Malva Pudding

Soft, gooey and melt-in-the-mouth, this Malva Pudding is sure to take your breath away!

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If you’re baffled by the times we live in, I’m right there with you. As a person who works from home, the schedule for me is not quite different. However, I cannot ignore the quiet of the streets, the many cars parked by our apartment complex all through the day and the incessant news cycle churning out updates about COVID-19. It is devastating to see the absolute mayhem this virus has caused in our beautiful world. While some governments are coming through for their people, the discrimination and carelessness of others is jarring. Sitting in my favourite spot on my grey couch, with tonnes of light streaming in through the window, I feel fraught knowing that the best I can do in this situation is maintain a safe distance from my loved ones and stay home.

About two years ago, we went out to dinner to this then newly opened restaurant with this cool, grungy industrial vibe (remember back when we still could go out to restaurants!?). While the space was a looker, the menu was disappointing, if only for its all-over-the-place, super-limited selection. We liked our food, and then ordered dessert – a Malva Pudding. What was served was a tiny cake soaked in a syrup that made it really soft and sweet. While we did enjoy the first few bites, it got cloying fast. Then we drove home and forgot all about it.

Fast forward to early February 2020. It was chilly and all I wanted to do was sink my teeth into a warm pudding-y dessert with a sauce to boot that didn’t involve chocolate. While browsing through pudding recipes on Pinterest, I came across David Lebovitz’s Malva Pudding and I instantly knew what I had to make.

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Malva Pudding is a South African dessert made with really simple ingredients that are pantry staples. This lush pudding is spongy and caramelised to a gorgeous golden hue which gives it that much more depth of flavour. The sauce is the star; while just a heavy cream and sugar sauce is incredible, the addition of Amarula to the sauce takes the dessert to a whole other level. Without further ado, let’s dive right in to the recipe.

Here’s what you need:

  • All Purpose Flour – 140 g
  • Baking Powder – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Soda – 3/4 tsp
  • Granulated Sugar – 200 g + 5 tbsp
  • Eggs – 2, large
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Apricot Jam – 75 g, preferably without fruit chunks
  • Melted Butter – 1 and half tbsp
  • White Vinegar – 1/2 tsp
  • Whole Milk – 250 ml
  • Heavy Cream – 400 ml
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  • Amarula – 60 g

Here’s how to make Malva Pudding

  • Preheat the oven to 190 ºC / 375 ºF. Grease a ceramic or glass pie dish or baking tin generously with butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and baking soda together.
  • In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat 200 g of sugar, eggs and salt until pale and fluffy. Add in the apricot jam and beat until incorporated. Mix in the melted butter and vinegar.
  • Starting with the flour mixture, alternate between adding flour and milk to the batter, a third at a time and beat well between each addition. At the end the batter should be smooth and resemble pancake batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared greased dish and bake for 40-45 minutes. The idea is for the top to get deeply caramelised and bronze in hue, and to crack slightly in the middle. A skewer inserted into the middle must come out clean. If achieving this level of doneness takes longer, please let the cake bake for longer until you achieve the desired caramelisation. Don’t worry about the cake over-baking, and if at any point you worry that the top may turn black, cover with a piece of parchment paper to prevent further browning.
  • While the sponge bakes, make the sauce. Bring heavy cream, vanilla extract and 5 tablespoons of sugar to a boil, while stirring occasionally. Once the sugar is dissolved, take it off the heat.
  • Once the sponge is out of the oven, prick it all over with a toothpick or skewer and pour about half a cup of sauce over it until the whole surface is covered. If more sauce is required, pour some more over – you can wing it. The sauce will seep completely through.
  • Then return the sauce to the stove on low heat. At this point, you can cook this sauce out, while stirring continuously ,until it thickens to a custard-y consistency. Or you could add in the Amarula and cook the sauce while stirring continuously, for just 5 minutes until slightly thickened and take it off the heat.
  • Serve a slice of Malva Pudding warm with either the vanilla cream sauce or the Amarula sauce and enjoy.

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Succulent and just so soft, this Malva Pudding is a complete delight. It yields so easily to a spoon, and has a defined crumb, with all the space in between trapping that incredible sauce. It is sweet and tastes like a wonderful, simple, caramel-y dessert, and the apricot jam lends oodles of moistness and just a hint of flavour to the mix.

The Amarula sauce is a game changer. Boozy and heavenly, it gives the flavour a certain complex quality, with dashes of bitterness that balance out the sweetness of the pudding. The warmth of this boozy sauce coupled with the dreamy sponge of the pudding comes together to create an experience that is best enjoyed during the chilly months, or when the air conditioner is turned to full blast.

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There are a few other things that really make this Malva Pudding a hit. First, it feeds a crowd and is a crowd-pleaser; so when things go back to normal and you’re hosting a reunion of sorts, make this for your friends and family. Second, it is very forgiving in terms of done-ness. Baking this is a breeze, as you almost have to let overcook and bronze up real nicely. (Don’t let it turn black though, okay? Don’t worry about it drying out. Just make sure to have the sauce ready when you take it out of the oven and soak it through while the cake is still hot. Third, it is an easy recipe that ANYONE can ace!

We love this Malva Pudding so much that I’ve made it thrice already within the span of two months. Our family has enjoyed both the novelty and flavours of this dessert, and our friends waxed poetic just after one bite in! While Sticky Date Pudding with a Toffee Sauce will always be my favourite dessert, this Malva Pudding is a real contender, you guys!

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Give this recipe a whirl and bake this Malva Pudding today for yourself and your family at home. And stay home and safe, Dear Reader. Let’s all do our bit to be responsible towards our fellow humans, spread positivity, happiness and cheer while we wait this pandemic out. And please say a little prayer for all those surrounded by pain and suffering and all medical staff sacrificing everything to nurse people back to health. ❤

Want to Pin This recipe for later? Here you go…

Malva Pudding

Author: Winola Peris

Food blogger, photographer & stylist with big dreams in my head, passion in my heart and a lot of hustle in my bones!

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