I need a single dessert to fit a huge list of dietary restrictions. Suggestions?

I have a group of 48 people, and a ginormous list of dietary needs. Normally, I have the "I got this" mentality, but this list takes the cake. I need a single dessert that is free of the following items: gluten, chocolate, grain, caffeine, alcohol, nuts, pork (lard), dairy, raw fruit (cooked is fine), dried fruit, cherries and fiber. Short of meringues and sorbet, I'm out of ideas. Suggestions please? They must be upscale desserts. Thanks!

  • Posted by: Amy
  • March 8, 2016
  • 2456 views
  • 37 Comments

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour March 8, 2016

Pavlovas with berry coulis or roasted fruit or both and whipped coconut cream.

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Sam1148
Sam1148 March 17, 2016

With a list like that. I think they just left out coconut as a oversight.

Cav
Cav March 8, 2016

Aside from hardlikearmour's smart pavlova suggestion, all I can think of is a chicken leg dusted with sugar. You've pretty well been left with nothing but meringue, sorbet and sympathy.

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ChefJune
ChefJune March 8, 2016

My mom used to make a big meringue bowl every year for Passover. She filled it with scoops of multicolored fruit sorbets. It was a real stunner, and something the whole family looked forward to every year.

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Stephanie
Stephanie March 8, 2016

Air? A dessert trio of steam, ice, and water?

Jokes aside, I immediately thought of poached fruit. Thinking that would address the need to cook it and it would be a bit fancier. You could also serve with a quenelle of sorbet. Add spices and aromatics (ginger, orange, star anise) to both the poaching liquid and sorbet for a little more pizzazz.

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Niknud
Niknud March 8, 2016

I was going to suggest a shot of tequila, but then I realized alcohol was on the list too. Wow. I think you're left with the poached fruit or meringues as other have suggested. Maybe just serve a huge amount of heavy food for dinner and hope that everyone is too full to want dessert....

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foofaraw
foofaraw March 8, 2016

Many Indonesian/SE Asian dessert fits that requirements, especially the dessert soup sections:
- Kolak (Indonesian coconut milk-based dessert soup, with filling permutation of: banana/plantain, taro, sweet potato jackfruit, cassava, etc) http://dailycookingquest.com/by-cuisine/indonesian/kolak-plantain-cassava-and-sweet-potato-in-coconut-milk, http://alittleyum.com/2012/05/19/indonesian-kolak-pisang-bananas-with-coconut-milk-pandan-and-palm-sugar/ , http://www.indochinekitchen.com/recipes/banana-compote-with-coconut-milk-kolak-pisang/. You can use just one filling or as many as you like. Banana and jackfruit will give pleasant tang to the soup.
- Steamed taro, eaten with fresh grated coconut (give bit of salt and steamed) and sprinkled with demerara sugar/brown sugar. I like demerara because it gives crunchy texture. Something like: http://bunda-inong.blogspot.com/2015/02/talas-atau-keladi-rebus-kelapa-parut.html
- Kolak Biji Salak, see description on wiki https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kolak_biji_salak.jpg. Recipe: https://cookpad.com/id/resep/259140-kolak-biji-salak
- Es lilin (Ice pop) with mung beans flavor http://buletinresep.blogspot.com/2015/06/resep-es-lilin-kacang-hijau.html
- Getuk Lindri (sweet cassava brownie/nugget). You can omit the coconut sprinkles, http://resep4.blogspot.com/2013/04/resep-getuk-lindri-singkong.html

* The recipes are mostly in Indonesian (I can't find English version) and I just posted here for you to check out the pictures and the ingredients w/Google Translate. PM me if you are interested and want translation of the recipes.

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Amy
Amy March 9, 2016

Thank you for all the interesting and wonderful options! :)

Clair Gu
Clair Gu March 8, 2016

How about a coconut milk panna cotta? You could easily set it with gelatin and add a lemon or lime syrup with candied lemon/lime peel, some toasted coconut and a bit of mint?

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Windischgirl
Windischgirl March 8, 2016

What would be a vegan or kosher option for gelatin? Gelatin is pork based.
I want to make a ganache-filled cake for a friend and she keeps kosher...so suggestions would help Amy and me!

Clair Gu
Clair Gu March 8, 2016

They make a couple varieties of vegetarian gelatin—like Vegan Jel or Agar Agar.

creamtea
creamtea March 8, 2016

Windishgirl, the recipes I've seen for ganache are free of gelatin, just cream and chopped chocolate.

