserts

Lois Manno Grilling 101 Leave a Comment

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Email this to someone

Article and Photos by Rick Browne, Ph.B.


BBQ American Apple Pie

Chocolate-Orange Shells

Barbecued Ice Cream

Grilled Avocado with Strawberry-Mango Salsa

White Chocolate and Orange Soufflé

Grilled Banana Splits

Cream Cheese, Chocolate and Jam Turnovers

Please read that title carefully. Note that it is not “Barbecue Desserts”—those are desserts you can serve at a barbecue. It’s “Barbecue-d Desserts”—that is, desserts that are prepared, cooked or fashioned on a barbecue.

There’s a big difference.

The American Royal Barbecue Championship in Kansas City and the Jack Daniel’s Invitational in Lynchburg, TN, two premier barbecue contests with thousands of dollars in prizes, both have contests featuring desserts that you could serve at a barbecue.

But I think both contests fall short. After all, they are BARBECUE contests, not dessert-making contests; therefore, allowing desserts to be entered that are not cooked on a barbecue sends the wrong message, I think.

What follows herein, and hopefully what will be contained in my next barbecue-themed cookbook, are recipes for desserts that are barbecued.

After all, as I have said ad nauseum on my Barbecue America TV series, “a barbecue grill is nothing more than an oven you cook on outdoors.”  So why not stay out of the kitchen even more and whip up those yummy desserts outside with your barbecue guests?

Almost everyone has grilled fruit: bananas, pineapples, peaches, etc. on their grills for simple and tasty dessert treats. But for heaven’s sake, be brave and go the whole nine yards by cooking up delicious cakes, sweet cookies, heavenly flans, and even, high-rising soufflés on the grill.

There are a few tricks that will help you get good results, but basically you use your charcoal, gas or electric grill to bake up almost any dessert you normally do in your kitchen.

1. If using charcoal, pile the briquettes on one side of the grill, leaving the other side unheated so you can cook over indirect heat.

2. If using gas, turn on the burners on just one side, again so you have an area of indirect heat to use.

3. Spray your grill with a cooking spray; PAM has one specifically for baking, if you are cooking directly on the grill. Otherwise spray a piece of extra-strength aluminum foil before you cook your dessert on it.

4.    Until you get used to cooking pastries, cakes and pies on your grill, monitor it closely, unless you have a Fire Stone Legacy grill, which is essentially a convection oven. Most other BBQ grills, like many ovens, have hot spots.

5. Measure the number of coals or carefully note gas burner settings to determine how to reach the temperatures recommended in recipes.

Why spend hours inside the kitchen when you’re having a barbecue party? Use these recipes to come up with some creative, delicious, and fun dessert recipes that your guests can watch you make. Imagine the oohs and aahs you’ll get taking a barbecued ice cream cake or puffy golden soufflé out of the barbecue!

And, as with all of my recipes, please experiment, add or change ingredients, make them your own recipes, and above all have fun at the same time you’re creating BBQ culinary wonders.

BBQ American Apple Pie
bbq-apple-piesFirst we’ll start off with good old American apple pie. This recipe can be whipped up at the last minute, as can most of these BBQ desserts, and gives you a delicious pie that tastes like Grandma made it. If the crust is charred along the edges, who cares? It’s barbecue, man. Oh yes, my grandma lived in Canada…hence the addition of cheese to the pie. Try it, you’ll love it.

Pie crust for a 2-crust pie (the packaged roll-up kind works just fine)

10 medium Granny Smith and/or Macoun apples, peeled, cored and sliced (a 50-50 mix is wonderful)
1/2 cube of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Applejack brandy
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/3 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup of apple juice
1 cup brown sugar

3 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
3 ounces aged white cheddar cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons cream to brush on pie crust

Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan and add the apples; stir over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the brandy, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, cornstarch mix, and brown sugar.
Stir well and cook until the apples are just beginning to soften, about 8-10 minutes.

