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Elegant nut free, gluten-free, Vegan and almost any sort of allergen free desserts can be  yours-with one easy secret:  layer fabulous proven ingredients and recipes!  Recently my son attended his first formal dance and I placed in charge of desserts for the dinner prior to the event.  A lovely mother hosted eight teenagers for dinner–complete with china and full place settings.  I went for easy desserts that I’m sharing here in case you have a food allergy culinary crisis and need plan B.  Or, you simply might want an easy and elegant dessert at your finger tips.  One thing that I have learned is that baking and cooking with food allergies has s committed me to using fine and fresh ingredients.  Desserts need not be fancy to be cherished, but they do need to include the freshest ingredients and served with a little pizzazz.  Wait until you see what dirty little tricks I used to make simple ingredients looks elegant!

Nut free dessert

The Dessert Menu for the formal dinner enjoyed before the dance…

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  • Gluten free chocolate decadence cake with fig jam and sliced fresh figs served over black raspberry sauce.
  • Vanilla and raspberry cake.
  • Vegan chocolate pudding parfait.

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dessert Vegan pudding parfait

Here is where things get easy and down and dirty…

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  • I baked the chocolate decadence cake ahead of time.  Actually, I sometimes bake it a week ahead and freeze it and thaw it out the night before.  What makes this cake so easy is that you can use it as a base and change it up according to what fruits are in season.  I spread a fig jam on top and then added fresh slices of fig.  I made the black raspberry sauce from jam and simply added drops of orange juice until I found the consistency that I liked.   TIP:  Have a food allergy safe cake  recipe that you can bake ahead or freeze that can become your “base”.
  • The vanilla cake was from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook and I used soy margarine and soy milk instead of cow’s milk.  I sliced the cake thin, laid a two-inch cake piece on its side, then spread some of the black raspberry jam on it.  Next, using a pastry tube (but not necessary), I piped a large dollop of icing on top of the jam covered cake slice.  I added another slice of cake, piped another drop and topped it all off with a raspberry and chocolate shavings.
  • BONUS trick:  take a bar of your most favorite safe chocolate and using a potato peeler, scrap shavings over anything to make it look amazing.
  • The Vegan parfait were simply layering store-bought Vegan chocolate pudding, extra vanilla cake pieces, more pudding, crushed Skeeters  Chocolate Chip Minis cookies, Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips, more pudding topped off with the Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips, crushed Skeeters Chocolate Chip Cookies and a sprig of mint.  TIP:  The cute little tiny glass (a shot glass will work too) made this dessert feel so special.

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Do you see the theme here? I simply layered safe and tasty ingredients/recipes.  I always keep jam, mini chocolate chips and cookies on hand.  Somehow, I can find success with those ingredients on any day of the week.  Okay and a potato peeler and a chocolate bar go a long, long way.

Do you have any down and dirty recipes you can share with us?  Please add your link below and then I’ll pop your link into this blog.  I’m traveling this week, so it may take me a few days to update.