This dessert says “South African” like no other and is comfort food at its very best. Every South African cook has a variation of this pudding in at least one of their cookbooks. Overflowing with sweetness, this apricot flavoured spongy cake-like dessert is worth every single calorie. And believe me, you will be going back for more. It’s just one of those desserts that makes you throw caution to the wind and forget about those jeans that are already too tight. Tomorrow is another day for dieting, unless of course there are left overs, because this amazing pudding is delicious heated up the next day too.
The origin of Malva is a little sketchy to say the least. We know that it is of Cape Dutch origin and some believe it was named after a woman named Malva. Others believe that it comes from the fact that Malva pudding was served in the Cape with a dessert wine called Malvacea from Madeira. This rich dessert contains no marshmallows but could have got its name from the fact that it has a spongy texture like marshmallow and was introduced in The Complete African Cookbook as “marshmallow pudding” (Malvapoeding) in Afrikaans.
The ingredients can be found in most pantries – eggs, sugar, butter, flour, vinegar, bicarb, apricot jam, milk and cream. The result is a spongy, moist sweet pudding that is usually served with custard or vanilla ice cream, or both if you dare. The secret to its delicious flavour is in the buttery creamy sauce that is poured over the pudding once it has been baked. This sauce soaks into the pudding making it moist and giving it its unique flavour. It does not win 10 out of 10 for appearance and is usually baked in a good old oven tray , but the flavour makes up for it.
I love hot puddings smothered in custard or ice cream. What is your favourite ?
- 2 eggs
- 450g castor sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Apricot Jam (or marmalade)
- 425ml milk
- 225g flour
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon spirit or grape vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- For the Topping
- 100g butter
- 100g castor sugar
- 250 ml cream
- 100ml boiling water
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Whisk together the eggs, sugar and apricot jam until light and fluffy, and then beat in the milk.
- Fold in the sieved flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- Add the vinegar and melted butter.
- Pour the batter into a well buttered roasting tin (30cmx20cm) and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. The mixture is very runny.
- The pudding can be left at this stage and reheated just before serving.
- Mix all the topping ingredients together in a pot and bring to the boil.
- Pour this hot mixture over and allow to sink into the pudding. It will seem like too much but it soaks in and makes the pudding sticky.
- Serve with custard and ice cream.