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Quick & easy baking dessert

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
In my neck of the woods (i.e Québec), this desert is called <pouding au chômeur> literally translated means Unemployed person's pudding.
My Mom tells me that the ingredients in this desert were cheap in her young farm days hence everybdy could afford it (except the vanilla and ice cream, luxury ingredients which was usually not included).

Preheat oven at 350F
Prepare at least 1 cup of boiling water

Blend by hand with fork in no ingredient order whatsoever (I put everything in a small food processor)
1 Tbsp butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt (can use salted butter but no salt)
1 tsp baking powder

Blend to a smooth paste (don't bother about gluten development just twirl the heck out of it for 30 sec). Pour batter in a 8X8 square cake pan.

Add in a small bowl and blend together
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 tbsp of unsalted (or salted) butter
Pinch of salt (or not)

Blend until butter is melted and brown sugar is dissolved.

Pour over the batter (doesn't matter if you make holes in the batter just pour everywhere in the pan)

Bake in the oven 30 min. serve warm with vanilla ice cream (optional)

I decided to make this tonight. Takes 3 3/4 minutes to add the ingredients, mix then place in the oven. Make dinner then have a warm dessert.

I make this for out of town visitors. They all like it. Nobody knows this dessert outside of Québec (that I know at least). The science is cool because you think you always ruin the cake when pouring the water in the batter but it always comes back.

The final product looks like a moist white cake but when you serve it the bottom comes with a caramel tasting sauce. Very interesting. I hope you try it and give me feedback.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #2 of 11
It sounds similar to a recipe I make for a chocolate pudding cake. I can't remember the exact name but I found it in one of those plastic boxes with the cards that you had to subscribe to. The recipes were from the 70s. You make a batter which goes in first and then a cocoa concoction which you then pour boiling water over. When it comes out of the oven, you have this awesome chocolate pudding-like sauce on bottom and the batter has miraculously made a cake on top.

I will definitely have to try yours! I like chocolate but prefer caramel.
post #3 of 11
googling this I found out ...

"Somewhere over time it became "Grand-pere" when someone substituted maple syrup for the brown sugar/water mix."
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #4 of 11
Thanks Luc, I love recipes like that. And I am a chomeur, so I really should try it.:lol: (don't know how to get the little "sir corn flakes" on the o, sorry about the sp)

Thanks Risque for the maple syrup tip too.

Luc, does it have to be made right before serving, or will it sit ok? As in can I make it early in the day, nosh on it all day, then have it still be decent for dinner with the hubby. Or does it need to be served right after, and should I have enough people here to devour the whole thing warm out of the oven.

Thanks for your little bit of Quebecois culture Luc. I miss my times in Quebec, you've conjured very fond memories.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yes Risque, (more memories for Stir)
that sounds true but today Grand-Pères (meaning Grand Father) are more like cake dumplings cooked up in maple syrup. It is very popular during the sugaring off season (early spring thaw) when us Quebecers go to the sugar shack <cabane à sucre> where we drench everything in maple syrup (ham, eggs, bacon, potatoes, cake, pancakes, coffee.. etc..)

Yes Stir it Up, you can make it in advance (earlier in the day) but I suggest you warm it up before serving. Cover the cake pan with aluminum paper, seal and place in a low oven (250F) for 15 to 20min or so (I think that should be enough). Warm is better because the cake has a though short texture cold that softens when warm... also the ice cream melts faster.

Don't plan on feeding lots of people... it's a small recipe. This recipe does not double up well. Separate batches is better.

Luc H
I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #6 of 11
Thanks Luc, sounds like we'll have no problem finishing it the two of us!

We were needing to do a bit of a tour through Quebec to get some artisan cheeses. We have gone all through the cheese route in Vermont, but only recently became aware of the spectrum of small farmstead cheeses in Quebec. Is the syrup season about in late February or later there? I know it depends on the weather and when the sap starts to run. I'm thinking we should time it at the same time. don't mean to hijack your thread with cheese and maple syrup. Will probably make the cake tonight if nothing comes up.

BTW I think Quebecers have the best Christmas eve. I would love to do that one year, but have no more friends there!
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yep Christmas eve (le Reveillon = stay up late) is the thing in Quebec. My family always end up going to bed at around 3 or 4 am. My problem is I have to prepare a brunch on christmas day (this year it's a dinner instead)

March is when the sap runs here (many go to the sugar shack for Easter) you should plan it in that month.

In Montreal, there's a very good cheese store that is well stock in every raw milk and other artisan Quebec cheeses. The store is called Hamel and in located at the Marché Jean-Talon (market).

there is also a wine route near Sherbrooke that is always nice to do.

When you start planning send me a little note and I will try to point you at certain websites to help out.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #8 of 11
Thanks Luc!
post #9 of 11

yo ho ho and a bottle of rhum...

Hi Luc, made it last night!

I love the little crust on the top of the cake where the remnants of the sugar syrup meets the cake!

It was even more delicious for breakfast soaked in a good Rhum, with a strong coffee. Did the chomeurs have a little hootch around?

(BTW, sorry about the sir corn flakes nonsense... that's how they taught us anglos in school, but I realized I have the wrong accent, the circonflex is the one on the c in ca va? no? I must figure out how to get the accents when I type.)

To me, next time I would bake it nearer the bottom of the oven. I thought maybe I put it in too small a pan (didn't have a 8x8 square, used a round) then I thought that pan was too small so I put that pan inside another pan to catch any drips. The bottom where the caramel met the cake was a little soggy, probably it is always moist, but I think the double pan contributed more. I would also let it stand a little longer before serving, we got into it right away. :p

I think it would be fun for kids too, it was really cool to watch the cake float up through the caramel-water, there's a physics lesson right there. We had Jello 1-2-3 when we were kids, which floated into three layers. Then there were the B-52s in high school, but that's another story...

An interesting recipe, thanks for posting! We didn't have ice cream, just ate it plain comme les chomeurs, I was craving a little something to balance it. The rhum was really good with it, or I have a freezer full of raspberries, maybe something tart like that, unless it is blasphemous to change from it. The quantity of caramel was generous, which is nice for your ice cream. I could see developing a citrusy version of it too as a completely different dessert but with the same fun technique.

BTW, would I be a chomeuse, not a chomeur?

Also BTW, do you do it without greasing the pan too? And is the butter in the cake part at room temp or melted or doesn't matter.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Stir it up,

Circonflex is in fact this ^. Ç is a c cédille.

Ladies are chômeuse (correct).

I make the recipe using room temp butter. i don't butter the pan. we serve it from the pan.

If you use a 8X8 pan the cake is approx 2 inches high, there is about 1/4 inch of caramel like sauce at the bottom. The cake usually does not brown that much of top (at least not crusty).

Maybe if I make it again and post a pic would help to demonstrate but i think your cake was close enough based on your description.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #11 of 11
Thanks Luc, and thanks for the recipe, I will definitely make it again. I thought that I bet you don't even have to grease the pan, how cool is that. I took a pic of mine (but I am too technically challenged to post), it looked pretty good, a really nice top surface, so I think I got it right except for the business of the double pan and the bottom.

I was thinking it's also nice that it has only 3 T of butter in the whole cake.
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