Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 24, 2011 04:27 PM

Dessert for a complicated group of people

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. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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'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. 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

          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:

          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

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

            1. re: chowser

              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

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

            2. 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

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

                1. re: greygarious

                  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

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

                2. 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:

                  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.