A few weeks ago a couple of friends and I were having coffee. In strolls the husband of one of the women accompanied by his best friend. The three had recently returned from a trip home to South Africa. We were chatting about luggage restrictions and what you can bring in to South Africa (not bars of Dove soap- it will be confiscated) and what you can bring out -not any wood products for fear of woodlands in the receiving country becoming infected with non-native bad things- like fungus I suppose. I have no idea. I'm a guidance counselor and a blogger, not an immigration/customs officer. Nor do I care. I was in it for the accent.
And the subject of food came up. This trios favorite dessert? Malva pudding. Apparently, you can buy great tins of it in Woolworth's. Get a spoon and dive in. They spoke so longingly, lovingly, and wistfully of Malva Pudding, I had to know what it was. What dessert could bring a grown man to his knees?
After googling "Melba" pudding (South African accents can be tricky) without any success, I gave up. A week or two later, my friend from South Africa posted a recipe- MALVA Pudding. Getting closer. A Friday afternoon with not much to do, became reinvented as a South Africa/American bake off. Two deep dish apple pies and two Malva puddings.
Pies seem to be okay. They are baking. Nothing too exciting. But the pudding was a concoction of sugar, eggs, vinegar, apricot jam, and a bunch of other ingredients. Popped it in the oven. Out came a dry cake. What?! This COULD NOT POSSIBLY be what they were excited about. Impossible. So, we dumped Amaretto over it. Nah. Still problematic. Amaretto can fix a lot but not this cake.
Back to the recipe. A closer inspection revealed we missed a step. A big step. A step that turns dry cake into cake men like. A loose custard sauce was to be made and the cake soaked in it. Whip up the sauce, drench the cake in it. Let it sit.
Now the dry cake has been transformed into a pudding that is lovely and rich. For an extra boost in calories (in case you can still see your toes and would prefer you couldn't), serve it with a thicker version of the custard sauce.
Picture credit: http://carlamcmahon.co.za/?s=malva+
Here is the recipe we made...from The Pretty Blog.
You will see two recipes for the pudding. We liked the second best as it was lighter and absorbed the custard sauce really well.
So, there you have it. Dessert to make a man from South Africa swoon. Could come in handy. You just never know.
The pie was to make my husband swoon. I will keep you posted.