I’m not the biggest fan of Splenda. It spices up the low-carb lifestyle, sure, and the latest Atkins books all say that it’s fine in moderation, but I find that things just work better when I stay away from the sweetness. So when I found this recipe for a low carb, Atkins-friendly creme brulee that barely uses any Splenda at all, it went straight into my bookmarks.
The creme itself isn’t bad, as the custard base lent itself entirely to low carb translation. The topping, however, is something rather original. It’s a crunch, and it tastes great, but no one will be mistaking it for the real deal. I may have been spoiled by too many late-night movies with coffee and rock-solid brulee, but the pecans left me wanting for something to crack with my spoon. Be that as it may, since artificial sweeteners don’t caramelize, the butter-pecan topping is about as close as we’re getting to the real deal without using actual sugar (which, needless to say, would defeat the point).
Despite that exercise in fence sitting, I recommend this recipe wholeheartedly. It seems especially suited to dinner parties or special occasions, as you can make it a day or so ahead of time with absolutely no extra work required, and it’s oven to table in one dish, so cleanup is a breeze. And that’s what it’s all about, right?
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons granular Splenda
- dash of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/8 cup pecans, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon granular Splenda
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Warm cream in a saucepan over medium heat, until bubbles just begin to form. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, vanilla, salt, and Splenda. Gradually whisk in cream, then strain mixture.
Tip: If you want to make the sweetness more complex, switch out part of the Splenda for stevia extract. While I’m not that partial to either, Splenda tends to taste smoother, and stevia offers more body.
Divide into ramekins, then bake in a water bath for 25-30 minutes, until set but still jiggly. Chill for one hour.
Mix all topping ingredients into a small pan, then heat on medium until nuts begin to brown. Mind the Splenda, as it can burn. Divide divide between ramekins, spreading mixture gently and evenly. Chill at least four more hours before serving.
Makes 4 servings. 517 calories and 4.1 net carbs per serving.