Windischgirl
Windischgirl March 9, 2016

Clair, thanks for the info--I'll look for those products.
Creamtea, you are right; we recently made truffles with a fabulous ganache that was simply cream and chocolate. However, this is for a cake, filled with a generous 2-inch slab of ganache, and the recipe author (George Lang) even notes that at room temperature, the weight of the upper layer of cake will cause the ganache to ooze out...not to mention what would result when trying to cut the cake!

Amy
Amy March 9, 2016

Great idea...but I failed to mention that the group has vegetarians in it...ugh. I suppose I could us Agar Agar...hmmm...

creamtea
creamtea March 9, 2016

Windischgirl, the only unflavored gelatin that's also kosher I found is Lieber's. There may be more, just did a quick search. It seems the brand I used, Kolatin, is out of production. You may want to do a trial run to see how "stiff" it is; possibly it may have a different consistency than what you are accustomed to.

QueenSashy
QueenSashy March 8, 2016

Another possibility is a selection of pate de fruit of various flavors. Or how about floating island, where you can make crème anglaise with coconut milk, you can also top it with caramel, or add caramel to snow eggs.

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Amy
Amy March 8, 2016

Thank you all for the great...and wonderfully humorous...answers!! Tequila will be for the bakers :)

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QueenSashy
QueenSashy March 8, 2016

... and by all means do let us know what you ended up making! The community is dying to know :)

Kris
Kris March 8, 2016

I see you've included fiber in the list. What do you mean by that? You can try a crumble with a coconut/ seed topping. Seeds are allowed right ? And serve it with a coconut milk ice cream or sauce. You could also make a fruit tart instead of the crumble and use a combination of coconut flakes and powder and flaxseed or sunflower seeds. If you can use eggs then it will bind well.

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Amy
Amy March 9, 2016

One of the people in this group has a diet that has to be less than 1 gram of fiber per serving.

Rae
Rae March 8, 2016

Vanilla poached fruit (perhaps rhubarb) with a chia seed coconut milk pudding topped with black sesame toffee wafer & turkish fairy floss.

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Amy
Amy March 9, 2016

What is Turkish Fairy Floss? I haven't had time to look it up yet...thanks!

ChefJune
ChefJune March 9, 2016

Bear in mind that if any of your guests suffer from arthritis, rhubarb is almost inevitably going to make their joints seize.

foofaraw
foofaraw March 8, 2016

Many Indonesian/SE Asian dessert fits that requirements, especially the dessert soup sections:
- Kolak (Indonesian coconut milk-based dessert soup, with filling permutation of: banana/plantain, taro, sweet potato jackfruit, cassava, etc) http://dailycookingquest.com/by-cuisine/indonesian/kolak-plantain-cassava-and-sweet-potato-in-coconut-milk, http://alittleyum.com/2012/05/19/indonesian-kolak-pisang-bananas-with-coconut-milk-pandan-and-palm-sugar/ , http://www.indochinekitchen.com/recipes/banana-compote-with-coconut-milk-kolak-pisang/. You can use just one filling or as many as you like. Banana and jackfruit will give pleasant tang to the soup.
- Steamed taro, eaten with fresh grated coconut (give bit of salt and steamed) and sprinkled with demerara sugar/brown sugar. I like demerara because it gives crunchy texture. Something like: http://bunda-inong.blogspot.com/2015/02/talas-atau-keladi-rebus-kelapa-parut.html

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foofaraw
foofaraw March 8, 2016

- Kolak Biji Salak, see description on wiki https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kolak_biji_salak.jpg. Recipe: https://cookpad.com/id/resep/259140-kolak-biji-salak

foofaraw
foofaraw March 9, 2016

- Es lilin (Ice pop) with mung beans flavor http://buletinresep.blogspot.com/2015/06/resep-es-lilin-kacang-hijau.html

creamtea
creamtea March 8, 2016

No suggestions, but I feel for you.

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Kristen W.
Kristen W. March 8, 2016

How about poached pears? There's a nice-sounding recipe in this David Liebovitz article: http://www.davidlebovitz...

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Kristen W.
Kristen W. March 8, 2016

Oh weird, when I just looked at this thread only two other answers appeared, then when I just posted my answer it showed up with fifteen other answers from hours ago! Among them I saw that poached fruit was already mentioned...ah well, make that another vote for poached fruit them!

