South Africans have, through the ages, enjoyed their desserts. In yester years, it was the exception when some form of sweetness was not served at the end of dinner, which usually included meat. In many homes, meat was served three times a day – at breakfast, dinner and supper. No wonder a little sweetness was essential!
Puddings were generally relatively simple, made from basic ingredients – butter, sugar, eggs, flour and milk, with baking powder and/or baking soda. They were usually baked in the oven as the wood or coal stove would be in use every day.
Many of the baked puddings were cake-like, with a sauce. The cake mixture was either baked in the sauce, or the sauce was poured over the cake or tart when it was taken out of the oven.
A traditional favorite is “Malvapoeding”. It is generally listed in menus of restaurants that specialize in South African cuisine. Visitors to South Africa often enjoy serving this dessert when they return home.
I have done a Blog about “Jan Ellis pudding” (link) that is very similar, yet different from “Malvapoeding”. There I outlined the main differences between these two very popular desserts.
Malvapoeding is in both our books – “South African Cooking in the USA”, page 126, and “Essential South African Cooking in the USA – 25 Traditional Recipes” (e-book). (links)
‘Malva’ is the Afrikaans word for ‘geranium’ or ‘mallow’ – both plants – and ‘malvalekker’ means ‘marshmallow’, a sweet. Malvapoeding does not have a marshmallow-like texture. ‘Poeding’ is simply the Afrikaans word for ‘pudding’.
There are numerous theories as to the source of the name – I like the hypothesis that it was named after a dessert wine, Malvasia, which may have been served with the pudding during colonial times.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1 egg
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup whipping or heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
- ¾ stick (6 tablespoons) butter
- ½ cup sugar
- Heat the milk, butter and jam in a jug or saucepan until the butter has melted. Set aside.
- Beat the egg and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add the vinegar to the milk mixture, which will curdle, and fold it into the egg mixture together with the flour and baking soda.
- Scoop into a greased 9-inch pie dish and bake at 350⁰F for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer is quite clean when used to test for doneness.
- Before the pudding is ready, combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to boiling point, while stirring. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove the baked pudding from the oven and cut it into portions. Slowly pour the hot sauce over the pudding, so that it is all eventually absorbed.
- Serve at room temperature with whipped cream.