This recipe is especially for those in-betweeners who are not huge on desserts but appreciate the rich dark notes of caramel.
Malva Pudding is an African cake originally made with apricot jam, with a hot cream sauce poured on top. It gets its name from malva or mallow, an African plant. In the past, the sap extracted from the plant’s root was whipped and used as a substitute for gelatin in making marshmallow.
The cake itself is slightly dry because it calls for very little butter but this only makes it ideal for soaking up the sauce which it is soaked in, just before serving. The result is a moist cake with notes of butter and caramel. It is also, for the benefit of most, a very forgiving recipe.
For my version of this pudding, I used palm jaggery two ways. I substituted the apricot jam with soft shavings of patali gur and then proceeded to use my precious stash of amar khamar’s nolen gur in my cream mix. To emulate flavors of a Bengali pithey and complete the “Bengalification” of this dessert, I added grated coconut, chopped cashews and rawa/sooji for texture.
For the wet mix:
- ¾ cup (170ml) milk
- ½ cup (100 gm) patali gur, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
For the dry mix:
- 1½ cups (200 gm) maida/flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp semolina (sooji/rawa)
- 2 tbsp cashews, chopped
For the sauce:
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup nolen gur
First, the cake.
Whisk all wet ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Toss all dry ingredients together in another bowl.
Now take half the dry mix and combine with the wet mix. Whisk briefly till smooth.
Fold in the remaining half of the dry mix into this mixture gently with a spatula.
Grease an 8” x 8” baking tin with butter and pour the cake mix into it.
Bake at 180 degrees Fahrenheit in a preheated oven for about 30 mins or till a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
For the sauce, put all ingredients in a sauce pan and warm it on a gentle flame while whisking to combine. Do not boil.
How to serve:
If you want to eat it immediately, pour the warm sauce on the cake till it is drenched, wait for a few minutes till the cake absorbs all the sauce and serve it.
If you are eating it later, warm the cake first in an oven or microwave, pour the warm sauce on top and serve.
Some vanilla ice cream with more nolen gur on top elevates this dessert.
Subhasree Basu runs a cloud kitchen called Hungry Cat Kitchen in Mumbai.
When she is not baking savory pies or cooking pork, she slaves after her cats Meowjit & Swamini who inspire her to become a better cat person every day.