Tell me, please, do you use "a" before the word "dessert" in sentences like the ones below?
For a dessert I had pancakes with honey.
For dessert I had pancakes with honey.
If you use both of them, is there any difference between them?
Thank you in advance!
Dessert, by itself, is the course or the part of the meal that comes at the end. A dessert is an item, a food, a dish, that is served for dessert. In your two example sentences the difference is very subtle and might not even be noticed by a native speaker. "For a dessert" might mean I had several choices, and I might even have eaten more than one dish for dessert, one of which was "pancakes with honey". "For dessert" would mean that for the last course of the meal, I ate "pancakes with honey".
The difference would be greater and more important in a statement like "We're getting together at her house for dinner tomorrow, and I have to provide dessert." (The whole dessert course is my responsibility.) vs. "I have to bring a dessert." (I have to bring one dessert dish; there will probably be others.)