Tromping the oeil

(Yes, I know that title mixes up things – languages – that are normally different. Keep reading, and you’ll see why I think it fits this post.)

A couple of months ago, I came across an intriguing recipe for trompe l’oeil “grilled cheese sandwiches” – toasted pound cake sandwiched with orange icing – on ninevoltcandy’s blog, and I finally got around to trying it out yesterday. This is how dinner went:

Me, putting the plate of sandwiches on the table: I don’t know, I tried out a new recipe and I don’t think it worked. I guess you’ll have to eat grilled cheese for dinner.

Husband: Well, I like grilled cheese.

Son: Oh, okay.

Husband, wandering into the kitchen: What about the stuff in this pan on the stove? It looks pretty good.

Me: I’m just not sure it worked out.

Son, studying sandwiches: This bread looks really small. (Pause for thought) Is this pound cake? I think it’s dessert.

Me: That looks like dessert to you?

Husband: I think we should at least try the new recipe.

And both the new main dish – arroz con pollo from $35 a Week – and the dessert of “cheese sandwiches” were hits.

A few notes – first, the photo at the top isn’t really what we had yesterday; I forgot to take pictures then. But I had a little pound cake and icing left over, and used them up tonight in two last sandwiches.

Second, there’s the question of how to toast pound cake. Ninevoltcandy persuaded her toaster to handle it. I tried the toaster for one slice and wasn’t very pleased with the results, so I toasted the rest in the broiler:

Pound cake slices before broiling

After four minutes under the heat

Will I make it again? I’m not sure if I’ll serve it at home after this – the surprise is gone. (It did fool both Husband and Son for several minutes, they said later.) On the other hand, it does taste good, so maybe I will. But the next time I need something easy to take to a potluck or something of the sort, I know what it’s going to be!

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5 responses to “Tromping the oeil

  1. I don’t think we have pound cake over here and what’s a broiler? is that like a grill? Looks good though.

    • Okay, this is a challenge to answer, but I’ll try! First, how to explain pound cake? Well, it’s a little richer and heavier than ordinary white cake. The name comes from an old-time recipe calling for a pound each of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter; I’ve tried making that, and the result is a LOT richer than the store version. (Also, it makes a much bigger cake than the usual loaf of pound cake, about four times as much.) At a rough guess, supermarket pound cake probably uses about half or a third as much butter as the amount of the other ingredients, plus a bit of baking powder to make it fairly light.

      I don’t know if that helps at all. Should I tell you it’s like sponge cake but richer? Anyhow, on to broilers. In U.S. stoves, a broiler is a heating element that cooks food from above – if you have an electric stove, it’s a second heating coil at the top of the oven, and gas stoves have a second compartment under the oven (both electric and gas stoves heat the oven from the bottom). Is that the same as a British grill?

  2. Woof! Those look delish, if heavy! 🙂
    I’ll look up that arroz con pollo recipe, too – one of my favorite dish variations.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • They weren’t that heavy – pound cake is fairly light, in spite of how it sounds! Think of a two-layer cake held together with icing, but nothing on the top and sides – that’s about the idea.

      And you’re welcome!

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