South Africans use the word “puddings” for dessert, but this dessert is what Americans would typically think of as a kind of bread pudding. One of my favorite traditional puddings is their Malva Pudding (pronounced mull-fa). The only difficulty for some missionaries would be obtaining cream. Otherwise, this is made from simple ingredients.
First you make a simple cake, and then drench it in a warm sauce. It’s sooo good! You can’t really mess it up, unless perhaps you undercook the cake. Overcooking the cake is not really an issue, because the cream covers a multitude of sins.
2 heaped T. butter
6 heaped T. apricot jam (We joke that Afrikaners often use apricot jam or chutney in their recipes!) 😉
2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs and jam and beat together. Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately and stir into the mixture. Pour the batter into a greased 13×9 pan. Cover either with a lid or aluminum foil and bake at 375F for 30 minutes until the top is browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
2 c. cream
1 c. butter (or a bit less)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. hot water
Heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. You can prick holes in the top and sides to help the sauce soak in.
Afrikaners sometimes put some of the sauce on the side rather than in the cake for extra sauce, or they serve it with a bit of custard. Personally I enjoy Malva Pudding most when it’s moist with sauce, though–not dry. The cream sauce already inside makes it quite rich, but you might enjoy a small dollop of ice cream on top. The heat of the pudding makes the ice cream melt a bit, and it’s delicious on a cold night! You can bake the cake while dinner guests are eating dinner, so that it’s fresh and warm. Or do it ahead of time. It’s great cold or warm, leftover too!