malva pudding

Going nuts….Coconut Tart meets Malva Pudding!

Going nuts....coconut tart meets Malva Yudhika Sujanani

Going nuts….coconut tart meets Malva Pudding….by Yudhika Sujanani

I have been going nuts over Malva pudding…it’s never happened to me before but lately it’s been malva this and malva that! And lashings of home-made, old-fashioned creme anglaise too! It is too hard to resist and one of the few things to look forward to when the Jozi chill sets in.

I hosted a dinner party a few weeks ago and then made a classic Malva pudding, a few days later on the Italian inspired episode of Sugar ‘n Spice, I threw in a few generous glugs of Frangelico while making a chocolate version. Sugar ‘n Spice goes live on The Home Channel in just a few days….We kick off on Monday at 2pm on DSTv’s Channel 176…so set the PVR and be sure to catch the first episode!

I was working on Ramadan sweet treats and in a complete moment of madness it was a ‘coconutty’ Malva sauce over a classic Greek tart! It is just pure decadence and dead easy to make. It can be served warm, room temperature or zapped in the microwave for a few seconds. It may be served with ice cream or custard but I had two diamonds and retreated to bed for the rest of the arvie, declaring I was in a food coma! It wasn’t just the tart, you see…it was also the other tastings that were going on this past Sunday…Persian Style Koresht with Chicken, Saffron Kebabs and and and….you can find these recipes in the Post Newspaper which is out today!

This recipe will have coconut lovers in heaven…the coconut milk in the malva sauce leaves the tart super moist and utterly decadent! I kept the batter quite simple, opting let the tart ooze with coconutty aromas but you can spice it up with lemon zest, cinnamon or ground cardamom. I used Mae Ploy Coconut milk for this recipe but you may also use a good substitute like Spar Branded Coconut Cream…it has a yellow label and costs around R24. If you love the recipes, please leave a comment and do click ‘follow’ to ensure the latest recipes are sent through to you via email…it’s lovely to hear from you, your food stories and hints and tips…it also keeps me in the writing in the right direction!

A few slices of coconut malva tart down...a few more to go!

A few slices of coconut malva tart down…a few more to go!

Greek Inspired Coconut Malva Tart


185g soft butter
250ml sugar
5ml vanilla essence
3 large eggs
250ml cake flour
15ml baking powder
500ml desiccated coconut
250 full cream milk, room temperature
Optional flavours: Lemon zest, 5ml cinnamon or 5ml ground cardamom can be added to the batter.

Coconut Sauce
250ml sugar
250ml water
250ml coconut milk
2,5ml vanilla essence
60g butter
Pistachio nuts, to garnish

Here’s how:
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Grease and line a 10 inch loose bottom pie tin with butter.
Using a hand held electric or free standing mixer, cream the butter until light and gradually add in the sugar.
Add the vanilla essence and continue beating until the creamed mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl regularly.
When the sugar granules should dissolve slightly, add the eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of cake flour. Beat well after each egg.
Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in the coconut.
Add the dry ingredients and milk to the creamed butter, alternating to prevent the mixture from becoming to thick.
Scoop the batter into a prepared tin and bake for 55 – 60 minutes.
The tart should be deep golden in colour and a skewer should come out clean when tested. Leave the tart in the tin to cool slightly and slice into diamonds.

Prepare the sauce: Dissolve the water and sugar in an AMC pan. Add the coconut milk, vanilla essence and butter. Bring to the boil until a thin syrup forms and lightly coats the back of a spoon. Pour the hot sauce over the warm tart while it is still in the tin.

Leave to soak and place a pistachio in the centre of each diamond.


A Freedom Day Feast

South Africans celebrate Freedom Day on the 27th April.  This year I will be celebrating Freedom Day by feasting with family and friends.  The idea of marking the day with a feast came to me while reading Anna Trapido’s book, Hunger for Freedom.  The book also reminded me of South Africa’s food heritage and particularly Madiba’s love of all things spicy – pickles, breyani and even crab curry are just some of the recipes featured in the book.  There are many stories that are beautifully written – stories that tell us about people, the food they prepared and the meals they shared.

