What’s cooking today: Orange malva pudding

What’s cooking today: Orange malva pudding
Tony Jackman’s orange malva pudding. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Spongy, moist and moreish. To a South African, malva pudding has become a beloved tradition, one mouthful of which takes us back to our childhood kitchens.

The origins of malva pudding are vague and much debated in pudding circles, but what we do know is that it has only been widely popular in South Africa since circa the early 1970s. Some sources date it to early Dutch colonial times but, if that were truly the case, there would surely be mentions of it in the old Cape cookery books, which there are not. Even C Louis Leipoldt did not mention it.

But all that matters not. What does matter is that we relish this wonder of a pudding and bring it to our tables as often as we can. It is a joy to make and so, so rewarding.

We can make the traditional version, of course. But there is no reason not to switch it up in this way or that. Like this orange malva pudding, which also has hints of spice in it.

(Serves 4)


Dry ingredients:

120 g cake flour

5 ml/ 1 tsp baking powder

5 ml/ 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

200 g granulated sugar

2 Tbsp crushed almonds

1 tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp ground ginger

A pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:

15 g butter

Butter for greasing the dish

1 egg

15 ml/ 1 Tbsp orange marmalade, without the strips of peel

250 ml full cream milk

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

For the sauce:

250 ml cream

3 Tbsp/ 45 g butter

200 g granulated sugar

50 ml boiling water

A pinch of salt

90 ml Cointreau or Triple Sec


Preheat the oven to 180℃ or 190℃ for a gas oven. Grease a suitable ovenproof dish (not too shallow as the pudding will rise) with butter.

Sift the flour into a bowl. Stir in the baking powder, salt, bicarb, sugar, crushed almonds, turmeric and ginger.

In another bowl, beat together the egg and marmalade, but exclude the strips of peel from the marmalade. Beat in the milk, and stir in the zest and orange juice.

Stir the wet ingredients thoroughly into the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into a fairly deep dish. 

This is key: the dimensions of your dish will affect your cooking time. The shallower, the quicker, or the deeper, the longer it will need to cook.

In a shallower dish, start checking for whether it’s done after 20 to 25 minutes. I used a deep dish that was not very wide, so it took as much as 40 minutes to cook right to the centre. When checking, give the dish a little shake to see if there is a liquid wobble at the centre. If it’s clearly still runny, put it back in for a few minutes longer.

While it’s cooking, make your sauce. Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring it to a simmer on a low heat while whisking gently but constantly. It will begin to meld into a smooth sauce after a while. Keep it warm.

Pour the hot sauce over the pudding when it comes out of the oven. DM

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

This dish is photographed in a bowl by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.


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