Our family pays special tribute to our dearest friend, Maggie Pepler who would have turned 89 years of age on May the 1st. She was not only a friend but in many instances a mother to many. She taught us about caring for those who have less, how to enjoy the small simple things in life, to appreciate nature and to be non-judgemental. Her cooking and Wednesday morning classes will long be remembered by the few who had the privileged to attend. Maggie was the inventor of the now well known Malva pudding which is legendary in South Africa and after 50 years, feature on most restaurant desert menus. Many diversions of the original recipe have been tested but without a doubt, the original as Maggie has written it down, proofed to be the best. Serve with thin homemade custard and ice cream.
For the batter: 250 ml flour, 15 ml bicarbonate of soda, 250 ml sugar, 1 egg, 15 ml apricot jam, 15 ml vinegar, 15 ml melted butter, 250 ml milk.
For the sauce: 125 ml cream, 125 ml milk, 250 ml sugar, 125 ml hot water, 125 g butter.
Method: Preheat oven at 180°C. Grease, with butter, an ovenproof glass or porcelain container, approximately 30cm x 20cm x 5cm. Do not use an aluminium, enamel or any metal container. Cut a piece of aluminium foil large enough to cover dish during baking and grease it well with butter on one side.
Sift the flour and the bicarb into a bowl and stir in the sugar. In another bowl beat the egg very well and add the remaining ingredients (excluding those for the sauce) one by one, beating well between each addition. Using a wooden spoon beat the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, cover with the foil, greased side down and bake for 45 minutes in the present oven until well risen and brown and for a further five minutes without the foil if not sufficiently brown. If not sufficiently baked the dessert will not absorb all the sauce thus making it stodgy. When the pudding is almost done, heat the ingredients for the sauce, ensuring that you melt all the sugar and butter. When the pudding is cooked, remove from the oven, take off the foil and pour over the sauce. The pudding will absorb all the sauce. Serve hot with a little thin cream or vanilla custard. Best served warm or at room temperature, though warm is best.