South African Malva pudding is rich, syrupy and absolutely delicious served with quick and easy frozen custard. The ultimate dessert.
Us South Africans are a proud bunch. We love pretty much everything about our country but something I am often reminded about by friends who have emigrated to other countries, is that our weather is simply the best (no jokes) and there is nothing like South African food. Those who now live in Australia, the UK and the States often reminisce about our braais, biltong, koeksisters and bunny chows. They miss Pap en Vleis and Melktert. But the most requested recipe I have been asked for time and time again, is Malva Pudding. South Africans bloody LOVE Malva Pudding. And with good reason.
Malva pudding is a warm, baked dessert of Cape Dutch origin and is all kinds of luscious. It’s not unlike sticky toffee pudding in theory but the flavour is different due to the addition of apricot jam and vinegar which gives the finished dish its characteristic taste and appearance. A glossy butter-enriched syrup is poured over when the baked pudding comes out of the oven and is then allowed to soak into it, adding even more deliciousness.
The Malva pudding recipe I use comes from my aunt (even though she hates being called an “Aunt” because she’s not that much older than me) and is by far the best one I have ever tasted. It is rich, dark and totally scrumptious. Malva pudding is most often served with shop-bought vanilla custard called Ultramel (although some people make their own Creme Anglaise to go along with it), ice cream or a simple drizzle of cream and even though all of those are absolute perfection, I wanted to change things up a little. I’ve been toying with the idea of making a frozen custard of sorts for a while and when I re-watched an old Nigella episode where she makes a Margarita ice cream with whipped cream as the base, wondered if that same concept wouldn’t work with custard. I used a tub of shop-bought vanilla custard and mixed it into softly whipped, sweetened cream and then popped it into the freezer, hoping for the best. The end result exceeded my highest expectations. The frozen custard/ice cream scooped beautifully and the taste was so rich, creamy and absolutely perfect with the Malva pudding. Warm, syrupy pudding, cold, creamy ice cream. What could go wrong?
The star here is still the Malva pudding though and if you’ve never tried it, I urge you to do so. You won’t be disappointed and in fact, I guarantee it will be one of the recipes you make over and over again.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons smooth apricot jam/apricot preserves
- 2 teaspoons white spirit vinegar
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup you can also substitute maple syrup/honey
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups 500ml whipping/heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons icing sugar
- 2 cups shop-bought vanilla custard
To make the ice cream, whip the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form.
Fold in the vanilla custard then place in a freezer-safe dish and press a piece of baking paper/parchment paper onto the surface of the ice cream. Place in the freezer and allow to freeze for at least 2-3 hours or until firm.
To make the pudding, pre-heat the oven to 180°c and grease a 20cm baking dish (alternatively, use smaller oven-proof dishes for individual portions).
In a large saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar, apricot jam and vinegar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Sift the flour then add to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, mixing well after each addition.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
Add the baking soda and salt and mix well.
Pour the batter into the prepared dish/dishes and place in the oven.
Bake for 30-45 minutes until the pudding dark brown and baked through (a skewer inserted should come out clean).
While the pudding is baking, prepare the syrup.
Bring all the syrup ingredients to a boil and reduce the heat. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour the syrup over the pudding as it comes out of the oven.
Allow to stand for 20 minutes then serve with scoops of the frozen custard.
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