This classic French Canadian maple syrup pudding cake was invented by female factory workers during the Great Depression in the province of Quebec, Canada, which produces 75% of the world’s maple syrup. The literal translation for the name of this cake is a Poor Man’s Pudding, this traditional sweet and homely dessert embodies all the flavors of warm maple syrup soaked pancakes. Use a cast-iron skillet, baking dish or individual ramekins (6) for baking.

Makes 10-12 servings

Ingredients - Cake

3/4 cup (180 g) butter, at room temperature
1 cup (240 ml) granulated brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla
1¾ cups (420 ml) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder

Ingredients - Sauce

1½ cups (400 ml) dark maple syrup
1½ cups (400 ml) heavy whipping cream (35%)
Pinch of salt

Method

In a large bowl, with a hand mixer or a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and beat at medium speed until completely blended. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Add flour mixture to the wet eggs and butter mixture and stir until well blended. Gather the dough into a ball and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6-24 hours.

Preheat oven to 450°/232°C, and butter cooking recipient - cast-iron skillet, baking dish or ramekins. In a medium saucepan, bring maple syrup and heavy cream to a boil, turn off heat, add pinch of salt and set aside to cool.

Place the dough into the baking recipient, and press down evening out the dough to the sides. Pour the maple cream sauce over the dough, filling recipient to ⅔ to prevent any overflow as the cake rises. Place the recipient onto a baking sheet to catch any sauce that might overflow while cooking. Any remaining sauce can be drizzled over the cake once it is baked.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve cake warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.