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Lemongrass&Lime
Lemongrass&Lime March 9, 2016

A vanilla, chia & coconut cream parfait with stewed fruit and toasted coconut to garnish? Dependent on whether the fibre in chia is too high for your needs. Also individual black rice and coconut puddings could be an option if the 'grain' restriction doesn't include rice (some 'grain free' diets allow rice). Good luck and yes, please let us know what you make!

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Amy
Amy March 9, 2016

Thank you all!! Today, we are going to test Pavlovas and poached pears, but also meringue cookies and cooked fruit compote in a pretty display glass. Among other things, this is just one single dessert for the group. We have 2 days of cookies, bars, breads and desserts that we have to have. We should win an award for this one if we pull it off and no one goes hungry...lol

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HalfPint
HalfPint March 9, 2016

I was going to suggest Vietnamese dessert of che chuoi with roughly translates to Banana Coconut Soup/pudding. It is bananas cooked in coconut milk with tapioca pearls. There's also a soup pudding with green mung beans, http://www.thekitchn.com...

Both are sweet, creamy and easy. There's a bit of fiber with both the bananas and the beans but it's not like you'll be eating cups and cups of this stuff.

I would also suggest Vietnamese jelly desserts like this one, http://www.phamfatale.com/id_2403/title_Rau-Cau-Dua-Vietnamese-Coconut-Jello-Recipe/
which is totally vegan if you use organic sugar.

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scruz
scruz March 9, 2016

a mango pudding. you can make it with coconut milk too. mango puree.

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Sean R
Sean R March 9, 2016

I support pavlovas, 110%!! Serving them with lemon (or any citrus) curd might be fun (subbing dairy with coconut oil and cream). Oftentimes, I do variations on the Indian rice pudding, Kheer with rosewater, saffron, cardamom, and toasted coconut flakes, subbing the rice with tapioca pearls.

If, at some point, you throw up yours hands and want to buy something, the non-dairy ice cream "Coconut Bliss" is pretty great. They've nailed a smooth, rich texture and I believe many of their flavors align with your restrictions. My midwestern Whole Foods and many local grocers carry it.

Good luck, Amy! I maintain a restrictive diet (G(rain)F-DF-NF, etc.,) and eggs, tapioca, and coconut milk are my besties for desserts!

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Louise Liu
Louise Liu March 14, 2016

You could make any number of pastries with a fruit filling, a tarte tatin, or a variation on a lemon meringue pie. Sub gluten free pastry flour and earth balance for the butter in the pastry. Make in individual disposable tartlet pans to make it more upscale and easy to plate/serve. The tarte tatin can be premade then popped in the oven right before serving to warm and then just flipped onto plates - serve with vegan ice cream or non-dairy whip.

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Aliwaks
Aliwaks March 17, 2016

I feel ya-- I have a dinner I'm private chef for next month with 1 diary "avoidance" a vegan, a gluten free, a nut allergy and some thing else I'm forgetting-maybe paleo--oh yeah the vegan doesn't "do sugar" so isn't very interested in dessert--- for everyone but the vegan I'm making a flourless chocolate cake (with butter substitute) w roasted banana "ice cream" that the vegan can eat if she decides to loosen up a bit and get wild.

However for a different event I made a lovely lemon curd with olive oil instead of butter - you could pair that with a meringue -- grain like all grains ? any grains? because if buckwheat doesn't could as a grain you can make little buckwheat cookies to go with lemon curd & coconut whipped cream,

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Amy
Amy March 18, 2016

Thank you all for the ideas!!! Our dessert was presented last weekend, and it went well! I thought you'd all love to hear what we decided to do. Due to the immense dietary list, we had to go simple. We went with *drumroll*....pavlovas with a berry sauce (cooked berries were fine with our client). It wasn't terribly creative, like I prefer, however, considering what we had to work with, it covered the bases and went over well. Thank you to "haredlikearmour"'s original suggestion, which many of you approved and voted as well, for the pavlova idea. They turned out beautifully! We did try the poached pears, but they weren't in great shape (out of season) when we worked with them and we deemed them unfit for service after we finished handling them. So berry sauce was classic, and we used my homemade raspberry jam as a base for the flavor.

I'm so glad that I have the Food52 community to bounce ideas off of, and that there are so many wonderful, professional (and humorous) answers when I need them.

Thank you again!
Amy

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