not sweet desserts
August 23, 2008 6:39 AM   Subscribe

Desserts for people who don't like sweet stuff?

Dinner party help! I have to bring dessert, and while I'll definitely have some mango-lime sorbet, my favorite guest doesn't like sweets that much. hm. What to do?! I'm definitely not looking for Indian (can't get the ingredients) and would prefer not do Asian. Bonus point for non-oven-based desserts.
posted by whatzit to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
posted by peachfuzz at 6:44 AM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

A bitter chocolate dessert with a sweet side, like ice cream, for the other guests?
posted by prefpara at 6:49 AM on August 23, 2008

fresh, perfectly ripe fruit paired with good cheese. no cooking required.
posted by killy willy at 6:52 AM on August 23, 2008

Fresh fruit (melon or strawberry work best) with some very good (at least 15yr) balsamic vinegar drizzled over.

Fresh (seriously, impossibly fresh and ripe, none of this white woody crap) strawberries sprinkled with white or black pepper.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:04 AM on August 23, 2008

A friend of mine who hates sweets always asks for berries and fresh whipped cream on her birthday in lieu of cake.
posted by ShadePlant at 7:14 AM on August 23, 2008

Best answer: People who don't like sweets typically like it when I make fried goat cheese balls and drizzle them with honey. It seems to hit the right balance of savory/sweet.
posted by kaseijin at 7:17 AM on August 23, 2008

Best answer: pitted dates with an almond squished into the middle, toped with chevre. Yum!
posted by TheCoug at 7:18 AM on August 23, 2008

baked brie and granny smith apples.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:22 AM on August 23, 2008

Maybe an after dinner drink like some Port wine?
posted by altcountryman at 7:32 AM on August 23, 2008

Best answer: pitted dates with an almond squished into the middle, toped with chevre. Yum!

wrapped in bacon
posted by spec80 at 7:33 AM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Bring a bottle of dessert liquor, like Calvados.
posted by saladin at 7:56 AM on August 23, 2008

People who don't like sweets typically like it when I make fried goat cheese balls and drizzle them with honey.


I vote for fruit with cream (but with good cream, not the stuff in a pressurized can, and if the fruit is sweet you don't need to add sugar to the cream), or one of the almost sweet, almost savory desserts like the goat cheese balls and honey (which I've never had but the idea is fantastic).

Things made with acidic fruit balance the sweetness well, also. Think mango lassi, or a blackberry pie.
posted by Forktine at 8:13 AM on August 23, 2008

Are you in Japan right now, as your profile suggests? That could throw a bit of a curveball for those of us based in the states.
posted by gimonca at 8:24 AM on August 23, 2008

Add a cheese plate, with sliced apples and perhaps other fruit, and some port or a dessert wine. Or make apple pie with lots of tart apples, not too much brown sugar(@ 3/4 cup), juice of 1/2 a lemon and no starch thickening the juice.
posted by theora55 at 8:29 AM on August 23, 2008

If everyone else will have sorbet and/or ice cream, I suggest profiteroles. They're little unsweetened, or barely sweetened, cups of pastry that are made to contain ice cream. They can be had in the freezer section in large groceries.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:52 AM on August 23, 2008

Lemon ice box pie can be made less sweet by using evaporated milk, rather than sweetened condensed milk. It requires making a custard but not baking.
posted by jedicus at 10:02 AM on August 23, 2008

Buy some fillo shells, fill with brie and top with a raspberry. Bake until melty. Yum!
posted by workerant at 10:42 AM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Cheese, nuts and wine.
posted by watercarrier at 11:20 AM on August 23, 2008

Strawberries, with a squeeze of lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper. This is one of the most awesome desserts I've ever had. I once ordered it in a restaurant, the chef had never heard of strawberries being served that way but next time I went to that restaurant it had been added to the menu.

You need both the lemon juice and the black pepper, as complements the other.
posted by essexjan at 11:36 AM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Welsh rarebit
posted by rjt at 11:50 AM on August 23, 2008

Best answer: As someone with a pretty small sweet-tooth, I was won over to chocolate by the combination of chocolate (fairly dark) and chilis. Amazing. There are a couple of chocolate bars with this combo out there, and if you have a good place that makes truffles locally, I've had some amazing chili chocolate truffles, there are also a few chipotle brownie recipes out there. See also: my thread on Rosemary Brownies, a definite fave of mine.
posted by piedmont at 11:53 AM on August 23, 2008

These are all good suggestions. I don't like sweets that much - which means that usually I'd rather have something else. Does this friend prefer less sweet desserts, or just not like sweets at all the way some people say "it's spinach and I say the hell with it"?

