Ok, ok. Maybe I should add that this cholesterol bomb also comes with fresh fruit?
The other day, I found myself pondering how it is that our home did not have any dessert! I had gotten Will the new Thomas Keller baking book Bouchon Bakery (more on this cookbook in another post!), and he was baking something new from it each week. But, alas, his latest baked goods were demi-baguettes which, while delicious as main course accompaniment, were not exactly dessert material.
Then I remembered that we had gotten a French Vanilla pound cake from the Fresh Market (which, if you don’t have one, is sort of like a less well-known Whole Foods, and not much less expensive…) that day to have around as snack or for a quick breakfast. Recalling a tasty “Grilled Polenta Pound Cake” dessert at an Italian restaurant some years ago, I quickly whipped up a dessert for us.
First, get your fruit ready so that you can serve the pound cake hot from the pan. Either get mixed berries or some other combination of fruits cut up in small dice. Since we had a mango from our vegetable co-op, I cut that up and added blueberries. Note: The mango was less ripe and fragrant than I like, but the dessert is sweet enough on the whole.
Whip up some sweetened crème fraiche by stirring into ½ cup of crème fraiche about a teaspoon of agave nectar or a teaspoon lemon curd or ½ teaspoon honey. Whatever sweetener you have around that you like to flavor something like whipped cream with. And, yes, of course you can use whipped cream!
You’re all set now for the pound cake part. Take fairly thick slices of pound cake (about 3/4 inch thick) and lay it down gently in a nonstick pan over medium heat that has a teaspoon of melted butter sizzling gently. If you have something fairly substantial like polenta pound cake or an olive oil cake or even a day-old pound cake refrigerated until slightly firm, it might make the whole maneuver a little bit less delicate. I noticed that our fresh pound cake was a bit fragile and I needed to be extra careful with the “grilling” (ie. Pan-frying) portion.
After about 3 minutes, temporarily remove the slices from the pan, melt another teaspoon of butter and gently return the pound cake slices to the pan—cooked side up. (I have to confess that I like to just move the slices off to the side while melting the butter, but less lazy people might find removing them momentarily to be the safer method.) Cook on the other side until that side is also nicely golden brown.
Remove to a (pretty) dessert plate, scatter fruits above and off to the side, either drizzle or spoon the crème fraiche over the fruit, and serve!