**Spoiler alert** BEST RECIPE OF THE SUMMER SO FAR!
You say you love to grill out? Here’s a ‘dessert on the grill’ recipe with panache. I love this cake because you can prep it, pack it up, and take it to a beach picnic, barbecue, or the park – any place that has a (clean) grill for the last-minute prep. It’s a summer novelty that can be eaten multiple ways, as a plain chocolate cupcake for purists, a lovely grilled and caramelized chocolate cupcake, or – as its highest and best self – a mouthwatering caramelized cupcake with serious vanilla ice cream melting on top.
I made these in cupcake form because most people have cupcake tins in their kitchen so it’s easy to do, but you can use small cake pans just as easily. The object is to get plenty of the cupcakes’ surface sprinkled with sugar just before grilling, and then into the heat. That caramelizes the sugar into the chocolate, giving it a nice crunch. And then you need a dollop of vanilla ice cream; for that I love Blue Bunny’s All-Natural Vanilla Ice Cream. This is vanilla ice cream as God intended, with a flavor that matches the strength of the chocolate.
Note: vanilla ice cream gets a bad rap because people think it’s blah, but good vanilla ice cream is rich and distinctive, and fully the equal of any other flavor. Spend a little more and buy the good stuff.
(You’re worth it.)
Grilled Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes
Adapted from Malibu Farm Cookbook
Serves: Makes a dozen large cupcakes
Prep time: 45 minutes to bake, ten minutes to prep on the grill
For the cake:
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 3 ½ cups sugar, plus additional sugar for dusting on cupcakes before grilling
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ cups kefir
- 1 ½ cups canola oil
- 4 eggs
- Flour and butter to line the cupcake tin
- Combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar cocoa powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
- Mix together kefir, canola oil, and eggs in a separate bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and combine. Pour into butter-and-floured cupcake tin and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Cakes can be grilled at once, or frozen until needed.
- To grill, dust sugar lightly over the cakes and grill on a barbecue, turning them so that all sides of the cakes touch the heat and allow the sugar to caramelize.
- To serve, top with a sprinkle of salt and vanilla ice cream.