If I am not in a sweet mood, whipped cream would be unwelcome on fruit. Cheese is great - unless you group has already planned to have cheese at another point in the evening.

A tart fruit pie, heavy on the eggs and not so much sugar, could be a good choice.

If you want a project, you'd be surprised how much sugar you don't need. I make a lot of bran/flaxseed/oatmeal/dried fruit/nut cookies with molasses instead of sugar that are not sweet. Take any cookie recipe you like, keep the dry and wet proportions roughly the same while cutting the amount of sugar in half, then follow guidelines for molasses. The taste of molasses has a hidden sweetness, like most bitter chocolate treats, and it's not for everyone.

Fruit is the easiest - if you want to be fancy, carve it into shapes. If you have fruit, have more than one. Most people have a fruit they don't like.

On the sweet-meter, many biscotti are very mild.

Nice of you to make something special for one person. Hope the favorite guest is glad for your efforts.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 12:04 PM on August 23, 2008

Baklava is actually sticky-sweet but the overall taste tends to be very savory and nutty and crisp.

Also on the sweet-but-reading-as-savour front, pear & gorgonzola tart. I'm pretty sure the version I've had wasn't with cream cheese, which all the top search results seem to be.

Honestly, though, a good fruit salad (which you could tailor to complement the sorbet) and a selection of cheese with nice crackers is worlds easier and will probably hit the right note at some point.
posted by carbide at 12:19 PM on August 23, 2008

I am one of those people who loves dessert but hates sweets. I can tell you that many of these suggestions are excellent.

Some of my favorite non-sweet desserts are cut fruit & cheese platters, dark chocolate (around 70% cacao), coffees, teas (especially with a side of tea-biscuits. the kind you get from usually the kosher or foreign foods aisle), bacon-wrapped dates, date bars, or any of various digestifs.

Best of luck!
posted by MaxK at 1:41 PM on August 23, 2008

I don't care for sweets, but love oatmeal raisin cookies (yes, a little sweetness). Another suggestion to please me for dessert would be a melon bowl ... cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon.
posted by netbros at 2:29 PM on August 23, 2008

Response by poster:
Definitely trying for the pitted dates or the chocolate chili. I want the goat cheese balls for myself, but can't do it for this because I'll go straight from work. As far as the chocolate chili, besides truffles, if you haven't had candied hot peppers (made like a candied orange peel) dipped in chocolate, you're missing out, and this suggestion makes me want to try it again!

I am in Japan; it means no sour apples (there are none), and no fruit out of season (so, no strawberries) and it's a pity, but I'll have to wait until after this party to ask where I might buy pitted dates or actually hot peppers here! And no, the person I'm bothering to make it for probably won't notice, but as long as everyone else likes it, it still works out.
posted by whatzit at 4:14 PM on August 23, 2008

posted by spec80 at 4:19 PM on August 23, 2008

Response by poster: Recipe?

Not sure if this would be the one the commenter uses, but I had bookmarked this recipe for the exact same dish a few months ago.
posted by whatzit at 7:22 PM on August 23, 2008

Can you find fresh figs where you are? Cut a fig in half, and dab on it a mixture of goat cheese, fresh rosemary, black pepper, and a little bit of honey. Make lots. People will be surprised how much they like it.

I like to do the above as an hors d'oeuvre, though I wrap each of the above in prosciutto and put it in a grill pan for just a minute to warm it up. But without the meat it should make a fabulous dessert.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 10:35 AM on August 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Pumpkin pie is always a hit with my Japanese coworkers. I put it out on a table and it's gone within an hour, and this isn't even at a party, just during a regular day at work.

The ingredients are readily available at most supermarkets. If you live near a Jupiter, Costco, or other foreign food store, you can get canned pumpkin and avoid the tedium of mashing and straining kabocha by hand. (I don't think kabocha is even the same kind of pumpkin, but it works anyway.) You could make the recipe even less sweet by using less condensed milk and adding a little regular milk and more pumpkin. It may be a little too much work for this party, but something to consider in the future.
posted by Drop Daedalus at 3:39 PM on August 24, 2008

Fruit in Wine!

2 or more cups Red Zinfandel or Chianti
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
5 cups assorted fruit: berries, sliced peaches, kiwi, citrus slices, cherries, etc.
fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Combine first three ingredients and adjust to taste. Add fruit and steep for one hour. Serve.
posted by lipstick bookworm at 4:38 PM on August 26, 2008

« Older Help me move my stuff to my new Edinburgh flat!   |   gotta find my purpose; gotta find me. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.