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Pouding chômeur (literally unemployment pudding or poor man's pudding) is a dessert that was created by female factory workers early during the Great Depression in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Today, pudding chômeur is casually served as a regional dessert, perhaps being a bit more popular during the saison des sucres, when maple sap is collected and processed and is usually part of the offerings during a meal at a sugar shack even though it's not specifically a maple dessert.
The pouding chômeur is a basic cake batter onto which a hot syrup or caramel is poured before baking. The cake then rises through the liquid which settles at the bottom at the pan, mixing with the batter and creating a distinct layer at the bottom of the dish. The syrup or caramel can be made from brown sugar, white sugar, maple syrup or a combination of these.
At the depth of the Depression, stale bread was also used in lieu of cake batter.
The dessert is also sometimes called pouding du chômeur or pouding au chômeur and is sometimes written using the formal English word pudding.