Low-sugar Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is a classic dessert, and for years I had every intention of making it. In my pantry, I had the butane kitchen torch  to use for carmelizing the sugar, as well as a full assortment of dandy ramekins.  Then I would think about the eggs, the cream, the sugar . . . and would decide that perhaps creme brulee was not exactly the healthiest dessert choice. 

Sunday night I felt compelled to go through with it.  I actually was pretty good at creme brulee back in the day.  I recalled working in a booth at “Tast of LA” in the early 90’s where a friend was serving up creme brulee.  The sugar was carmelized to order with a butane torch, and that was my job.  The cappucino creme brulee turned out to be one of the big hits of the festival, and after torching thousands, I became an overnight expert on sugar carmelization via a blowtorch! 

For Sunday night’s version, I decided I would keep the eggs and cream, but cut out the sugar.  The recipe below calls for Splenda in place of sugar in the custard.  I did use a teaspoon of real sugar on the top to carmelize.  I’ve never tried carmelizing Splenda, and didn’t want to risk some kind of toxic chemical reaction! 

When I served it to my husband (who doesn’t cook at all) I warned him that this would be a slightly different, slightly healthier (?) version of the creme brulee he normally orders at restaurants.  He looked at me quizically.  Wasn’t creme brulee already healthy?  I stared at him blankly and asked him what part of creme brulee he thought was healthy . . . the heavy cream, the egg yolks, or the sugar?  He had no idea what was in it.  (Did I mention that he doesn’t cook?)  He explained that he always ordered creme brulee in restaurants not so much because he loved it, but because he thought it was the lighter, healthier dessert.  Kinda like eating yogurt.  

So here it is folks.  Definitely not light.  But if you’re watching your carbs, this creme brulee will hit the spot. 

Crème Brulee (low sugar version) 

List of Ingredients 




    • 1 quart heavy cream
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (you can also use sugarless)
    • 8 large egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup Splenda
    • 8 teaspoons sugar




  1.       In small saucepan, heat cream with vanilla over medium heat. Remove from heat. Place eight 6-ounce ramekins in a roasting pan; set aside.
  2.       Preheat oven to 300 degrees F, with rack in the center. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks just until blended. Slowly whisk in 1/2 c. Splenda. Slowly beat in hot cream into the yolks, whisking all the time.  Pour custard into the ramekins.
  3.       Place the roasting pan on the center rack of the oven. Pour in enough hot tap water to reach about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are just set, about 30 minutes (the timing can vary based on the depth of the ramekins). Remove the custards from their water bath and place on wire rack until cooled.
  4.       Refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours.

5.  Before serving, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar over the top of each individual custard.  Carmelize the sugar using a torch.  (These can be purchased at kitchen supply stores)  If you don’t have a torch, you can also place under the broiler for a few minutes until the tops are shiny. )


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Filed under cooking, diet

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