Crème Brûlée: Velvety. Melty. Creamy. Crunchy.

I am trying to decide what my favorite thing about Crème Brûlée is. The velvety texture? The way each spoonful is firm for a moment, and then melts in my mouth? The creamy sweet-but-not-too-sweet vanilla flavour? The contrast of a crunchy caramelized topping?


The fact that it does not incite the carb guilts the way wheat laden treats do?


Historically, whenever a dessert menu read ‘Crème Brûlée’, my dessert resistance dissolved, and my order was a given. No other item could hold a candle in comparison. (Well, maybe Citrus Tart, but that is a love story for another day.) Nowadays though, I am strong. Even when those tempting words ‘Crème Brûlée’ float in front of my eyes, I resolutely continue down to the bottom of the menu, hoping to see the words ‘Cheese Plate’. Otherwise I’m out of luck …just a decaf flat white for me. Because other than the cheese plate, the whole dessert menu is Fructose-City.




Recently though, when my slightly less strong husband ordered the Crème Brûlée (deemed ‘to die for’ by the inhabitants of the neighboring table), I admit to having a tiny little taste of his. Luckily we didn’t die. (And we reserve the right to be doubtful of that particular attribute in any sort of food, except perhaps arsenic.) But it was very good.


That was 4 days ago, and I’ve been dreaming of the taste on my tongue ever since.



I have actually been making crème brûlée since early on in my fructose free life. On top of it’s other desirable qualities, it’s gluten free and nearly low carb (dextrose does have carbs though, and I plan to do experiments with stevia to reduce that one day soon). I didn’t know what to do about the topping though. That is usually made with brown sugar. I ended up making a raspberry sauce and using that. It was fine. Quite good. Rather edible. Adequate.


But not amazing.


Crème Brûlée, I discovered, kind of needs it’s crunchy caramelized topping for amazing-ness.



Anyway. The good news is, that since then, experiments with various fructose free sweeteners, a piece of aluminium foil on a stone bench, and a kitchen blow torch, have proven that dextrose caramelizes. Very nicely indeed. (So does glucose syrup, but it took forever, and then burned too quickly).


So today I shall submit to the longings of my tongue, and make Crème Brûlée in my own kitchen. Fructose free. With crunchy caramelized topping. And the Cheese Plate can take the back seat.



This recipe makes 6 small or 4 large serves.

Crème Brûlée
Velvety, creamy, crunchy, fructose free crème brûlée.
For crème brûlée
  1. 2 cups (475 gr) Cream
  2. 1/2 cup (90 gr) Dextrose
  3. 5 Egg yolks
  4. 1 Vanilla bean
  5. 1 tsp Vanilla extract/essence
For topping
  1. 1/3 cup Dextrose
  1. 1. Add cream, dextrose and vanilla extract to a microwavable bowl or jug. Gently stir to combine (you don't want to whip the cream or add any bubbles).
  2. 2. Using a small sharp knife, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds off with the knife. Stir seeds into the cream.
  3. 3. Separate eggs, set the whites aside. Whisk egg yolks till smooth.
  4. 4. Heat cream mixture in microwave for 2 1/2 minutes.
  5. 5. Gently stir yolks into cream.
  6. 6. Pour mixture through a fine sieve to remove any lumps. Force the vanilla seeds through with a small spoon - discard the lumps.
  7. 7. Pour into ramekins, 6 small or 4 large. (You could place it all in one container, and make one big one too, and bake it for longer.)
  8. 8. Place the filled ramekins into an oven dish, pour boiling water into the oven dish until it comes to about half way up the sides of the ramekins (take care not to tip any water into your crème brûlée!).
  9. 9. Bake at 160C (320F) for about 30-35 minutes, (turning half way through if your oven temps are uneven). They should look a little wobbly still, but not liquid. If in doubt give it an extra 5 minutes.
  10. 10. Remove ramekins from oven dish, and let cool for 15 minutes or so, then place in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight).
  11. 11. Just before serving, cover the top of each crème brûlée with a shallow layer of dextrose (I used a heaped teaspoon for each), then, using a kitchen blow torch carefully caramelize the dextrose topping. And serve!
Red Hill Recipes



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