The chocolate puddle pudding I wrote about a few weeks ago went down so well that I felt duty-bound to make another self-saucing dessert for you to try at home. Pouding chomeur (French for poor man’s pudding) is a French Canadian dish, dating from an era when poor men could afford maple syrup. Maple syrup has been pretty pricey stuff for as long as I remember, and I suspect that this pudding was named when dinosaurs still roamed the Latin Quarter of Montreal.
You’ll be making an easy sponge, and pouring a maple syrup and cream sauce over it before putting it in the oven. The liquid magically swaps places with the sponge while the pudding is cooking, and you’ll end up with a lovely moist cake layer on top of a thick, syrupy, mellow and gloriously sweet sauce.
A warning – this is, by design, a very sweet dessert. I recommend cutting through the sweetness by sloshing cream over the warm cake before you eat it, or by having a glass of cold milk by your plate.
To make an amazingly sweet cake from the time of the dinosaurs, you’ll need:
375 ml maple syrup (I used Grade A syrup, but Grade B will be great here too)
250 ml double cream
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Pinch of salt
170 g caster sugar
90 g butter
225 g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
180 ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ nutmeg, grated
Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).
Bring the syrup, cream, vinegar and salt to the boil in a saucepan and immediately remove from the heat. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk in a large mixing bowl, until the mixture is pale and soft. Add the egg, vanilla extract, lemon zest and nutmeg to the bowl and beat in well with the whisk. Sieve the flour and baking powder in another bowl. Continue to whisk the creamed butter mixture on a medium to high speed, adding the milk and flour a tablespoon at a time until all the milk and flour are used up and the sponge mixture is light and fluffy.
Use a spatula to spread the sponge mixture in the bottom of a 20 cm square cake tin. Pour the sauce gently over the top. Don’t worry if it appears to disturb the sponge mixture – magic will happen as soon as you shut the oven door.
Put the cake tin on a middle shelf of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes (it may take ten minutes or so longer – test the cake with a toothpick in the centre; if it comes out clean, the cake is done). Serve warm with an insulin drip.