This past week, I was reading Moxyland by Lauren Beukes for my Around the World reading challenge. Beukes is South African and Moxyland is also set there. As I researched desserts for South Africa, I was looking for something a little different this time - not something that had to be native but representative of the blend of cultures.
I was torn between melktert (milk tart, like over on What's Gaby Cooking?) and malva pudding, both of which were absolutely everywhere. Malva pudding has even been on Oprah, recreated for her by the famous Art Smith. He is famous, I swear. At least on this blog. Then I came across this story about South African home cooking and comfort food on Honest Cooking, and that solidified my desire to make a malva pudding.
Remember, there is a big difference between what Americans call pudding (a thick, set custard) and the rest of the world calls pudding. In this case it is a moist cake, made moister by pouring a syrup over the top at the end of cooking. This is apricot jam based, and every recipe I looked at was emphatic that it must be served with custard. Luckily I still had some birds custard powder from the import store. You can see in the picture that I've not exactly perfected it yet (mine is gloppy).
This was delicious, but I didn't come close to being able to eat one serving of it. It is very rich, very sweet, and very very South African.
South African Malva Pudding (from Honest Cooking)
- 2tbsn unsalted butter
- 1 cup / 250dl sugar
- 2tbsn smooth apricot jam/preserves
- 2tsp white vinegar
- 2 cups/ 500dl flour
- 2 cups/ 500dl milk
- 2 eggs
- 2tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup / 250dl sugar
- 1/2 cup / 125dl boiling water
- 3/4 / 190dl cup unsalted butter
- 1tsp vanilla extract
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, sugar, apricot jam and vinegar together until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile sift the flour.
3. Alternating, add the flour and milk until the mixture is smooth and thick.
4. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
5. Add the baking soda and salt and beat well.
6. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and bake for 30-45 minutes until the pudding is dark and baked through (a skewer inserted should come out clean).
7. In a small sauce pan, heat the syrup ingredients and cook until all the sugar has dissolved.
8. Pour the syrup over the cooked pudding and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving with custard. (In South Africa it would be a sin to serve this with anything other than UltraMel custard but you can use any custard you can find)