Set aside and let the apple mixture cool to room temperature.

Line the bottom crust of your pie plate with one of the crusts, prick the crust with a fork, and add the filling. Sprinkle the cheddar and blue cheese on top of the filling and cover with the top pie crust.

Slit the crust in three places and crimp the edges of the top and bottom crusts together with a fork.

Brush the top of the pie with the cream to help brown the crust.  Use an aluminum pie-crust-edge protector or small strips of aluminum foil to cover the edges of the pie. About ten minutes before pie is done, remove the covering to let edges brown evenly.

Place the pie on indirect heat in a medium-hot barbecue (450 degrees F. or so) and cook for 45 minutes or until the surface of the pie is golden brown. Cool the pie and serve with ice cream (homemade is awesome).

Serves 6-8
Heat scale: Mild

Chocolate-Orange Shells
Barbecue Chocolate-Orange Shells are delicious and dramatic.Next up, a very summery dessert that’s great for hot days when you want to cool down, but want a bit of a “Wow” factor for the guests you’re serving. You could also make this with orange, lemon or lime sherbet (or a combination).

4 large California oranges
3 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
Chocolate ice cream
8” x 12” wooden board, 1/2” thick
Heavy duty aluminum foil

Cocoa powder (optional garnish)

Fire up your barbecue to its highest temperature, 600-700 degrees F is best. Cover the wooden board with two layers of aluminum foil and set aside. Cut the oranges in half, horizontally, and then remove the juice and pulp and place the shells in a medium saucepan of simmering water for 5 minutes. Remove the orange shells and drain thoroughly.

In a large saucepan, pour 3 cups of brown sugar into 1 cup of boiling water. Bring the sugar water to a rolling boil, then turn to low and add the orange halves. Simmer them for about 30 minutes, turning each half over several times.

Using tongs, remove the shells from the syrup and cool them cut side down on aluminum foil or on waxed paper. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the shells while they cool. With a hand mixer whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, adding cream of tartar and confectioner’s sugar as you whip the egg whites.

Fill the orange shells with chocolate ice cream (or your other favorite flavor) and cover with the meringue. Place the shells on the aluminum-covered board and place it in the center of the hot barbecue. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the meringue is just starting to brown. Remove the board from heat and serve immediately.

For garnish you may sprinkle the top of the meringue with cocoa powder.

Serves 4-6
Heat scale: Mild

Return to top of article

Barbecued Ice Cream
By far the most requested barbecued dessert I do is Barbecued Ice Cream. Just the name causes most people to peer at me in wonder and ask, “Do you really barbecue ice cream?” And as you’ll see here, the answer is yes, with a bit of bbq-icecreamcakeculinary trickery.

1 Giant-sized Sara Lee pound cake, cold but not frozen
3 Klondike chocolate covered ice cream bars
12-16 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 wooden plank, 12” x 8” by 1-inch thick
Heavy duty aluminum foil to wrap the plank
1 8-ounce jar of raspberry jam
1 8-ounce jar of chocolate fudge sauce

Get a good hot fire going in a kettle grill, gas barbecue, or smoker (at least 700 degrees F). If you use charcoal in a kettle grill, mound it in two piles on either side of the cooker, leaving the middle of the grill open. If using a gas grill, turn on all burners to high.

Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar into a stiff meringue so that when you pull the  beaters away, sharp points stand up in the meringue. Cover and put meringue in the refrigerator. Wrap the plank in the foil.

Cut the pound cake in half as if you were making a large (and decadent) sandwich.

Generously spread all of the raspberry jam on the bottom of the cake. Place 3 ice cream bars (without wrappers) on top of the jam on the bottom layer and cover with the top layer.Put the assembled ice cream cake in the freezer for 10 minutes.

While the ice cream cake is hardening, warm 1 jar of hot fudge sauce in a pot of hot water and keep warm.

