In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, almond extract, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Leave to macerate for 15 to 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat, swirling to coat the entire pan. Add the pound cake slices and toast until lightly browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pound cake from the pan, swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter; and toast the pound cake on the reverse side until lightly browned, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Place the toasted pound cake on plates and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the side of each slice. Top the slices with some of the macerated strawberries and garnish with toasted almonds. Serve immediately.
Vanilla Pound Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan
In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and mix for 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla; mix for 1 minute, until well blended. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until completely blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 8 servings