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Dessert for a complicated group of people

rcallner Aug 24, 2011 04:27 PM

I've been requested to bring dessert this coming Monday (posting on Wednesday) for dinner with my husband and another couple who have been working out this schedule for months. The host is a friend I've known a long while, usually (always) I've cooked, but he's keen to introduce us to his fiance (long lost childhood sweetheart) and to host us, for a change. Wonderful. Here's the thing. She's lactose-intolerant, and allergic to almonds and soy (SOY!). My DH has his food theories and doesn't eat fruit late in the day, so the beautiful blueberries I've been contemplating are off the table, too. Yoiks. On top of all this complication, I really like these people and would like to make something nice. Soy has an insidious way of being inserted into unexpected places, like cheaper chocolate, so I have to be vigilant. Does anyone have a bright and tasty idea? I would be very grateful.....

  1. chowser Aug 24, 2011 04:33 PM

    I can think of quite a lot of things that would work. What about an angel food cake and you can serve chocolate sauce and blueberries on the side so you can use your blueberries? Do you want something more or less complicated?

    1. i
      Isolda Aug 24, 2011 04:39 PM

      I'd bring more than one. For the LI, allergic person, do mango with sticky rice. For your husband and others who prefer conventional desserts, make a chocolate cake. Everyone who eats dessert should be satisfied with one of those two desserts. Another simple option is to do lactose-free vanilla ice cream (we use that here because my son and I are both LI) and an assortment of toppings, such as chocolate sauce, pineapple sauce, coffee liqueur, whisky (yes, excellent on vanilla ice cream).

      I say this a lot on these boards, but you really can't please a lot of people with disparate food restrictions with a single dish. It's always better to make several things so that everyone will have at least one thing they can eat. I know it's more work for the cook/baker, but I'm assuming you like to cook and/or bake, since you're here.

      1. mamachef Aug 24, 2011 04:44 PM

        You can make a lovely sorbet for the xxxxx intolerant person by just pureeing mangos or papaya with a tot of sugar and lemon juice and freezing in a flat tray, breaking it up with a fork and whipping until creamy and fully frozen, and bring along a coconut or chocolate cake for the wheat and milk and chocolate eaters....and maybe find a package of nice gf cookies to bring too...?

        4 Replies
        1. re: mamachef
          chowser Aug 24, 2011 04:51 PM

          Or the OP could just do a chocolate olive oil cake and that would take care of everyone. Something like this except w/out almond extract:

          http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/da...

          Am I missing something here? It seems like the OP just needs a dessert w/out dairy, almonds, soy or fruit. And, something that can be easily transported. There are lot of desserts that fit the bill w/out having to make multiple ones, unless they want to.

          1. re: chowser
            m
            magiesmom Aug 24, 2011 05:39 PM

            Rice pudding made with coconut milk is really good with shaved chocolate on it.

            1. re: chowser
              babette feasts Aug 24, 2011 05:47 PM

              Definitely oil-based cake. A lot of people who are LI can have butter, as there is less lactose in butter, but not knowing the fiancee you might not want to take a chance. And cocoa shouldn't have soy, should it?

              You can do a chocolate glaze with water or coffee or coconut milk, and a caramel sauce with the same substitutions for plating.

              1. re: chowser
                rcallner Aug 24, 2011 08:58 PM

                PS thanks to the link to Finecooking.com. Will definitely spend some time there.

            2. greygarious Aug 24, 2011 05:38 PM

              Rice pudding made with coconut milk or some other coconut-centric or caramel dessert. I would not get into separate desserts just because it COULD be perceived as a bit isolating. I mean, three of you are well-acquainted, but the fiancee is a stranger to you, and you want to be welcoming. Other mutually acceptable flavor profiles would be mint, ginger, or coffee. Does the fruit prohibition extend to rhubarb? It IS a vegetable, after all.

              3 Replies
              1. re: greygarious
                babette feasts Aug 24, 2011 05:49 PM

                Rhubarb, good one! Also carrot cake and zucchini cake have no fruit and usually are made with oil instead of butter.

                1. re: greygarious
                  mamachef Aug 24, 2011 05:49 PM

                  nice call and oh-so-right, greygarious;. you're on the money. A coffee mousse would be very nice, topped with a nut brittle.

                  1. re: mamachef
                    p
                    piccola Aug 30, 2011 06:22 PM

                    Except mousse is chock full of dairy, isn't it?

                2. c
                  cathyeats Aug 24, 2011 08:56 PM

                  I recommend these dairy-free brownies - they never cease to amaze people. And it shouldn't be too hard to find good quality bittersweet chocolate that doesn't contain soy. You can see a picture here: http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010...

                  Decadent Lowfat Brownies

                  2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used a Ghirardelli 70% baking bar

                  )

                  2 T. water

                  1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce

                  1 egg + 2 egg whites

                  2 t. vanilla

                  1/2 c. sugar

                  1/2 c. brown sugar

                  2 T. canola oil

                  1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour

                  1/2 c. cocoa powder

                  1/2 t. baking powder

                  1/4 t. salt

                  1/2 c. chopped walnuts

                  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate and water on very low heat, stirring until melted. Stir in the applesauce. In a bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg and egg whites, vanilla, sugars and canola oil. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the dry ingredients and mix briefly. Fold in the walnuts.

                  Spray an 8×8″ metal baking pan with oil. Spread the batter in the pan and bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

                  1. rcallner Aug 24, 2011 08:56 PM

                    Thank you everyone, for the thoughts and suggestions! I love the looks of Chowser's olive oil chocolate cake, and will find something to sub for almond extract - probably rum. I like the idea of several different desserts, but there are only four of us and - heck - I shouldn't work THAT hard - we're the guests! I'll definitely be able to use the other ideas for larger gatherings - I seem to live in an area heavily populated with complicated dining needs.....THANK YOU!! Hounds rock.

                    1. a
                      alitria Aug 24, 2011 09:13 PM

                      They do make chocolate for those with a soy allergy, I often find it a natural food or specialty grocery stores, Even Whole Foods occasionally has it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: alitria
                        rcallner Aug 25, 2011 09:54 AM

                        Yes, and I notice in general the more expensive (higher cocoa content) chocolates are without soy lecithin.

                      2. rcallner Aug 30, 2011 10:13 AM

                        So this is what happened last night at the dinner - I'd planned to make the beautiful chocolate olive oil cake, had taken a glance at my pantry and thought I had all the ingredients. Night before the event, I found the powdered cocoa wasn't Dutch process, and wouldn't work. Pooh. At lunch break the next day, I went to Trader Joe's and read about 50 labels looking for SOMETHING without dairy, soy, or nuts, and came away with some salt water taffy and meringues. This felt too damn pathetic, so after work and a few hours before the dinner, I made a pudding out of a can of coconut milk, and when it set, I sprinkled it with good shredded coconut and a sprinkle of cinnamon - served that with the meringues on the side. It was just right with the simple dinner of delicious grilled salmon, salad, and good bread provided by our hosts.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rcallner
                          chowser Aug 30, 2011 10:20 AM

                          Sounds delicious--a nice all around dinner.

                        2. j
                          JudiAU Aug 30, 2011 02:28 PM

                          OIl based cake of some sort, cornmeal olive oil maybe with the berries and whipped cream on the side.

                          I think multiple desserts are depressing unless you have utterly contrary eating habits. These aren't that bad.

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