Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets...

Although found on nearly every dessert menu in South Africa, Malva Pudding actually comes from the Dutch, so I’m crediting this “Food Find” to The Netherlands. Malva Pudding (some know it also as “De Wet Pudding”) is a sweet pudding that is best served hot with custard, ice cream, or a sauce made from cream and sugar (Malva Pudding sauce). Some people even like to serve it with dolce de leche, poached apricots on top, and sometimes the extra Malva Pudding sauce on the side. It’s really a matter of personal taste. “Pudding” in this case refers to the English sort, as this dessert is more of a spongy cake with a caramelized texture. Sounds good already, doesn’t it!? The cake is rich and moist, and simply wonderful. There are a few variants of the pudding too, like Tipsy Tart, which has brandy in it, or Cape Brandy Pudding, which has both brandy and dates. Any version will surely satisfy your sweet tooth, but Malva is the classic of the bunch. There are many theories as to why this pudding is called “Malva,” but one that I found plausible is that the name “Malva” comes from Malvacea, or Malvasia (a.k.a. “malmsey”) wine from Madeira. The pudding and dessert wine used to be served together after meals in and around Cape Town. Malva Pudding has become so popular that it can now be bought, already made, in some shops around the world, and reheated before serving. Although, I personally feel that fresh is always better, so try out the easy recipe below and be sure to make enough, because you’ll definitely want more!

Malva Pudding Ingredients

1 cup of milk

1 cup of (light) brown sugar

3 teaspoons of apricot jam

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon of vinegar

1 cup of plain white flour

1 egg

4 teaspoons of butter

Malva Pudding Sauce

1 cup whipping cream (not whipped)

6 ounces butter

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup hot water

To make Malva Pudding, first beat the egg and brown sugar together until the mixture is thick and light, then stir in the apricot jam.

Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda together.

Melt butter and vinegar together and then add the milk.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to egg mixture alternating with milk mixture.

Pour batter into greased oven-proof dish. Bake at 180 C for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

For the Sauce: Melt together the ingredients for the sauce and pour over the pudding as it comes out of the oven.

*Photo from

*Recipe from

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