Beth’s perfect malva pudding


The first time I ever had malva pudding was in Colesberg, a tiny town in the Karoo, just about halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town. When Ty moved down to Cape Town, he began driving home to Nelspruit for the Christmas holidays, and it became a tradition of his to spend a night in Colesberg on his journey back to Cape Town. When Ty realized I was worthy, he brought me to Nelspruit to meet the parents and eventually let his tradition of stopping in Colesberg on his way home, become ours.

The first time Ty took me to Colesberg, many years ago, we stayed at Gordon’s Cottage and ate dinner at Die Plattelander, which was where I had my first and incredible malva pudding experience. I distinctly remember sitting in the back of the restaurant at a corner table, reading the dessert menu (because I always have room for dessert, especially while on holiday) and asked Ty what malva pudding was. He was shocked and appalled that I had never had this traditional Afrikaans delicacy and immediately ordered us a slice. A dark brown piece of cake arrived slathered in yellow custard. I took my first bite and instantly fell in love with the moist, spongy, cream-soaked cake, with a hint of apricot, and compulsory yellow custard. It was unlike any dessert I had ever had and soooo good!

Over the years, Beth has mentioned her infamous secret malva pudding recipe that I unfortunately have not had the pleasure of tasting (from her kitchen) for some crazy reason! However, a few weeks ago she decided to let me into her inner circle and emailed me the special recipe, which I have been saving for the perfect occasion. This occasion arose last weekend, when we were invited to what turned out to be an Afrikaans foody night which included waterblommetjie bredie (a traditional South African stew with lamb, edible water flows, and potatoes) served with sides of pickled beets, apricots, and gherkins, delicious fresh-herb garlic bread, salad, rice with black-eyed peas, and malva pudding.

When I arrived with my giant dish of malva pudding but not a drop of custard, I was met with looks of despair, which left me feeling worried. How could I have  forgotten such a crucial ingredient!? However, I had faith in Beth’s recipe and new she wouldn’t let me down! Despite their apprehension, everyone politely got a slice, took a bite, and was shocked that the malva pudding was so incredibly delicious even without the customary custard. The level of sweetness and moisture was to perfection and we all concluded that the custard was entirely unnecessary. It was certainly bittersweet to see it disappear before my eyes, as people went back for seconds and thirds, so I look forward to another special occasion that calls upon Beth’s perfect malva pudding.

Beth’s perfect malva pudding

Ingredients (serves 8-10 gigantic slices, perfect for a dinner party)

For the cake

  • 4 tbl margarine/butter
  • 2 cups browns sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tbl apricot jam
  • 2 tsp brown vinegar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
For the sauce
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
Directions
  1. preheat the oven to 180C
  2. in a large bowl, cream together the sugar and margarine
  3. mix in the eggs, jam and vinegar
  4. add the milk
  5. in a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients
  6. pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth
  7. pour the mixture into a deep dish pan
  8. bake in the oven for 1 hour
  9. when there is about 10 minutes to go, in a small pot, bring the water, sugar, and vanilla to a boil, turn the heat down, and stir in the cream
  10. when the hour is up, remove the cake from the oven, pour the sauce on top, and allow it to soak into the hot cake
  11. serve warm on its own (it’s that good) or with custard

Here is the Waterblommetjie Bredie recipe that was used for our delicious feast, straight from chef Sybrand and Adina’s kitchen.  Unfortunately we were so busy devouring our food that we forgot to take pictures of the bredie, so I found these ones online to give you a glimpse of how cool (and beautiful) it is to cook with flowers!

Chef Sybrand and Adina’s recipe pick

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The ultimate recipe


Hey foodies,

I am sorry that I have been so quiet with my posts lately!  Life has gotten hectic with work, school, and my new found love for climbing.  I promise to post a new recipe before the week is over, but in the meanwhile, here are some photos of what I’ve been up to outside of the kitchen…

Climbing

ingredients

  • beautiful scenery
  • good weather (anything except raining)
  • gear
  • awesome friends who bring the ropes and quick draws
  • screaming cheers of support
  • guts
  • adrenalin
  • lots of chalk for sweaty hands
  • sun screen
  • sun glasses
  • food in secure tupperware so that lizards don’t steal it
  • lots of water
  • arnica for excessive bruising (which my incredibly bruised legs need badly)
  • lotion for excessive hand scraping
Directions: mix all the ingredients together on a Saturday and have a rockin’ time!

Leading my first route in Silvermine

Paarl

Ty’s first bouldering problem…solved!

At the Taal monument

The view from Rocklands

Team Rocklands

My guru Fede

Beth’s Chicken Pie


Chicken pie makes me think of American gradeschool hot lunch meals, comfort food, winter time, boiling hot filling that burns your tongue, and peas and carrots (every kids’ arch nemeses).  However, when Beth, Ty’s mom, told me that she had made homemade chicken pie for her book club ladies and it was a huge success, I was immediately sold! Sold on the fact that Beth’s cooking is delicious, I had not contemplated chicken pie since being a child, the weather was perfectly chilly, and I love trying new recipes.

The next evening I made Beth’s cousin’s wife Elna’s chicken pie all the way from the KwaZulu-Natal.  The chicken pie filling, poured the intriguingly liquid crust on top, baked it in the oven, and was so pleased with the end result – savory and creamy chicken pie topped with a uniquely bread-like rather than flaky crust.  I wonder what Beth’s chicken pie looked like!

Beth’s Chicken Pie

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic or a few shakes of garlic powder
  • 2 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken cubed
  • dash of paprika
  • dash of white pepper
  • 250g chopped brown mushrooms
  • 2-3 stalks chopped spring onions
  • 2 stalks chopped leeks
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tbl butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 chicken broth
  • 11/2 tbl maizena paste

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup and 1 tsp milk
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 110g flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • a small handful of chopped spring onions
  • one thinly sliced onion ring

Directions

  1. preheat the oven to 210C
  2. saute the garlic and onions in oil and cook the chicken on high until browned
  3. add the butter, mushrooms, spring onions, leeks, some salt & pepper, a dash of paprika, and a dash of white pepper and cook for about 10 minutes
  4. pour in the white wine, chicken broth, and milk and bring to a boil
  5. reduce the heat, slowly add the maizena paste while stirring, and cook on low heat for another 5 minutes
  6. in a separate bowl, whisk all the pie crust ingredients together excluding the onions (it should be very liquidy)
  7. pour the chicken filling into a pie dish and gently and evenly spread the pie crust mixture on top
  8. sprinkle onion circles and spring onions on top of the crust mixture
  9. bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned