Today I am bringing you a treat from Quebec. This pudding chomeur recipe is simply delicious. Called “pouding chômeur” in French, this version is sweet cookie dough-like dumplings baked in a decadent maple cream.
Rich, sweet, easy to make, and hard to stop eating, give pudding chomeur the next time you are in need of a homey, comforting dessert. It is heavenly.
Another fun one to try is my maple pumpkin pudding.
For ease of browsing, here are all of my custard and pudding recipes. Thanks for stopping by!
What Is Pudding Chomeur?
In all the years I took French in high school, I never learned the word chomeur. I learned words for window and bird and cow and school. Verbs to be, to do, to go. I learned places to work: Usine. Boulangerie. Bibliothèque. Hôpital. But never the word chomeur.
So when I chose to make pudding chomeur after seeing a recipe for it on Food 52, I just thought it was some fancy Canadian dessert.
And then I looked it up. And chomeur means unemployed.
Friends, pudding chomeur is the Dessert of the Unemployed. Poor man’s pudding.
Where Did It Come From?
During the Great Depression, some women who used to be factory workers came up with this dessert so they could still provide their families with sweet endings.
It’s made from a bunch of stuff that most Canadians of the day could get hold of for next to nothing.
- maple syrup
As an American in the South, this sounds like a pretty expensive list of ingredients to me, but if everyone had a chicken or three and a cow–or a neighbor had one–all that was left was the maple syrup. Which comes from Canada. Which is covered with sugar maples. So, you see: Cheap!
There’s Comfort in Nostalgic, Inexpensive Desserts
A few years ago, I heard Nick Cannon doing stand up on Comedy Central.
He was talking about how he doesn’t understand fancy desserts. When he was growing up, dessert was some Wonder bread with butter, sugar and cinnamon on it.
I get that. I ate plenty of cinnamon toast, too. And bread, butter, and sugar sandwiches. They’re cheap, and they hit the spot.
That’s pudding chomeur.
It’s cheap to make (if you’re Canadian and own chickens and cows and maple trees), and it hits the spot.
The recipe from the Food52 Cookbook appears to be fairly standard. Some of the recipes I found used brown sugar, water and butter for the syrup, but just as many used the maple syrup/heavy cream combination.
And really, when given the choice, isn’t that what you’d do? Even if it is a bit more expensive?
Other Ways to Make It
Before I made this pudding, I thought about plumping up and mincing some dried apples to add to the batter, and I think that would be really good, as would chopped, toasted nuts.
I ended up not adding either, but know you could add both some nuts and chopped apple to the “dumpling” dough if you wanted.
I did incorporate brown sugar and cinnamon into the batter, and because even though I don’t love brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tarts, I love that flavor combination (see my brown sugar cinnamon pound cake if you’re a fan of the same combo).
And of course I added salt. In the batter and the sauce, because otherwise, I think my teeth would’ve fallen out as I ate.
What’s In It?
As I said, it’s “poor man’s pudding,” and as such, it is made pretty much with basic staples most French Canadians have on hand.
- brown sugar
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- maple syrup (2 cups)
- heavy cream
What If I Can’t Find All Purpose Flour
If you’re out of all purpose flour, you can use self-rising flour instead.
Replace the all purpose flour with an equal amount of self rising flour, and then leave out the salt and baking powder called for in the “dumplings.”
That’s a Lot of Maple Syrup!
Yes, it is.
If you happen to have real maple syrup on hand, I can’t think of a better way to use it.
But if you don’t, you can also make a syrup using brown sugar and water (1 part sugar to 1 part water) mixed with an equal amount of heavy cream.
I’d go with 1 cup of brown sugar and water along with 1 cup of heavy cream.
It won’t taste quite the same, but it will still be an indulgent treat!
This is a Very Easy dish to make. And eat.
You can make the batter the day before baking if you want and just put it in the fridge.
The next day, boil the cream, syrup and salt together, pour it over you dough, and bake.
I served it with just a touch of unsweetened cream. Not even whipped. Just straight.
What Does It Taste Like?
Pudding chomeur is a bit similar to sticky toffee pudding in that it is, well, sticky. And sweet. And delicious.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I started out with balls of stodgy cookie dough in hot syrup, but the dough baked up into rich, buttery, cinnamon dumplings floating in rich mapley goodness.
Very, Very yum.
Note that it is very sweet, so it’s a great dessert to serve a crowd–nobody needs to eat a ton of this at one sitting.
It’s also very rich with a nice contrast of light dumplings and luscious sauce.
If you’ve never had pudding chomeur before, I think you’ll be a fan just like me.
For convenience, consistency, and accuracy, almost all my recipes are written by weight, either in ounces and/or grams, even the liquids.
I strongly encourage you to purchase a kitchen scale and learn to use it.
This is the one I used for years. I love it and highly recommend it:
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
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Pudding Chomeur Recipe
For the Dough
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at cool room temperature
- 1 scant cup brown sugar packed
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 10 oz all purpose flour by weight (about 2 1/3 cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the Sauce
- 2 cups maple syrup (I used Grade B)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Dough
- Cream the butter until smooth.
- Add the sugar, salt and cinnamon, and cream until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
- Beat the two eggs, and then drizzle in the egg a bit at a time.
- Whisk the flour and the baking powder together and stir it in on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate overnight.
For the Syrup
- Bring the cream, maple syrup and salt to a boil. Remove from the heat.
To Assemble and Bake
- You can bake this in individual ramekins or in a large baking dish. Either way, divide the dough into 10-12 equal portions. Place one in each ramekin, or just put them all in one dish, side by side.
- Pour the hot syrup mixture over the dough and bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes, or until a lovely deep golden brown on top.
- Serve with syrup and some heavy cream, sour cream or a bit of creme fraiche.
Did You Make Any Changes?
And there you have it: poor man’s pudding. So very delicious!
What are my qualifications to teach you baking and pastry? As a former working pastry chef and special educator, I marry my passions for both teaching and for baking into explaining techniques, methods, and developing the best possible recipes. For more info, you can read more about me.
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Thanks so much for spending some time with me today.
Enjoy this rather indulgent treat, and have a lovely day.