Created during the Great Depression in Quebec, this recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, and is still greatly enjoyed to this day. In fact, this dessert is known to be particularly decadent and delicious. Often found in the comforting reception hall of many sugar shacks, it can be served either warm or cold, even though the former is usually preferred. The pouding chômeur is the ultimate comfort food to enjoy on colder days, sometimes with a scoop of ice cream or some baked apple slices.
The secret of this recipe lies in the way it is baked. Indeed, the cake batter is placed on top of the maple syrup mixture, slowly absorbing it while it cooks. Along the way, the otherwise ordinary cake is transformed into an exquisitely soft sponge, creating a dessert that is as heart-warming as it is sumptuous. I personally find that maple syrup is the perfect ingredient for this recipe, but other versions of the dessert also exist. For example, some people like to replace the syrup with brown sugar, caramel or even chocolate in certain cases. Vegan alternatives can also be found online, although this one is not one of them.
1. Place the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat to 400°F (200°C).
2. Bring the cream and maple syrup to a boil in a saucepan, and pour into an oven dish.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
4. In a larger bowl, mix the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Transfer the batter on top of the hot syrup with a large spoon, and place the oven dish on a baking sheet.
5. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve.