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Friday, July 23, 2010

Malva Pudding with Vanilla Custard

This is my favorite South African dessert.  It is more like a very moist cake and less like what we Americans would call "pudding".  Calling "cake" "'pudding" just sounds very fancy.

I have no idea what "malva" means.  When I looked it up on Wikipedia I found that malva is a genus of about 25-30 species of herbaceous annual, biennial and perennial plants in the family Malvaceae.  Whatever that means.

I'm reasonably certain this is not what Malva pudding is named after.

Malva pudding can be served with ice cream or custard.  Custard is not easily found in the US, but it is pretty easy to make and delicious.  Here in South Africa, custard is found in every grocery store.  I think it's considered a staple.

This recipe is from my good friend Rebecca.  She is married to a South African (her and her husband Derek run the YWAM Rustenburg base.)

Malva Pudding
1 egg
1/2 C sugar
1 C flour
1 T apricot jam
pinch of salt
1 1/2 t vinegar
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda mixed in 1 C milk

Beat egg and sugar.  Add all other ingredients except milk and baking soda, mix well and then add milk mixture.

Pour into 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until pudding is firm.  Remove from oven and prick with a fork.

While the pudding is in the oven, prepare the sauce.

1 C sugar
1/2 C boiling water
1 C milk, evaporated milk or heavy cream
1/4 pound butter
1 t vanilla extract

Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved.  While still warm, pour over pudding.

Return to oven and cook for 2-3 more minutes.  (Set a timer or you may forget about it in there, don't ask why I know this.)

Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard (or both, as I like it.  Really, at this point there is no reason to even pretend this recipe is low fat or healthy in any way.)

1/2 C sugar
3 T cornstarch
1/2 t salt
4 egg yolks
3 C milk
2 T butter or margarine
2 t vanilla extract

Bring the first 5 ingredients to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly (OK, so I never whisk anything constantly.  Honestly, who has time to stand over the stove for 20 minutes whisking something the entire time.  I would just whisk every few minutes or so and make sure it's not burning.)  Boil and whisk until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.   At this point you can either serve it over the pudding, or chill in the fridge.  You may want to lay heavy duty plastic wrap on the surface if you are going to let it chill, unless you like pudding skin singles.

While I was searching for custard recipes, I came across a recipe for Chocolate Malva Pudding.  Now, I am a firm believer in getting as much chocolate into your dessert as possible, so I can't imagine that adding chocolate to my favorite dessert would make it anything other than delectable.

I haven't tried this recipe yet, but it looks so delicious that I thought my fellow chocolate lovers would be happy to know that there is a chocolate version.  If you make this, please let me know how it turns out!

Chocolate Malva Pudding
(I converted this from a recipe that used metric measurements, that's why the amounts are slightly strange.)

1 1/2 C heavy cream
Slightly less than 3/4 C sugar
1/2 C butter
1/4 C cocoa powder

Mix all sauce ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring.  Boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat and set aside.

1 1/4 C self rising flour
2 T apricot jam
2 T butter
1 t baking soda mixed in 1/2 C plus 1 t milk
5 1/2 T sugar
1 egg
1 T plus 1 t white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg and beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in apricot jam.

Stir together flour and salt and add to butter, sugar, egg mixture.  Stir and then add in milk mixture, mixing well.  Stir in vinegar.

Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. 

Pour 1/2 of sauce over unbaked pudding.  Cover the pudding with foil and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Pour remaining sauce over half baked pudding and bake uncovered for 10-15 more minutes or until middle of pudding is set.

Serve with ice cream and or custard and or whipped cream.




  1. I'd bet that come from the British "pudding" which is any sweet course served after a meal. Especially since it matches several of my pudding recipes.

    Custard is a staple here too :)

  2. The wookie is correct. The South African word for "dessert" IS pudding. Nothing fancy about it; fruit with milk on top, rice pudding, a scoop of ice cream with Milo on top, and a slice of cake would all be called puddings in South Africa.

    I always assumed Malva was the name of the woman who invented this pudding. Wikipedia says it is named for a wine served with it, but also mentions the "woman's name" theory. Pick your favorite.