Sunday, June 03, 2007

Only for the Die-Hard Sugar Addicts: Pouding Chomeur

Pouding Chomeur or "Poor Man's Pudding" with Maple Walnut Ice Cream

Pouding chomeur could quite possibly be the best dish I have discovered since moving to Quebec from BC eight years ago. It certainly is not a dessert that I would have been exposed to growing up, as it probably contains more sugar that I was ever allowed in a month; but that's probably why I like it so much. Yep, I had to grow up and move away from home before I could subject my body to lethal amounts of pure sweetness--paired with ice cream too!

In case you have no idea what I am talking about, I will clarify that pouding chomeur is simply a spongy white cake baked in a lake of maple syrup and cream. The result is an ultra moist golden cake nestled in a lave-hot maple sauce; sticky, satisfying, and oh, did I mention sweet? One of the good things that came out of the Depression, Poor Man's Pudding is made several different ways, the most common being with brown sugar and butter. I prefer to make it with maple syrup as it seems to better represent the province. Think: Quebec-in-a-bowl.

Of course, with the price of maple syrup these days they might want to think about changing the name.

I live to serve pouding chomeur warm from the oven with a bowl of ice cream to compliment it. And while you are at it, why not make it maple ice cream?

Pouding Chomeur or Poor Man’s Pudding

1/3 cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ cup whole cream

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Fold in flour and baking powder and mix until just smooth. Refrigerate 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 400F and prepare 8 ovenproof ramekins. Combine syrup and cream in a small pot and bring to a boil.
Dribble a few tablespoons syrup into the bottom of the ramekins and top with a few tablespoons of cake batter. Pour remained of syrup over cake until ramekins are at least 2/3 full. It will seem like very little cake to syrup ratio, but if you put too much cake batter it will be too dry.
Place ramekins on a baking sheet or pizza pan as they may boil over and this prevents a mess in the bottom of your oven!
Bake until cake is lightly golden and syruphas thinkened, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

This recipe is adapted from Chef Martin Picard who credits Restaurant Soup Soup for the recipe.

Maple Walnut Ice Cream

1 cup shelled walnuts, roughly chopped
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 ¼ cups milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 ¼ cups whipping cream

Spread walnuts out on a baking sheet and grill them under moderate heat for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch into a bowl and whisk until think and foamy. Pour the milk into a heavy-based saucepan, bring to a boil, then gradually whisk it into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over gentle heat, stirring constantly until the custard thickens and is smooth. Pour the custard back into the bowl, and stir in the maple syrup. Leave to cool, then chill. Stir the whipping cream into the custard and churn in an ice cream machine until the mixture is thick. Scrape into an airtight container. Fold in nuts and freeze until firm.


Kristen said...

My teeth ache just reading about this, but I bet it is an amazing dessert! Sounds delicious!

Sandy said...

Aimee, thank you for the recipe. It looks mind numbingly delicious. A definite must try!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have never heard of this dessert, Aimee, but it looks terrific!

Nora B. said...

Aimee, the "Pouding Chomeur" recipe sounds like it might taste like "Sugar Pie"? My foodie buddy & a dear friend of mine comes from Quebec City (she is studying in Sydney now) and she made sugar pie for me last month. p/s: I LOVE maple... it's like liquid gold over ehere, too expensive!

Jessica said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! And dear god this looks delicious!

Aimée said...

Hi Kristen- Welcome to UtHC! Yes, this dessert is exactly that kind of tooth-numbing sweet goodness.

Hi Sandy- Welcome and thanks for stopping by! You are very kind, because pouding chomeur not a very photogenic dessert! Hope you do try it out.

Hi Patricia- welcome to UtHC, and what a long way you have come, too!I had never heard of this dessert until a few years ago, and I'm Canadian!

Nora- they are very similar and if you go 'sugar shacking' in the spring when the sap is running, you will see these two desserts side by side on the menu.

Hi Jessica- Thanks for coming up north and stopping by UtHC!

Zaak said...

How on earth did you get pictures of this as you were eating it? You set your spoon down??? About an 11 on the will power scale there.

lynn said...

If my pancreas can take it, I can! It sounds amazing. And I love the pairing with maple ice cream. Delicious!

MagicTofu said...

Woahhhh! Pouding Chômeur is one of my favourite guilty pleasures. It used to be available almost everywhere in small restaurants in Québec but it has now been replaced by readymade cakes
(often frozen).

Now I need my sugar fix!

Aimée said...

Zaak- haha. Believe it or not, my body does have a saturation point for it sugar levels.

Lynn- thanks so much for dropping by!

magictofu- welcome to UtHC! I'm glad I'm not the only one who turns to hard core sugar dishes for a fix. Mmmmm.

marc said...

aimee, I would like to tell you that Martin recipe is actually from Soup Soup owner (who`s name escapes me right now, but she is the sweetest mom and busy sandwich aolic). I am suprised Martin did not tell you this as he has ackowledged that in his cookbook. You must go to Soup Soup if you have not been yet (this is slightly across Reservoir on Duluth), bring the kids. Thanks. Marc

Aimée said...

Hi Marc!
Thank you very much for your tip! I haven't seen Martin's book and had no idea he credits someone else. The Gazette published his recipe several years back and I cut it out (while thanking my lucky stars!)If he mentioned Soup Soup, I must have overlooked it. My bad.
Thank you for stopping by UtHC and for your helpful comment.

marc said...

Hello again Aimee, OK I just had a flash since the book was lying on my busy desk. The recipee is from Caroline Dumas, owner of restaurant (sandwich shop) Soupe Soup (this is the correct spelling). Caroline usually prepares a fresh batch every day, some days they will run out, somedays, the staff will be too busy and the oven will start smoking. The pouding as a slight personnality switch from visit to visit.

I enjoy your blog site quite a bit, very up to date, very informative and well put together. I would love to see more ideas for the kids (resto wise too, I have four myself). You have just reminded me how Tapeo would be a great idea this week end, how the cup cake craze, although years behind in mtl is everything and hype. I`d rather stick to Diane's chocolate fudge, but I am happy Cocoa won the challenge ! wooot !

Marc aka identifiler

marc said...

that's Diane`s chocolate brownie from O and G

Joyce said...

Hello, I am a Montrealer who now lives in Hong Kong. I found your blog totally by accident.
A pouding chomeur tip -- add a pinch of salt with the maple syrup, which will give it a bit of a salt-water toffee flavor. Or serve with a dollop of chilled sour cream instead of ice cream. Both ways will cut the sticky sugary-ness a bit.
Maple syrup, imported from Canada, is insanely expensive in Hong Kong. I make this dish once a year, for thanksgiving.

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