Usually those two words don’t go together. You have your decadent foods, which can be tasty and other times can be what some restaurants consider tasty but is actuality just snobby and the only thing decadent is the price. There are the truly decadent foods however that deserve the title and the love they get. Think Creme Brulee, Lobster and drawn butter, a thick porterhouse steak (ribeye in my case… would be on the menu for my last meal along with roasted brussel sprouts and seasoned potato wedges) All of those qualify as decadent in their way.
Then you have your homey comfort foods; the casseroles made with cream of emu soup that your mother made, the mac and cheese made with 14 pounds of velveeta and not a drop of real cheese in sight, the pot roast that your family had every Sunday, the fried chicken that gramma made that you still can’t seem to duplicate no matter how many times you try. All oh so bad for you, half the time made with more sodium and fat than you need in a week, but sooo tasty, so comforting and simply reeking of hominess.
So I’m not sure what to call the dessert I made today. The same dessert btw, that I ate an entire serving of after photographing and that has made me now have absolutely no interest in eating dinner. Ummm…oops? Moving on though… I’m not sure what heading this one qualifies for. It’s a pudding cake, which is the very definition of a homey dessert. Yet it uses a butt ton of real maple syrup, which is decadent both in taste and price. And the flavor is both homey and comforting at the same time that it is rich and decadent.
I’m so confused!!! My taste buds don’t know what to think!!
So I’m just gonna give you the recipe and let you decide. But be warned. This is one awesome dessert. I know, I know, all us bloggers say that. But this really is. I told my husband that this is now going on my list of favorite desserts. It is very rich… I mean, the bottom of this is literally just maple syrup and butter. And pretty? No; not so much. But there is something downright decadent AND homey about it and that’s not a mix you come across often with foods. The edges get all cripsy with caramelized syrup and the bottom is almost like a pancake drenched in syrup while the top is a light cake. I will be making this again…and again…and again.
This recipe originally came from Food and Wine. I barely changed it but did make a couple of very small alterations.
Maple Buttermilk Pudding Cake
- 1 1/3 cups maple syrup (the real stuff, not Mrs. Butterworths and preferably Grade B as it’s darker and more mapley <yes, mapley is now a word; I said so.> )
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and 8×8 pan then line it with parchment paper, then butter again.
- In a medium saucepan, boil the syrup until it is reduced down to about a cup. And no, you can’t just start with a cup of syrup and skip the reducing. You get a more condensed flavor plus, when making pudding cakes, the textural differences are helped by having a hot layer mixed with a cold layer. When reduced, whisk in the 3 tablespoons butter and pour the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In ANOTHER (I know, I know but it’s worth the dishwashing later) bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, buttermilk and vanilla.
- In another bowl (shush… just go get a bowl) beat the 1/2 cup butter with the sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.
- At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the liquid in two batches.
- Dollop spoonfuls of the batter over the syrup. bake the pudding for about 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown with syrup all bubbly at the sides and a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let stand for a few minutes before serving then scoop portions into a bowl and serve with a puddle of heavy cream or some creme fraiche.