How to Make Low FODMAP Crème Brûlée
There are few desserts as decadent as crème brûlée – it is rich with cream, eggs and sugar and certainly filled with dairy. It can, however, be low enough in lactose if made with lactose-free products and served in small portions to be considered low FODMAP. Our Low FODMAP Chocolate Crème Brûlée will please those who love rich, creamy smooth desserts – and chocolate, too.
Here in the U.S. it is fairly easy to find lactose-free half-and-half, but we have not located lactose-free heavy cream. Even so, heavy cream (sometimes referred to as whipping cream) is so high in fat that the carb-load is low enough for small portions to be considered low FODMAP.
Monash Has Tested Cream
Monash has lab-tested whipped cream and allows a 1/2 cup portion (125 ml or 60 g), which is generous. And of course that whipped cream was made from heavy (or whipping) cream itself.
What is odd is that it is standard knowledge in the culinary world that cream doubles in volume when whipped. In my over 30 years of recipe testing, this has proven to be true.
This would leave us to surmise that 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the heavy cream in its standard liquid state would also be low FODMAP, being half of the whipped amount. On the Monash app they state that 1/4 cup (60 ml or 63 g) is moderate for lactose.
We asked Monash to help us understand some of their lab testing. Here are some facts from our conversations.
- Their “pure, regular fat cream” is 40% milk fat
- Their “thickened regular fat cream” has a thickener, so fat content is lower but texture is thick – 35% milk fat
- Their “whipped cream” is based on 40% milk fat “regular fat cream”
In the U.S. our cream’s milk fat also varies and our terminology is also different. Loosely speaking, our heavy or whipping cream is equivalent to Australia’s “pure” cream, also known as “regular fat cream”.
Recipes containing “heavy” cream are therefore a guide and you should be prudent and follow what you need for your individual digestive system.
If high fat foods negatively affect you, then any crème brulée recipe is not for you.
Serving sizes will depend on your tolerance. I have shown two sizes. The larger ramekins hold 4 ounces or 60 ml; the smaller ramekins, which I recommend, hold a generous 3 tablespoons.
Be sure to read the Tips at the end of the recipe for a Chocolate Eggnog variation! Perfect for Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
BTW if you want to buy the small ramekins shown in the images, you can find them here.
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Low FODMAP Chocolate Crème Brûlée
Our recipe shows you how you CAN have creme brûlée and still stay low FODMAP.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 3 1/4 cups (780 ml); 18 servings (a scant 3 tablespoons per serving as seen in the smaller dishes)
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, use lactose-free if available
- 1 cup (240 ml) lactose-free half-and-half
- 4 ounces (115 g) semisweet chocolate, preferably about 60% to 65% cacao mass, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup (65 g) sugar
- Raw sugar or turbinado sugar or white sugar
Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 300° F/150°C. Arrange whatever ramekins you are using in a roasting pan.
Whisk heavy cream and half-and-half together in a saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat; remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla. Whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside and keep warm.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and 1/3 cup (65 g) sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in a little but of the warm cream mixture, to temper the eggs, then whisk all of the cream into the eggs to combine well.
Pour this mixture through fine sieve into a 4-cup (960 ml) measuring cup with a spout, or a pitcher. Pour the custard into the ramekins, filling them about three-quarters of the way full. Pour hot tap water in the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Transfer very carefully to the oven.
Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes or until the center of the custards jiggle slightly; they should not be completely firm. Remove custards from water, cool a bit at room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. If refrigerating overnight, cover with plastic wrap.
Right before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of the raw sugar (or turbinado or white sugar) on top of each custard. Use a propane or butane torch (my choice) to caramelize the chocolate. Alternately, preheat broiler to high and watch very carefully.
PS: some folks like to chill the custards again after caramelizing the sugar. I like to serve them right away.
- To make Low FODMAP Chocolate Eggnog Crème Brulée, whisk in 1 tablespoon whiskey and 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg along with the vanilla to the entire recipe batch and proceed as described.