Malvapoeding A.K.A Marshmallow Pudding

Unlike Italian and French cooking, South African cuisine features on restaurant menus very seldom. When will the world catch up?

Unfortunately, I have to come clean and admit that I’m not on expert on my native country’s food. Some of the dishes I simply don’t like. My parents aren’t hardcore traditionalists and we regularly ate out at restaurants serving international cuisines. What we did eat regularly was Frikadelle, Bobotie, Breyani and of course like every South African family we enjoyed regular braai’s. (The recipes will appear on Greedy Gourmet eventually!) At restaurants my favourite after dinner drink was and still is Don Pedro. So there still is a bit of patriotism left in me!

It’s only after I arrived in the UK that my interest in cooking piqued. Or should I say basically I was forced to start cooking when I realised we were surrounded by a plethora of terrible restaurants, not to mention the hideous prices charged for food that is mediocre at best. Now I’m keen to learn more about my country’s food and every time I return home I browse all the book stores and buy the traditional ones I can get my hands on. Back in the UK when I get homesick I’ll page through my treasured books and make myself something that reminds me of the old days, which seems to help things.

South Africa’s fare is a mishmash of cultures from all across the world, e.g. Dutch, French, English, Portuguese, Bengalese, Java and Malaysian, plus the influences of the indigenous people. There is a recipe for everyone! But if you are hesitant to try new things from such an exotic destination I strongly suggest you attempt this dessert. It will conquer the heart of even the most non-adventurous eater!

P.S. This recipe has been submitted to the Monthly Mingle event and the theme is South Africa! It also joins the line-up to celebrate Africa Day.

Download and/or print the recipe! Click HERE.

Malvapoeding a.k.a Marshmallow Pudding
Serves 10
Preparation Time: 15 minutes – Cooking Time: 45 mins
  • 250ml (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) smooth apricot jam
  • 185g (6½ oz) plain flour
  • 5ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
  • 5ml (1 tsp) white vinegar
  • 125ml (½ cup) milk
  • 250ml (1 cup) double cream
  • 125ml (½ cup) butter
  • 125ml (½ cup) white sugar
  • 125ml (½ cup) sherry
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C /350°F/gas mark 4.
  2. Beat the caster sugar and eggs until fluffy and light.
  3. Beat in the apricot jam.
  4. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together 3 times.
  5. Melt the butter with vinegar and milk over low heat.
  6. Fold the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternately into the egg mixture and pour the batter into a greased ovenproof dish.
  7. Bake the pudding for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Meanwhile, place the cream, butter, sugar and sherry into a saucepan and stir over moderate heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  9. Remove the pudding from the oven, pierce it in a number of places with a skewer and pour the hot sauce over it immediately.
  10. Serve hot or cold with cream.
  • Substitute the sherry with orange juice or water if you prefer.
  • If there are sherry-averse eaters in the crowd, serve the sauce separately from the pudding to give them a choice.
  • You can also serve the pudding with custard or ice-cream.

Other South African recipes on the web:

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  1. says

    My grandma used to make the best, but your malvapoeding looks great as well!

    Are you, perchance, also familiar with post toastiepoeding? It’s my absolute FAVORITE, and the recipe is, of course, from a Huisgenoot cook book.

  2. says

    This looks great – I think you did the only sweet for Africa Day. But I like that it doesn’t seem too sweet – just right with coffee or tea.

  3. says

    Hey, I just saw this on Casey’s blog-it looks excellent. I didn’t notice that any marshmallow ( the real stuff ) is in it. Is it just called marshmallow bread due to it’s texture?

  4. says

    Thanks: Veggie Belly, Marisa, Casey, Jeanne, Nina, The Duo Dishes, Trix, Stella and Delicieux!

    Suus: I’ve never heard of toastiepoeding. Care to tell me more??

    Stella: Yeah, the name is confusing, isn’t it? I think you’re right that marshmallow refers to the texture of the dessert.

  5. says

    I am posting some info on the name and history of this pudding toward the end of this week. The name actually has nothing to do with the texture of the pudding, it’s just some translation gone wrong and people adding their own little tales leading to the “marsmallow” part of the name.

    Also posting the “secret” ultimate Malva Pudding recipe. I think every person here in Cape Town has it, but somehow never shares it. It’s the old Boschendal recipe from 20 odd years ago and it gives you the most deliciously moist and syrupy pudding. You’ll never use another recipe again. (Sorry if I’m stepping on toes Michelle)

    Look out on the 17th/18th. My research is almost done 😉

  6. says

    I believe the “toastiepoeding” Suus is referring to is what’s actually called a “Post toastie poedding”. Back in the day, corn flakes were called or referred to as Post Toasties. Someone developed a pudding where you mix the corn flakes, egg, milk, coconut, apricot jam… bake this “mess”, and it miraculously turns into the most wondefully delicious pudding with a lovely custard layer, the cornflakes forming a nice “puddingy” layer and the coconut forming a nice crisp, nutty layer on top. I’ll go scratch out my recipe and post it sometime for interest sake 😉

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