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Smoked Dessert at a BBQ Competition: First Place Recipe

I am thrilled to be part of a BBQ team from The Minuteman Smokehouse & Grill (Morristown, NJ). On September 17th, we participated in the Champion of Grill competition in Sussex County, NJ competing in multiple meat categories, and for the first time . . . dessert.

I’m a lifelong home baker, but had never really thought about smoking or grilling dessert beyond throwing some halved pit-fruit on the Weber with some sugar or honey. So I turned to Barbecuebible.com for inspiration. What I found was the Smoked Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe from Project Smoke!!! I tested it once and brought to a dinner party . . . it was a huge hit and so I decided that this would be the one.

Even though the recipe is amazing the way it is, I was thinking about flavor profiles and wondering what I could do to wow the judges. I decided to add a couple pinches of cayenne to the custard for a very slight heat and bourbon in some way. What goes better with smoke and chocolate than bourbon?!? I thought about adding it to the custard or making bourbon whipped cream and both would probably have worked, but in the end I decided that a bourbon glaze would be best. I combined confectioners’ sugar, cream, butter and bourbon, cooked it down and poured over the warm pudding. Yowza!!

Thank you, Steven Raichlen, for the recipe that helped to land first place in the dessert category for The Minuteman!!

For any of you who are reading this and unsure of whether to try a dessert on the grill, trust in the recipes here and get inspired to add your own twists as I did—you will not be disappointed with the results!