Warning: Monday rant ahead!
I mean, weren’t we suffering from a heat wave just yesterday? And it’s October now? (*Has mild nervous breakdown)
Anyway. The following recipe is adapted from The Bojon Gourmet. A seriously mouth-watering photo of Alanna’s pudding chômeurs popped up on my Pinterest feed a few weeks ago, and I instantly said je veux!
No, I actually did not say that. I don’t speak French. But I still wanted to try them really badly. 🙂 I also felt like writing a post on chômeurs, despite the fact this dessert has nothing to do with Hungarian cuisine. Sorry not sorry, and you won’t be either!
Maple syrup is not a pantry staple in Hungary. I also believe it’s safe for me to say that we, as a nation know very little, if anything at all about French Canadian cuisine.
Which is about to change with this one!
As I’ve learnt, these puddings were invented during the Great Depression when they were presumably used to bring comfort to the out-of-work Québécois (chômeur stands for unemployed in French). Once poor man’s food, these soft, spongy cakes on top of a silky sauce flavored with maple syrup, coffee, vanilla and brown butter are rather brilliant.
Best enjoyed warm, chômeurs are simple to put together and even reheat beautifully (not that ther’s even a chance of having leftovers).
Although the recipe called for it, I neither keep chestnut flour, nor rice flour at hand. I always have walnut meal though, so that’s what I used instead and it did not disappoint. (Sidenote: nut meals are ground with the skin on, while nut flours are made with blanched nuts)
I fine tuned the recipe a little bit further by throwing greenwalnut liqueur into the mix. Plus, I simply forgot to add the vegetable oil to the batter, which I do not regret as the cake turned out perfect without it, so I won’t even list it in the ingredients.
Should’ve seen our faces when we slipped the first bite into our mouths!
Maple Walnut Pudding Chômeurs
A French Canadian dessert for the approaching colder days. Yields 6.
For the sauce:
55 g unsalted butter
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup freshly brewed espresso
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp greenwalnut liqueur (optional, use 1 tsp vanilla if you don’t have it)
For the cake batter:
½ cup AP flour
½ cup walnut meal
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup maple syrup
powdered sugar and whipped cream to serve
- Preheat oven to 175 °C (350 °F). Place 6 ramekins on a baking sheet and grease them lightly.
- To make the sauce, place butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, swirling occasionally. When butter foams up, turns golden and smells nutty (3-5 min), remove from heat. Carefully pour in maple syrup, coffee, vanilla and greenwalnut liqueur (if using), transfer to a measuring pitcher and set aside.
- To make the batter, sift together flour and walnut meal with the salt and baking powder into a bowl. Make a well in the mixture and add the eggs, buttermilk and maple syrup. Whisk until well-combined.
- Scoop the batter into the ramekins, dividing evenly. After giving it a good stir, pour sauce over the batter, also dividing evenly (it will pour straight through the batter which is fine).
- Bake puddings until puffed and golden, about 20 min. Remove from oven and let cool a little before serving, sprinkled with powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream on the side. Enjoy!