It’s not often we get to write 11/11/11 as the day’s date. It’s so special that even Americans get to write it the same way as the rest of the world. So I was thinking about what recipe to post to celebrate such as auspicious day. Then it came to me: Malva Pudding. Most of you are probably thinking, what the (insert expletive here) is that? If you aren’t, that means you are either South African or you’ve eaten in my house.
Malva pudding is a typically South African dairy dessert, available in just about every local restaurant. It’s a sticky, sweet and very delicious cake/dessert. My guests are always guessing when I put it on the table. It’s appearance is underwhelming at best, and really looks like something you aren’t sure you want to eat, so they are usually quite suspicious at first sight. Once they taste it, all concern flies out the window and they can’t stop eating it. The ingredients are simple, the taste is all in the method and the sauce is what makes all the difference. One of the many advantages of this dessert is that you never have to wonder how to store the leftovers.
Oh, and of course, what’s Malva Pudding got to do with today’s unusual date? Well, just look at the quantities in the ingredients. This is another reason I love this cake – you can easily memorize the recipe if you really need to.
Ingredients for the cake
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon of smooth apricot jam (it must be smooth – you can fish out the smooth parts of a chunky apricot jam if you can’t get smooth)
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon of butter
1 cup of milk
(now do you see why I’ve posted this today?)
Ingredients for the sauce
1/2 cup cream
90g (3oz) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup hot water
How to do it
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
2. In a mixer, beat the egg, sugar and jam on high for about 5 minutes, until it is creamy and slightly thickened.
3. Sift dry ingredients together
4. Add the milk to the egg mixture alternating with the dry ingredients.
5. Melt the butter and vinegar together
6. Add to the batter and mix well. Your batter will be quite runny – don’t worry.
7. Pour into well buttered baking dish of approximately 22 cm diameter (9 inches)
8. Cover with foil, making sure there are about 3 cm between the batter and the foil. (Tip: I spray the inside of the foil with non-stick spray in case the batter rises too high. This prevents the cake from sticking to the foil)
9. Bake for 50 minutes-1 hour. The cake is done when it has an even golden brown color to it – you may need to turn the dish around for an even color. (You must check it. I don’t think I have ever made this and baked the cake for the same period of time. It’s just one of those recipes).
10. Just before the cake is done, mix together all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and melt over low heat until the sugar is melted. Pour the sauce over the cake as soon as it come out of the oven. To ensure that the sauce doesn’t break the cake, instead of pouring the sauce directly from the pan, spoon it over the cake evenly with a large serving spoon.
11. Serve it warm if you can, and if you are really decadent, serve with vanilla ice cream. But it does extremely well all by itself and can be served room temperature as well.