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 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ cup whole cream
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