This is by far my favourite and it is all three of my kid's favourite maple-inspired recipe. The Chômeur or Poor Man's Pudding is an old Quebecois recipe. It is unbelievable and I prepare it often and take as my contribution to many parties and social gatherings. I watch as my friends' eyes roll into the back of their heads.
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2ml) kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
1 1/2 cups (375ml) pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups (375ml) heavy whipping cream (35%)
1/2 tsp (2 ml) kosher or sea salt
Creme fraiche or ice cream
For cake, in mixing bowl using electric mixer on high, beat butter and sugar and eggs and vanilla until smooth.
In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. In three additions with mixer on low speed, beat into butter mixture, alternating with milk.
Spread batter into greased 10- by 12-inch (25- by 30-cm) cake pan or 9- by 13-inch (22.5- by 32.5-cm) baking dish.
For syrup, in small saucepan, combine maple syrup and salt over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until mixture starts to simmer. Simmer 2 minutes. Pour over batter.
Bake in preheated 400F (200C) oven until batter puffs, syrup bubbles around edges, and toothpick inserted in centre of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Serve pudding in bowls, topping with excess sauce and ice cream, if desired. (Serve leftovers slightly warmed or at room temperature.)
Makes about 12 servings.
* Pouding chômeur (literally unemployment pudding or poor man's pudding) is a dessert that was created by female factory workers early during the Great Depression in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Today, pudding chômeur is casually served as a regional dessert, perhaps being a bit more popular during the saison des sucres, when maple sap is collected and processed and is usually part of the offerings during a meal at a sugar shack even though it's not specifically a maple dessert.