Indian food has long played an important part in the development of a South African food culture.  Our nation’s love of strong spicy flavours and chilli is part of our heritage.  Everywhere you go in South Africa, there is Peri Peri, Garlic, Chutney, Dips and generally robust flavours.  Those of you who have travelled widely will know that this is not always the case in other countries.

Try to find a traditional Durban Curry in India – you can’t!  And don’t think that South African Indians grew up on Rogan Josh, Korma and Vindaloo – we grew up eating curry and rice!  Ever been to an Indian wedding – I just know that you were served breyani, breyani and more breyani cooked in the biggest pot you have ever seen.  My point is that South African food is not based on fancy schmancy recipes, but rather on good wholesome spicy food.

We grew up eating curry cooked in AMC pots every day, but every now and then one of the many great cooks in the neighbourhood would break out with something different for example Malva Pudding, Milk Tart and Bobotie.  It was always like a breath of fresh air, and although we might have immediately gone back to our Durban curries, the memory of those ‘adventures’ has always stayed with me.  I still try to relive those adventures in my cooking, although Durban Curry will always have a special place in my heart.

Here are two of recipes that I will be preparing for my Freedom Day Feast….

Crayfish Curry - perfect for the Freedom Day feast

One of Madiba’s favourites, Crayfish Curry – this is how I make it!


12 medium sized crayfish tails, deveined

50ml sunflower oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

7,5ml coarse salt

Curry leaves, if you have them

15ml freshly crushed garlic

30ml Curry Me Home Red Chilli Powder

6 – 8 ripe tomatoes (I used the 1 and a half tins of Spar Whole Peeled Tomatoes)

5ml Curry Me Home Ground Cumin

10ml Curry Me Home Ground Coriander

2,5ml turmeric

5ml sugar

2 sprigs of curry leaves

Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

If you are using fresh tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water.  Remove the skins and chop.  I used the tinned variety for this recipe simply because I was out of ripe tomatoes and the ones in the veggie basket were too firm to make up a good sauce.  Chop the tinned tomatoes and remove the hard centre.

Heat the sunflower oil on medium.  Add the onions, salt and curry leaves.  Saute until the onion is light golden brown before adding the garlic.  Saute the garlic for a few seconds until fragrant and then add the red chilli powder.  Stir for 5 seconds and then add the tomatoes.  Cook until the tomatoes soften and add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and sugar.  Reduce the heat and simmer for until the sauce thickens slightly.  Add the crayfish tails and simmer until the shells change colour.  When the tails curl slightly and the meat is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and add curry leaves.  Add the fresh coriander and serve with basmati rice.

Yudhika’s tips:

I leave the crayfish in the shell – it adds more flavour to the sauce.

A sweet ending...

Yum Yum Malva Pudding

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients2 eggs
200ml castor sugar
250ml cake flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
2ml salt
20ml butter, melted
100ml full cream milk
50ml fresh cream
15ml apricot jam
5ml vinegarMalva Sauce
250ml cream
125g butter
125ml castor sugar
125ml boiling waterIce cream or custard, to serveHere’s how:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Grease an oven proof dish with non stick spray.  Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda twice.  Stir the salt into the sifted dry ingredients.  Combine the melted butter, full cream milk and the cream.  Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl.  Use a hand held beater, and beat the eggs while gradually adding the castor sugar.  Continue beating the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the sifted dry ingredients, alternating with the milk and cream mixture.  Lastly add the apricot jam and the vinegar.  Beat well ensuring the mixture is smooth.  Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and set.

For the sauce:
Combine the cream, butter, castor sugar and boiling water.  Simmer the sauce on low for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens slightly.  Pour the hot sauce over the baked pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.

To serve:
Serve the malva pudding warm and topped with ice cream or custard.

Yudhika’s tips
Use 150ml full cream milk instead of a combination of full cream milk and fresh cream for the pudding.
Whipped cream can be served with the pudding.