Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good morning, welcome, have some pudding

Hallo! After spending many months and far too many hours reading about fabulous food, looking at beautiful photos, and meeting lovely new people, I've decided that this is something I'd like to get more involved with. Mind you, not that I'm particularly good at writing, or photography, or cooking, for that matter. In short, this blog will probably turn out to be one of those "What was I thinking?!" ideas in my life. However, I thought about it a bit, then some more, wrote down a few phrases, and here we are.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Adele, and I am a South African living in the mountains just outside Melbourne, Australia. I am married to my wonderful Australian husband, aka the Fabulous Man. We have a 6 month old baby girl, who is the cleverest and most beautiful baby ever born. All my family is back in South Africa, and I miss them terribly, but I have the most wonderful family-in-law a girl could ask for, so I don't feel like an orphan. Not much, anyway.

Even though my mother tongue is Afrikaans, I will write in English to make this blog more accessible. Please feel free to comment in any language, however, if it's in a language other than Afrikaans, English or French, I won't understand you. Sorry about that.

"What's up with the name?", I hear you ask. For all our non-South African readers, a brief explanation. Biltong is probably South Africa's most popular export after Charlize Theron. Air-dried, spiced meat, mostly beef, but also made with other meat like kudu, impala, or ostrich. You often hear it likened to jerky, but don't be fooled. It's nothing like it. Think prosciutto, only much, much better. Listen to any group of South African expats talking, and you'll notice the conversation soon turn to where the best local supply of the good stuff is.

However, for some inexplicable reason, it's not that popular among our international friends. I'm yet to meet the Aussie who doesn't smile weakly while they're politely chewing, making vague yummy noises, then ignoring the biltong in favour of the nachos for the rest of the evening. There must be a biltong gene.

Now, I know you are expecting a recipe featuring biltong. Some other time, I promise. For my first entry I've decided to make a popular South African dessert with that other wonderful South African export, Amarula (so wonderful, in fact, that it deserves it's own post at a later stage). I always prefer sweet over savoury, and a baked pudding is my idea of food heaven. This one is covered with a sweet creamy sauce, with some Amarula in my version, and baked in little souffle dishes. You can make it in a big dish, but I bought my souffle dishes a couple of years ago, used it once, and only rediscovered them when we moved to our new house last year. As we're in a recession, my contribution will be to use my dessert dishes more then once. So there you go. Do what you must.

The recipes floating around the internet for Amarula malva pudding are variations on this, combining Amarula and cream which you serve with your normal mava pudding . I wanted the Amarula to be part of the pudding itself, and used some of it in the sauce. I came across a recipe for malva puddings in the current Food & Home Entertaining, which asks for the sauce to be poured over the pudding right at the start, and then again 30 minutes into the cooking time. I did this with half of my puddings to see if I liked it. The tops of these puddings were all nice and sticky and caramelised, and I will be making it this way from now on.

In the end I didn't have cream at all, but I have to warn you that it is the first thing the Fabulous Man asked for when handed his dessert. Maybe have some cream on hand if you like it, or in case our husbands have the same taste in puddings.

Individual Amarula malva puddings
Serves 6

150ml evaporated milk
100ml Amarula (or use Bailey's if you can't find Amarula. Or all evaporated milk)
100g unsalted butter
100g soft brown sugar
60ml hot water

250g sugar
15g butter
1 egg
60ml smooth apricot jam
250g self-raising flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
1 cup milk
10ml vinegar (I only had balsamic, which worked fine)
10ml vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Butter 6 individual ramekins, or one big dish.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and heat. Continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and the sauce starts to caramelise. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Beat together the butter and the sugar for the pudding until smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and the apricot jam, and beat until pale.

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the salt.

Combine the milk, vinegar and vanilla extract.

Alternately beat the flour mixture and the milk  into the egg mixture until combined.

Pour the batter into the moulds, cover with hallf the sauce and bake fot 30min. (Alternatively keep the sauce separate and pour everything over the puddings when done)

Remove from the oven and pour over the remaining sauce. Continue to bake until the centres of the puddings are firm, about 15min more.

Serve with cream.


  1. Yum. Have Amarula. Will Bake.
    I tried making Malva pudding (cake) last Xmas for my family here,and it was not well received. I'm going to try your individual portions and force-feed them down my family until they like it. Kudos on using the Amarula, I never would have thought of that!
    P.S. I'm Zambia and Botswana bred =)

  2. Hi Ann. Nice to meet a fellow African! I used to be all offended when my husband didn't like the South African dishes I cooked for him, now I just have it all myself, which is much better anyway.