Cake (South African) Men Like

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 into 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 a 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 trio's 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 for 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.

Completely decadent.

Here is the recipe we made...courtesy of 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.


  1. Okay, I HAD to comment on this. Seeing as I now consider myself at least a half an expert on Malva Pudding. You HAVE to try this recipe I'm giving you, found it on Africa This is Why I Live Here (like them on Facebook, they'll provide free daily laughs). It's good without the Amarula if you don't have any (you probably won't), but it is diviiiiine (spoken with a South African accent) when you add it. And yes, a vanilla sauce (thin custard) is also a great accompaniment. And yes, I can also wistfully reminisce about Woolie's and their great great assortment.

    This malva pudding is a traditional South African favourite recipe with a twist: Amarula sauce.
    Serves 8


    Malva pudding:
    • 1 egg
    • 250 ml sugar (220 g)
    • 1 tbs smooth apricot jam
    • 2 tbs softened butter
    • 250 ml flour (160 g)
    • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • pinch of salt
    • 250 ml milk
    • 1 tsp vinegar

    Amarula sauce:
    • 125 ml melted butter (1 stick)
    • 200 ml cream
    • 125 ml caster sugar (1/2 cup)
    • 80 ml Amarula

    Beat egg and sugar until creamy, then add jam and butter, stirring to combine thoroughly.

    Sift together the dry ingredients and pour them into the egg-and-sugar mixture. Stir to combine.

    Pour in the milk slowly. When the mixture is combined, add the vinegar.

    Pour into a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 180°C for about 45 minutes.

    Remove foil and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

    To make the sauce, combine the butter, cream and caster sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce thickens – this will take a few minutes.

    Take the sauce off the heat and add the Amarula.

    Pour the sauce slowly over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven. Once the pudding is saturated with sauce, pour the remainder into a jar for guests to add. Serve immediately, with custard on the side.

    With Thanks :

  2. Sine- I was waiting for you. Was SURE you'd be by. Kinda of like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. I will try your recipe. :-)


    1. haha, I'm so easy to read! Can't wait to hear what you think of the recipe. I've dazzled South Africans here with it. But it could just be the alcohol...

  3. Not sure I've ever dazzled anybody. Ever. Maybe this is my ticket.

  4. Any one intimidated by metric-English conversions could try this recipe--

  5. We made this yesterday. It was wonderful, but I would recommend doubling or tripling the fruit jam.


Post a Comment

Thanks for subscribing!

Popular Posts