Dessert Without Restrictions
While wedding cake is the mainstay of wedding desserts, many brides and grooms opt to also have a dessert table for a variety of indulgences, which in itself is a great way to cater to many types of dietary lifestyles
With many people today having some dietary restriction — dairy, gluten, nuts, vegan — bakers can create many different concoctions to suit everyone’s needs.
“Brides and grooms shouldn’t have to have food that they can’t eat at their wedding,” says Natalie McEachern, owner of Glutenus Minimus, a gluten-free bakery in Belmont, Mass. McEachern says that if the couple is gluten-free, then all of the food served at the wedding should be gluten-free because you don’t want to run the risk of cross-contamination and getting sick during or after the wedding.
Nowadays, many bakers can take classic dessert favorites and make them in a way that accommodates a variety of dietary needs. “I can do almost anything that’s at a normal dessert table in a vegan style,” says Abby Cobb, owner of Dudley’s Desserts in Columbia, Md.
While guests who don’t have dietary restrictions may turn up their noses at the thought of a vegan or gluten-free dessert, there are many substitute ingredients such as vegan butter that look the same and taste the same. “If I don’t tell you, you won’t know,” Cobb adds.
When deciding what desserts to offer, it’s best to build a menu around the theme of your wedding. McEachern created a dessert table for a wedding in December that had a wintery theme, so she made gluten-free snowflake cupcakes, gingerbread men and other seasonal fare. McEachern also does cookie bars that feature a variety of cookies and milk. “We cater to the look and feel of favorite desserts.”
To help food-sensitive guests know which desserts are safe to eat, label tables with ingredient signs. For extreme sensitivities such as nut allergies, bakers can color-code desserts or set up different tables on opposite sides of the room.
Cobb has taken this approach with some of her clients. “In April I had a wedding where the father was gluten-free, so we had some vegan desserts and some vegan and gluten-free desserts. The gluten-free were in different colored wrappers and put on the other side of the room so those people would know which ones were there.”
Separate tables and color-coded wrappers aren’t a scarlet letter for these alternative desserts, however.
“We’ve actually found that most of the time, [the guests] have no idea they’re eating gluten-free,” says McEachern.
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