Have you ever heard of malva pudding? Trust me, you need this amazing South African dessert in your life.
When I was high school, my parents moved my brothers and I to Cape Town for a work relocation that was supposed to last a year. Twelve years later, they’re still there! While I only got to live there for a few years, I fell in love with so many parts of the country and it’s melting pot of cultures. And yes, that included food.
In addition to the moist, caramel pudding that is malva pudding, I discovered ostrich burgers, rooibos tea, rusks and biltong. I don’t eat a ton of biltong in the US (read: any), but I always make time for my favorite South African dessert!
We moved to Cape Town just in time to start the new school year, which meant we arrived smack dab in the middle of the winter. That first week was tough. The weather was cold and dreary, I was dealing with being at a co-ed school for the first time and the time change left me feeling completely disconnected from my friends back home. To cheer me up, my mom would pick me up from school and take me out for tea and a snack to the little cafe down the street. I’m not sure if it was the malva pudding, the bonding time with my mom or the cute spot, but my general outlook towards the relocation quickly turned around.
I won’t give you a history lesson on malva pudding’s Cape Malay roots, or the fact that Oprah helped make it popular outside of the African continent. Wikipedia’s got you covered if you want to learn about it. What I will tell you is that the recipe involves two components: a cake-like baked portion and a warm sweet sauce that gets poured over the cake while it’s all still hot so that it absorbs all the flavors. It’s like a poke cake in that way but as long as you pour it in batches, you don’t have to worry about poking holes into the top.
Serve it warm and top it with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream! If you can’t finish it, store it in an airtight container and zap it in the microwave before eating.
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cup (300 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoon apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup (125g) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ? teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons water
- Preheat your oven to 350 degree. Grease a pie dish and set aside.
- Beat the egg and 1 cup of the sugar together until the mixture is pale in color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the preserves.
- Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium-sized microwave safe bowl. Mix in the vinegar, followed by the milk.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Turn mixer on low and add the milk mixture and the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating one and then the other.
- Pour batter into the pie dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. When there is 10 minutes left to the pudding, make the sauce.
- In a small saucepan, melt the remaining sugar, butter, heavy cream and water. Pour the sauce in three batches over the pudding, letting each batch absorb for a few minutes before adding the next.
Recipe adapted from Food52