Literally translated as mallow pudding, this [malva pudding] is a well-loved traditional South-African pudding. It is seriously sweet and seriously rich but oh-so-mouth-meltingly-delicious. I think every South-African has fond memories of malva pudding, either lovingly made by their ouma (grandmother), or on the poedingtafel (pudding table) alongside jelly and custard at the annual kerkbasaar (church fete). I can’t remember my own granny ever making this but I do have fond memories of eating it at church fetes, visiting my aunts and yes even at the university residences.
The description of malva pudding above was written by my Taste & Create partner, Marisa, from the South African cooking blog, The Creative Pot. Most of us here in the United States (myself included, before this week) have never heard of malva pudding – but it’s worth learning about!
Wikipedia explains that “Malva Pudding is a sweet pudding of Dutch origin, usually served hot with custard and/or ice-cream. It is made with apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture… The pudding’s name is derived from Malvacea wine from Madeira. The dessert and dessert wine used to be served together after main course at Cape tables.”
That last sentence was the key to my Name That Dessert quiz. A big congrats goes out to GiGi who guessed it correctly and even used the South African name, malvapoeding! Gigi, please email me with your address so we can send you your prize!
I decided (no shock to anyone) to make my malva pudding in cupcake form. Like bread pudding, the malva pudding cupcakes were definitely best when fresh out of the oven. However, the same effect can be achieved by microwaving the cupcake for around twenty seconds prior to eating (be sure not to use foil wrappers).
The malva pudding cupcakes’ apricot flavor was practically non-existent (which could be good or bad, depending on your thoughts on apricots). The flavor was simply warm and sweet. Even though I’d never tried malva pudding before, it evoked happy homey memories. Sometimes the simplest flavors can provide the most pleasure.
Malva Pudding Cupcake Recipe
I served the malva cupcakes with Ciao Bella Tahitian Vanilla Gelato. Because of the neutral taste of the cupcake, however, any ice cream flavor would work. Pick your favorite! Oh – and don’t forget to serve the cupcake with some Malvasia wine from Madeira. It really was a perfect pairing. FYI – The bottle may not say Malvasia. Look for something labeled Malmsey. You can read all about Malvasia wine over at Wikipedia, my best friend.