Q: Help! I'm going to a friend's house for dinner in a few days and want to bring a delectable dessert.
Problem is... my friend is a vegetarian who doesn't eat anything enriched (i.e., white flour), any fats except for olive or expeller-pressed oils, and she probably won't do much sugar either.
Is there anything I can take without having to spend an arm and a leg at the specialty foods store to impress her? (She's covering the wine, too!) She's a health nut but her husband, my boyfriend and I would like to finish off dinner with something sweet. And if she can enjoy it too, all the better!
Sent by Amber
Editor: Amber, wow — that is a bit of a challenge, and it sounds like your friend is hard to cook for! But it's not an insurmountable problem at all, and you definitely don't need to go to the specialty foods store to overcome it.
Our first thought is to make a couple of things that go together, and if your friend wants to only eat one, you and the rest of the group can enjoy both. We are thinking, for instance, of a really lovely fruit compote or cooked fruit — here are a few ideas:
• Prunes stewed in port wine
• Roasted pears
• Poached quince
• Chilled peaches in white wine
A fruit like any one of those could go with this olive oil cake, if you substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the regular flour. The only fat in this cake is olive oil (and it's still absolutely scrumptious; my husband calls this his "favorite food").
• Lemon Olive Oil Cake
You could also make a fruit crumble with just oats; she doesn't object to oats, does she?
And if all else fails, try just bringing a platter of fruit with some good chocolate or cheese on the side. In that vein, you also bring the Amazing 1-Ingredient Ice Cream, but with plenty of whipped cream and fudge sauce for the rest of you.
Readers — any more ideas for Amber?
Related: Good Question: Gluten-Free, Egg-Free Dessert?
(Image: Faith Durand)