Place the cake on a foil-covered board and completely cover the cake on all sides with meringue, being sure to bring the meringue all the way down to touch the foil all around cake.  If you leave any gaps the ice cream may melt and spoil the dessert.

Place the plank on the center of the grill in your very hot barbecue. Check after 2 minutes, and as soon as you see the peaks of meringue become brown, remove the dessert from the cooker. This will only take a few minutes with a very hot fire.

Bring the plank and cake to the table and place on a large serving platter. Cut vertical slices through the meringue, cake and ice cream with an ELECTRIC KNIFE, and put on plates onto which you have spooned a generous pool of the chocolate sauce.

Serves 4-6
Heat scale: Mild

Grilled Avocado with Strawberry-Mango Salsa
 grilled-avocado1.jpgNow let’s go wild and whip up a fancy-dancy dessert from something no one else uses for that purpose. The lowly—but elegant—avocado is actually a fruit, so let’s treat it like one for this refreshing, healthy, and surprising dessert.
4 avocados, just turning soft, not fully ripe
1 medium mango, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 pound strawberries, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup honey mixed with 1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat a well-oiled BBQ grill to medium-high, 300-400 degrees F.

Slice the avocados in half lengthwise and carefully remove the seed. Brush the exposed flesh with the honey-olive oil mixture, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a cool place (do not refrigerate).

Chop the mangos and strawberries and mix them with the vinegar, orange juice, and lemon juice, let rest at least 20 minutes so the ingredients can blend. Stir occasionally.

Spray your grill very heavily with PAM or another grilling spray.

Grill the avocados skin side down directly on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes, until the skin begins to lightly char and take on grill marks. Re-spray the grill and brush the flesh side of the avocados again with the honey-oil mixture and place the halves flesh side down on the hot grill for another 2-3 minutes.

With a spatula carefully remove the avocados from the grill and place them on a serving plate covered with a bed of lettuce, two halves per person. Fill the seed cavity with the mango-strawberry salsa, generously dribbling some on the top of each half. Serve with a spoon to scoop out the avocado flesh and salsa.

Serves 4
Heat scale: Mild

White Chocolate and Orange Soufflé
chocolate-orange-souffleThe ultimate fancy restaurant dessert is the soufflé. Who does these at home? They’re too hard to make and too fragile, right? Wrong. Remember, your BBQ is nothing more than an oven you’ve taken outdoors, whether you use charcoal, gas, or hardwood logs. If you can do it indoors, you can do it outdoors.

This dish truly amazes people. I even had a 4-star chef once bet me I couldn’t make a soufflé in a BBQ. He ended up eating one, and paying for my dinner that night, which included a soufflé that didn’t rise as high as mine. So there!

1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces imported white chocolate (such as Lindt), coarsely chopped
5 large egg yolks, room temperature
3 teaspoons grated orange peel
4 teaspoons Grand Marnier
5 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 ounces imported white chocolate (such as Lindt), coarsely chopped
Powdered sugar

Preheat the barbecue to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 6-cup soufflé dish (or small individual soufflé dishes) and sprinkle the dish with sugar; roll the dish around to coat all surfaces, then tap out the excess. Add a buttered and sugared aluminum foil collar that extends 2-3-inches above the rim of the dish and tie in place with butcher’s twine.

On your BBQ grill or on your stove top, heat the cream and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add 6 ounces of white chocolate and stir until the chocolate dissolves. Whisk in egg yolks and orange peel, and cook for about five minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly, stirring constantly; do not boil.

Whisk in the Grand Marnier. Transfer the mixture to large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl until soft peaks form.  Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and then beat again until stiff peaks form.

Mix 2 ounces of the chopped chocolate into the warm egg yolk mixture, then fold in the egg whites in 2 batches. Transfer the mixture to your prepared soufflé dish. Bake over INDIRECT heat in the BBQ until the soufflé is puffed and the top is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

This moist, orange-flavored soufflé is rich with white chocolate. Offer snifters of orange liqueur, with a mandarin orange segment and cherry on a toothpick floating inside, to sip with the dessert.

