Lazy entertaining

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What better to do on a warm, clear spring Saturday than to invite a friend over for braai – sorry, barbecue, because this is America – but whatever you call it, it involves steak raised on our own pasture, and a variety of delicious salady things. Of course, the dessert is unmistakably South African, and that’s what I want to share with you today – because it’s easy, scrumptious, and ideal for any but the hottest weather. Ladies and gentlemen of the kitchen, I give you…

Malva pudding!

Malva pudding, enriched with brandied fruit and served with cream!

Malva pudding, enriched with brandied fruit and served with cream!

In a small saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp butter, 1 tsp white vinegar and 1 cup milk.

While it’s heating, take 1 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp apricot jam and 1 egg, and beat well together.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, 1 tsp bicarb (aka baking soda), 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt.

Alternately add the dry ingredients and the heated liquids to the egg and sugar mixture, while stirring or beating slowly. Mix well.

Bake at 350 F (180 C) in a covered dish for 45-60 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle comes out dry. (Choose a baking dish that has at least an inch clear at the top after you pour in the batter, because you’ll need room to add the sauce.)

While it is baking, make the sauce. In a small saucepan heat 1 cup heavy cream, 6 oz (170 g) butter, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup hot water. Stir to mix, and do not allow them to boil.

When you remove the pudding from the oven, immediately pour on the hot sauce. (It can take a while to soak in. Be patient, and add all of it. This is what transforms the pudding from a mere cake to something irresistible!)

Serve hot or cold. I like it with plain unwhipped cream, but it’s also good with ice cream, custard or whipped cream.

A variation that I enjoy – and this is what I made today – is what I call “Christmas Malva Pudding”. Every year when I bake my Christmas cakes (dang, I could have sworn I’d given you my recipe, but apparently I forgot last year! That will have to wait until this November!) I end up with a whole lot of excess fruit mix. I pack this into bottles, glug in the brandy, and store it in the pantry. Every now and then I slosh in a bit more brandy to keep it happy. This makes a yummy addition to malva pudding (I add about 1 cup to the recipe above) and brownies (I guess I’ll have to share that recipe one day too!) More enthusiastic cooks than I could probably come up with a host of other recipes that would use it. Any that’s left over in November simply goes into the next batch of Christmas cakes.

Oh – and no, this is not remotely ketogenic. But when your diet choices are about lifestyle, not D.I.E.T, you can allow yourself some flexibility. Just don’t overdo it – because if your body is used to eating low-carb, something this rich and sweet will make you feel yuck. I plan to send the leftovers home with my guest today!

How are you celebrating the changing seasons? Do you have a favorite fall-back any-occasion guaranteed-winner dish that you like to serve?

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About Belladonna Took

Into my second half-century and still trying to figure out what to be when I grow up. Born South African, naturalized American, at constant risk of losing my balance and landing ass-first in the Atlantic. A wife, a mom, a daughter and sister, kind of a grandma. Until recently a full-time dog rescuer, now more concerned with rescuing myself. User of dog hair as accessory, decor and garnish. Technical writer, strategic thinker, occasional entrepreneur. Voiceless poet and storyteller. Born again Christ-follower and former missionary schoolteacher chewing on some uncomfortable questions. Ignorer of rules, challenger of assumptions, believer in miracles. Skeptical libertarian, equal opportunity despiser of politicians and assholes. Gonnabe gardener, wannabe beekeeper, Monsanto-hating tree-hugger. Morbidly obese chocaholic, with a horse I don't ride because I might break him, and if not he would probably break me.

23 responses »

  1. I love the comment about eating for diet instead of D.I.E.T in your last paragraph! I actually made a comment about this leaving work on Friday, but it wasn’t heard as spoken because … I think it’s strange for people to envision changing eating for reasons other than dress size?

    I’m adjusting my thinking on food a little right now, actually. I’m shifting from Whole30 (which involves no added sugars of an origin) to Autoimmune Protocol Paleo, which is very similar but does allow unprocessed sweeteners (like honey) in some desserts. I made some peppermint raspberry bark by these standards and, oh! It was lovely! I won’t eat it all the time (or the unpaleo ice cream et al I had), but will enjoy it sometimes. I’ll especially enjoy D’s disbelief that it’s Paleo. I hope the next treat we make together has a similar impact. 🙂

    Happy evening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really struggling to stay with the keto program this week. Getting all sugared up last weekend made me sick as a dog, and although I feel SO much better when I skip carbs and load up on fat, I’ve been in flat rebellion for the past few days. I eventually decided to give myself a break, stop keeping a record for a few days, and treat myself to something I enjoy. Having done so, I’m quite looking forward to getting back to a healthier style of eating tomorrow or Monday!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds like we’re in the exact same place! The more time I spend feeling not so good, the easier it is to make the transition to feeling good. Still need those deviations, though, and getting better at feeling OK about that. It really is all good, I think. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I love Malva pudding and was looking at a recipe just the other day. Yours is quite different and I may well give it a go when we have a dinner party in a couple of weeks’ time 🙂 We are enjoying lovely warm autumn days and in preparation for my son from another mother who now lives in the UK, am about to make a bobotie….

    Like

    • Hey, Rex – thanks for stopping by! Your blog looks fun, and I see we’re facing some similar challenges (I read your birthday blog from last year – how tough it is to compare where we ARE with where we expected to be!)

      Liked by 1 person

    • It really is one of my favorite desserts. For the amount of work (minimal), the results are unbelievably decadent. The sauce sort of thickens as it soaks in, so when you dish up you have this gooey layer of deliciousness at the bottom. YUM!

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