Oh Lidia celebrates 1 year today! Yay! And what a year it’s been! Who knew I would so be enjoying this blogging thing? I’ll tell you who. Sue! Sue knew. This was her idea. I still recall the e-mail she sent back in March 2012. Simple. “I’ve been thinking. I think you should start a food blog. Actually, you must start a food blog. You must!”. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Well, not quite. There were a few hitches. Such as not-so encouraging comments. Like, “Oh, not another food blog!”. And, “What’s the purpose of a food blog?”. Or this one, “A blog? Don’t you have to BE someone to have a blog?”. I think they meant someone of importance. Someone knowledgeable who people could look up to. Well, I can tell you this. I’m pretty important to my daughters and they look up to me. They also believe that I know everything!
Oh, and then there was the confidence issue. Not believing that I could do it. In late March 2012, Sue had pretty much set-up my blog and showed me how to go about it. By the time June rolled around, I still hadn’t done anything with it. Why? I wasn’t a writer. I would be terrible at it. I can still recall my creative writing class in college. On the first day of class, the professor went through the course outline and stated that he would be calling upon students every class and have them read their writing out loud. And at the very end of that first class, I went straight to the admin office and dropped that class! No joke. In August, her hubby Halvdan asked my what the problem was. I told him. “I’m not a writer. I can’t write! I look at other blogs and I can’t do what they’re doing. What will people think?”. And then came his words of wisdom: “You don’t want to do what others are doing. You have to be you. And you’re not doing this for anyone. You’re doing it for you. Because it’s your passion. Just write the way you talk to me about food. Pretend you’re talking to me or Sue.” One week later, I launched my blog. And now it’s one year later! Hurray!
Thank you my friends! And not just those who gave me that gentle shove. To all my good friends who have encouraged and supported me. To my family, Carmine and Franca. To hubby and my girls, Charlotte and Emma. Especially them. For keeping them waiting while they were starving because I had to take just one more picture. And then when dinner was finally on the table, asking them to wait just a smidgen longer for that final photo. And to all of my new friends. That would be you! For without you, this blog would be pretty much non-existent. So thank you!
And now, on to the good stuff! Pouding Chômeur and a giveaway!
I was once asked if I preferred receiving or giving gifts. I LOVE to give gifts. And to celebrate the first anniversary of Oh Lidia, I will be giving one of you a Maple Syrup Bundle. Maple syrup, maple butter and maple sugar! All pure, and all made in La Belle Province, Quebec. This way, you could make my Maple Syrup Cake. Or my Rhubarb-Maple Syrup Crème Brûlée (Yumminess in a Jar). And even this very sinful Pouding Chômeur. If you’re into bourbon, why not give my Bourbon & Maple Syrup Fusion a try. Leave a comment if you’re interested in entering the draw, and I will contact the winner in just over a week.
Pouding Chômeur is a typical Quebecois dessert made with maple syrup. Chômeur meaning unemployed person in French, this dessert literally translates to unemployed person’s pudding, or poor man’s pudding. It was created by female factory workers during the Great Depression, in 1929. It consists of a maple syrup and cream sauce that is poured over the top of a cake batter. During the baking process, the sauce ends up on the bottom, all thick and gooey. And wickedly delicious! But it wasn’t always so. During the Depression, this dessert was meant to reflect its working-class roots. Back then, only the very basic of ingredients were available to these female factory workers: butter, flour, milk and brown sugar. No eggs, no cream. And definitely no maple syrup as it was too expensive. The original Pouding Chômeur cake batter was made without eggs, and its rich and sweet sauce was made up of brown sugar and water. I’ve had the original version, made by hubby himself. It’s good. But once you’ve tasted the “very rich poor man’s pudding”, oh my! There’s no turning back!
Maple Syrup Pouding Chômeur
2 cups of pure Maple Syrup
2 cups of 35% cream, heavy or double cream
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring to boil the maple syrup and the cream. Set aside once it reaches a boil.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and milk, alternating between the two. Add vanilla and mix well. Pour the batter in a large baking dish or pan, a 10-cup capacity, and spread evenly.
Carefully pour the maple syrup and cream sauce over the cake batter.
Bake for 40 minutes and let it cool slightly. We like to eat ours warm so within 20 or 30 minutes, we’re ready to dig in!
You can also bake this in Mason jars. Pour some cake batter about half way up the jars and then pour some of the syrup sauce over the batter, stopping at about 1/4 away from the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the batter comes out clean.