Serves 6
Heat scale: Mild

Grilled Bananas Barbecued Banana Split
These bananas are being grilled for ice cream splits…
but they’re also great side dishes for Caribbean cuisine.
The completed barbecued banana split.

Grilled Banana Splits
Speaking of traditional desserts, how about a Barbecued Banana Split? As easy as pie, a delightfully rich treat, and another dish that will cement your reputation as being a master BBQ dessert maker.

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 ripe bananas
Vanilla ice cream
Hot Fudge Sauce (or Caramel, Butterscotch, etc.)
Whipped cream
Chopped nuts

Preheat your barbecue grill to 350 to 400 degrees F. and spray the grill heavily with PAM or another grilling spray.

Combine the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the butter is completely melted and the sugar is dissolved. With a sharp knife, cut each banana in half lengthwise, leaving the peel on the halves.

Brush the cut side of the banana halves with the sugar mixture and place the bananas cut side down on the grill. Grill until golden brown and caramelized, about 2 minutes. Re-spray the grill with PAM and turn the banana halves, peel side down and brush the upper surface of each with more glaze. Grill the bananas 2-3 minutes longer or until tender.

To serve, place two grilled banana halves in a sundae dish or shallow bowl. Top with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, drizzle with your favorite dessert sauce, and top with whipped cream and chopped nuts.

Serves 4
Heat scale: Mild

Return to top of article

Cream Cheese, Chocolate and Jam Turnovers
Barbecued turnoversHere’s a simple, elegant dessert you’d never, ever think of cooking on a BBQ grill. Everyone loves turnovers, and these are so simple you can do them with your eyes closed. For variation use apricot and golden raspberry jam, thinly sliced kiwi and blueberries, thinly sliced peaches and crushed blackberries—let your imagination go wild. And, if you are daring, add a tablespoon of cognac, rum or fruit liqueur to the mix before placing into the filo dough.

By the way, filo dough can takes hours to make, so just pop into your local grocery store and buy a box of pre-made dough, thaw it slowly following the directions, then craft up a delicious dessert of browned and crisp turnovers with yummy fruit hidden inside. One caution: when these come out of the oven wait at least ten minutes before eating, as the fruit inside can scald and seriously burn you if you dig right in.

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
3/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 small bar of milk or semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon milk
1 1/2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, for sprinkling

Pre-heat a BBQ to 425 degrees F., mounding the charcoal on one side only (or, if using propane, turn on the burners on one side of the BBQ only).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out each sheet of pastry into a 12-inch square and cut each square into 4 (6-inch) squares. In a small bowl mix the apricot jam and marmalade together.  You can also use fresh fruit and berries here, if sliced or chopped into small pieces.

Put one very full tablespoon of cream cheese in the center of each pastry square, add another very full tablespoon of the fruit jam mixture, then add one 2” x 2”-inch square of chocolate. Lightly brush all four of the edges of each pastry square with water.

Fold the pastry squares in half diagonally to form triangles, pressing the edges together firmly with the tines of a fork that you have dipped in milk. Seal the edges well.

Mix 1 egg with 1 tablespoon milk and brush the top of each turnover with the egg wash.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of water on a baking sheet, and arrange the turnovers on the sheet. With a sharp knife cut several slits in the top of each turnover (for steam vents). Sprinkle the turnovers with the confectioner’s sugar and bake them on the unheated side of your BBQ for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden.

Remove the baking sheet from the BBQ and sprinkle the turnovers with more confectioner’s sugar and serve them warm, with ice cream if you wish. Wait 10 minutes before eating, as the fruit filling can be dangerously hot.

Serves 4-8
Heat scale: Mild

Related Articles:

Grilled Sides and Desserts by Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach

Chiles and Chocolate by Dave DeWitt

Candied Capsicums by Harald Zoschke


Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Email this to someone