Summer Gifts: Kari’s Malva Pudding

Even in the depths of summer, when peaches, blueberries, and raspberries are at their peak, you can sometimes get a gnawing craving for a sweet, stick, warm cake. It may be too hot to turn on the oven to make one – so what do you do?

Get a Kari’s Malva Pudding.

Malva Pudding is a South African treat: a warm, caramel apricot pudding that is much like a spongy moist cake. Think of it like a sophisticated treat for the nursery set in Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs.

According to Kari, who makes her cakes in Northern California: “Malva Pudding is a well-known dessert that originated in the Western Cape in South Africa and was first made by an Afrikaans woman named Malva. It is the favorite dessert of Nelson Mandela, and Art Smith (Oprah Winfrey‘s personal chef) served Malva Pudding during the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy‘s first Christmas dinner.

Kari’s version comes frozen in a disposable pan. You heat it briefly in the oven (though you can eat it cold) and serve it with vanilla ice cream or custard or crème fraiche. She makes a chocolate version that has a light taste of cocoa, but Super Chef and a table-full of ravenous guests liked the plain version best. It’s caramel and buttery flavor is just rich enough to be a special treat, but not too heavy for a hot summer evening.

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