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Old 07-10-2013, 04:12 PM   #1
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Salted Caramel Creme Brulee

A local restaurant here in Kansas City serves a Salted Caramel Crème Brulee during restaurant week each February (to benefit a local food pantry). It is divine and worth every carb!

I wanted to create a lower carb version. The custard portion is pretty easy to turn LC, but I couldn’t find a solution for the caramelization. So when I read on these boards recently that Swerve sweetener will caramelize, I ordered a bag to try it out. Below is the result, and it’s pretty darn close to the original.

You will need Swerve (I don’t know what other sugar alternatives will caramelize) and a kitchen torch. I know that some recipes use the broiler for caramelizing the tops of crème brulee, but I’ve never tried that.

Salted Caramel Crème Brulee
Makes 6

2/3 cup Swerve sweetener
1 Tbsp. water
2 ½ cups cream
½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla bean paste (or use seeds scraped out of ½ vanilla bean plus ½ tsp. vanilla extract)
5 large egg yolks, beaten in a large bowl

6 tsp. Swerve and coarse sea salt (I used Maldon flakes) for topping

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil – reduce to a simmer and set aside. In a microwavable cup or bowl, heat cream until hot; set aside.

In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat cook 2/3 cup Swerve and water, stirring until sweetener is dissolved. Continue to cook until mixture has turned an amber (medium brown) color – watch closely so it doesn’t burn. As soon as it is the correct color, remove the pan from heat and slowly/carefully add the hot cream (it will sputter and create lots of steam, so wear an oven mitt.) Whisk in sea salt and vanilla bean paste. Let cool for 10 minutes. Whisk ½ cup of the caramel cream mixture into the beaten egg yolks (this is to temper the egg yolks), then gradually whisk in the remaining cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. You can strain this through a fine sieve for an absolutely smooth product – I didn’t do this and the crème brulee was still very smooth. Pour mixture into 6 custard cups and place the cups in a 9x13 casserole dish. Pour the simmering water into the casserole dish, so that it comes to 2/3 up the side of the custard dishes. CAREFULLY place the casserole into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until custards are set but still slightly jiggly in the middle. Remove custard cups from hot water bath; let cool slightly, then place them in the refrigerator to cool completely.

To serve: Remove custards from the fridge and sprinkle 1 tsp. Swerve evenly over each of the cups. Use a small kitchen torch to caramelize the Swerve topping; while it is still hot, sprinkle a pinch of coarse sea salt over each.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:15 PM   #2
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Thank you for posting. I have considered caramel to be the Holy Grail of low carb cooking and could never find something that worked well. I will try this.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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This is a lovely recipe. Salted Caramel is our favorite flavor.I recently ordered a bottle of the vanilla bean paste from King Arthur Flour and it is divine. Only trouble is when I looked at the label the first ingredient is sugar. I used some before I read the label. It's the best vanilla I ever tasted. I wrote the company for the nutritional information, but haven't got an answer as yet. It's so good that I'm wondering how many carbs could possibly be in that incredible spoon full. Anyways..., will have to try this recipe.

Thanks! Dee
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:31 PM   #4
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Your creme brulee sounds super yummy. I will give it a try.

Tagatose caramelizes beautifully and doesn't give you that cool taste that swerve does.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divabunny View Post
Tagatose caramelizes beautifully and doesn't give you that cool taste that swerve does.
I didn't know that -- I'll have to order and try some Tagatose. There was a bit of cooling aftertaste with the Swerve, but neither DH or I minded it.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCSoccer View Post
I didn't know that -- I'll have to order and try some Tagatose. There was a bit of cooling aftertaste with the Swerve, but neither DH or I minded it.
Yes, try it you'll love it. And don't be afraid if you get a little GI distress if you try it - I bought 5 lbs of it and freaked out when it sent me straight to the bathroom the first time I tried it, but I started to have a little every day and built up a tolerance and now I have no problem and I'm about to order another 5 lbs... unlike maltitol that bothers me every time I eat it. I'm a little fanatical about tagatose cause I just love it lol.
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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Where's the best place to find a kitchen torch?
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Beth2013 View Post
Where's the best place to find a kitchen torch?
I bought mine at a WilliamsSonoma store - I had a gift certificate to spend there. Check any well-stocked kitchen store or restaurant supply. And online, too - do a google search.

My hubby usually stays out of the kitchen while I'm cooking, but he was curious when I got out the torch. He ended up caramelizing 5 out of the 6 ramekins for me. It's really fascinating to watch the sugars caramelize before your eyes.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:47 AM   #9
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I have a question...My Hub likes to use brown sugar for the carmelization on things he smokes/Barbeques and I like it in toppings for meatloaf...Will Swerve do that with meat? (I know the brown sugar taste will be absent, but I think that is Ok)
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:08 PM   #10
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I haven't tried it on meatloaf, but it did caramelize in a saucepan with just a bit of water added, and also with the torch flame. Maybe you could use Swerve mixed with just a drop or two of molasses for that brown sugar taste?
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