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How do I make dessert that is low carb, non-dairy, and worth eating?

I have a pot-luck Sunday evening. I'm supposed to bring a dessert. One girl is eating low-carb and I want to support her efforts. Another girl is allergic to milk so no butter or milk but I can use country crock and lactaid (oh how it KILLS me to do so!). I was thinking some sort of cake + berry topping + real whipped cream "bar" that can be adjusted to fit both diets, but I'm not married to the concept. Anybody got a better idea? I don't mind spending time on this to get a quality result. Thanks in advance!

asked by chl0525 over 4 years ago
16 answers 8921 views
84e1393f 0d16 4291 80cf 2c42b5acf188  noz photo
added over 4 years ago

What about a berry pavlova or a citrus panna cotta?

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Miranda Rake

Miranda is a contributor at Food52.

added over 4 years ago

You could do something with a nut butter (for a nice creamy richness without dairy) and chocolate that is 100% cocoa (thus no sugar) or just with cocoa powder. You could use ever so little of a sugarless sweetener if need be, but chocolate and nut butters taste pretty darn good all on their own! Something to play around with maybe.

62da2e3c 5d4a 4c43 a2ed feb7f39ad363  with ab
added over 4 years ago

Baked fruit is always a good idea! Alton brown has a great recipe for stuffed baked apples (and you could do an unstuffed one for your low-carb friend if she's really stringent). Poached pears with some freshly whipped cream is also elegant and healthy. You could also bake a cake to go under the poached pears (something with cardamom or other spices) and just omit that for the pickier eaters.

B5d4c31e d9a4 4f0e ae4e ecaa0cf95de6  dsc 0253 2
Miranda Rake

Miranda is a contributor at Food52.

added over 4 years ago

i love these thoughts but a quick note - fruit is a big no no on a low carb diet so depending how strict your friend is being, they might not work for her.

97a8ddcf b448 426a 9bd8 eed4b204cdb5  hussie icons chl
added over 4 years ago

Oooh, you're right. I forget the rules. I think I can get away with citrus though.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

That's tough, I would suggest making two separate desserts because for the low carb guest, dairy would actually be a good way to go. You can make a couer la creme served with preserves on the side or roasted fruit/ baked apples (as long as guest isn't super low carb as to avoid fruits) served with lightly sweetened cream on the side. For the dairy-free guest, how about meringues, an angel food cake, olive oil pound cake or a chocolate cake that is oil based. I have substituted oil in many cakes when dealing with dairy-free guests with great success. When substituting I do not go with delicate cakes, but apple cakes, banana, zucchini, etc. all do really well.

97a8ddcf b448 426a 9bd8 eed4b204cdb5  hussie icons chl
added over 4 years ago

This all sounds much better than what I had planned. I really like the apple cake idea, I have some dried apples that I have been wanting to use anyway. This is so hard. Dessert should be fun! ;)

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added over 4 years ago

As someone who has done low-carb before, I can say that I would have preferred to just skip dessert. She probably cannot eat any fruit (no, not even oranges) or sugar...panna cotta with splenda instead of sugar is possible depending on her level of restriction, but that wouldn't work for your dairy-free friend.
I'd check with her first on her diet because she might prefer to skip dessert entirely and then you just need to go dairy-free, which is easy.

516f887e 3787 460a bf21 d20ef4195109  bigpan
added over 4 years ago

Try a sabayon with fresh fruit.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Here a couple of delicious recipes I've done in the past that have been a hit for a wide group of friends--

Coconut Layer Petit Fores- if transporting these from house to house, i recommend freezing them before and after transportation and they will be fine. http://icingoffthecake...

Cocoa Bean Cupcakes-- these cupcakes are flourless. the base is actually black beans--i know, the initial reaction is ew! black beans--but it's actually really delicious and moist! http://icingoffthecake...

Vanilla Bean Cake with Chocolate Frosting- http://icingoffthecake...

D780a3eb 84a5 4496 812d 80b58da1469c  img 5617

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Also, I kind of specialize is catering for people with various restrictions and diets, so if you want any other tips or recipes, I'm happy to help :)

766e7ce3 8394 4788 8337 bbd8a8d3a07e  5.15.11 coconut macaroons best sm
added over 4 years ago

I think my Coconut-Lemon Macaroons probably qualify as low-carb, plus they're vegan so there's no diary worry:
http://food52.com/recipes...
I like to bring them as dessert because they're easy to transport, small servings, and free of just about anything allergenic.

You also may try poached pears or other fruit. That's usually pretty easy and totally looks like you slaved over it. Fruit crisps are also an option. You can use oats, nuts, brown sugar, and a little vegan butter for the topping and avoid flour altogether.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added over 4 years ago

Syronai's Coconut-Lemon Macaroons are amazing. We were lucky enough to have them at a Food52 gathering. They not only taste divine, they are beautiful, elegant and rich in flavor. I make them for people with no diet restrictions and they adore them!

97a8ddcf b448 426a 9bd8 eed4b204cdb5  hussie icons chl
added over 4 years ago

Thanks for all of your help. I settled on a 2 dish solution. The no-carber made it easy by insisting the only thing that works is sugar-free jello so I'm going to class it up with some real whipped cream (sweetened with splenda) and a lite grating of zest on top. Man, it's HARD to dress up jello! For act 2 I'll be whipping up the YOGURT CAKE WITH PEAR AND DARK CHOCOLATE by fiveandspice, subbing out the regular yogurt for the coconut kind. We can then top it with the whipped cream, those of us who are allowed that is. Yay, everybody wins. Sort of. I mean come on, jello...

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added over 4 years ago

Yes, jello has its own life! What lucky people to have you for a friend!

97a8ddcf b448 426a 9bd8 eed4b204cdb5  hussie icons chl
added over 4 years ago

Oh, and I'll be bookmarking all of the fab suggestions here. I'm gonna try a panna cotta first. :)