I love a good wedding. My usual uniform is jeans, t-shirts and boots so I like an excuse to get properly dressed up. I love a room full of flowers, I love the shuffle as everyone stands and turns to watch the Bride walk down the aisle, I will pretty much always get a bit teary eyed at the ceremony, I like that everyone is happy and smiling and I love a bit of dancing. What I don’t look forward to are the deserts.
If you are celiac desert at a hotel wedding, even if that hotel usually caters beautifully for celiac, is often a massive disappointment. You watch everyone else being served something delightful and then three slices of cold hard melon and a single strawberry are plopped unceremoniously in front of you.
With all of the flourless deserts in the world I do not understand why I am always presented with a dodgy fruit salad. A good fruit salad, full of ripe, sweet, succulent fruit would be great, but I fear that what I usually get are the leftovers from the breakfast buffet. Occasionally I might get a meringue but it is usually served without cream for some reason. So there I am with a mouthful of sugar and egg dust and some frigid fruit.
Another option is ice cream and really I don’t want the same desert that is being served at the kids table when I am in my grown up finery and nursing a glass of red wine.
In the hopes that some hotel out there will do a bit of research and be brave with their deserts I am presenting a few ideas for easy Gluten Free deserts. Some of these you could easily make for the whole wedding party and just have the one option so the GF person feels warm and included.
• Cheese board and a pack of pre bought GF crackers. NO fuss involved, put some cheese on a plate, open the crackers and send it out. Job done.
• A really good pavlova filled with seasonal fruit.
• A flourless chocolate cake.
• Chocolate mousse, strawberry mousse, any kind of mousse really.
• A chocolate roulade, there are approximately one hundred recipes online for flourless roulade
• Fruit meringue roulade, flour free, light and delicious.
• Cheesecake made using Gluten Free digestive biscuits. Again half the work is done for you.
• Fruit crumble made with Gluten Free four or ground almonds and nuts. Easy and delicious for an Autumn wedding
• A ridiculously indulgent custardy bread pudding made with GF bread, perfect for a Winter wedding
• Crème Brulee
• Crème Caramel
• Eton Mess, really what could be easier or prettier.
• Lemon Posset, this seems to be on every other menu now days.
Now that I have covered desert I would like to mention the need for there to be some celiac option provided for the celiac guest when the tea, sandwiches and wedding cake are being handed out late in the evening. We have had as much booze, danced as hard and been up as long as all the other guests and to expect us to sit and watch everyone else sup on the evening’s refreshment while we are offered nothing is just bad hospitality.
One of my fondest wedding memories ifs of an assistant manager noticing that I was sitting morose and hungry and running out to the kitchen to arrange for some cheese and toast to be brought out to me, it was basic but tasty and filled the need and I was so grateful to that woman as she most likely saved me from a massive hangover.
I plead with hotels / caterers to really think about the needs of all their guests. The bride and groom are forking out just as much for my meal as for everyone else’s and she should get her money’s worth.
Be brave, be inventive, do your research and please make the effort.