Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Creme Brulee...Guilt-free version


yup...another "guilt-free" dessert...

sorry, but i live in Southern California and i know at some point in the next few months i AM going to to be in public wearing  a bikini...scary thought...so i'm dishing up all these sweet treats that won't kill the waistline.
not to worry...i'll still throw a few REAL GOODIES in the mix.   one can only go so far with splenda and egg substitute.  chocolate is calling my name...
and bacon hasn't left the game


these are pictures of the custards straight out of the oven...
i must say they DO resemble an egg custard rather than a "true creme" that would naturally be rich and creamy, but this will surely trick the eyes and the palate with a crunchy crispy brulee'd topping.

quick note...i just had one of these that was left in the fridge.  plain with no sugar topping, no brulee treatment...it was fabulous.  better than an egg custard.  it DID actually have that creme brulee taste.  i made the custards 2 nights ago and it was even better tonight than the first night i served them.  i bet the vanilla bean had something to do with it.  so don't leave the fresh bean out...AND might i suggest making them the day before.  let them sit in the fridge over night...yummm!
definite winner...i'll make these again and again.  i think these would make a fabulous ending to a savory Sunday brunch.   if i had time in the morning i'd torch one up for breakfast.


HEALTHY CREME BRULEE
 original with nutrition values linked above.

2 cups non fat milk
2 Tbsp n on fat powdered milk
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 whole large egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup baking splenda or sugar substitute...not quite 1/3 cup is sweet enough
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 real vanilla bean, scraped
sugar for brulee

preheat oven to 325 F degrees
NOTE...i did mine in a convection oven at 310 F... i think the forced air affected the surface.  i will use a regular oven next time to get a smoother more uniform looking top.

lightly whisk milk powder into milk.  lightly whisk egg and egg substitute until combined.  add eggs to milk mixture with the splenda and vanilla extract and bean scrapings....TIP---in a little bowl, mix the vanilla bean scrapings with a couple of tablespoons of the mixture so that it will not clump together.  when the bean specks look like they have separated pour this back into the whole mixture.  (i learned this after i had to deal with vanilla bean clumps.)  
whisk until combined, but do not whisk hard...you don't want a lot of foam or bubbles.
pour mixture into custard cups
NOTE...this made a little more than 4  7oz. custard cups...do not over fill.  i did not use it all.
bake the custards in a bain marie...make sure you fill your bain marie with very hot hot water...but not boiling water.
bake for 35 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean and they look set...might appear slightly jiggly in the center
let them cool then move to the fridge...uncovered for a couple hours...
or as i mentioned above, leave them in over night.  after they have fully chilled (an hour of so) cover them with plastic wrap.  press the plastic wrap right down onto the custard (like you would a pudding).

when ready to serve remove from fridge and dab off any moisture that might have collected on the top. let them come to room temp....if you can wait.
sprinkle with at least 1 - 2 tsp of sugar...i did not skimp on this part.  you want a good hard top to crack through
FLAME ON !!!   torch your sugar
if you do not have a torch i suggest you purchase one...it's much more FUN and satisfying than trying to get the "brulee effect"  in the broiler.
don't forget to let cool off a little before handling.


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