Malva pudding, pumpkin ice cream

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Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About
Staffords’ Quality Foods / National Team / Rust en Vrede

This malva we used to make for Spur countrywide. Literally 15 000 units per day. I was also addicted to the stuff. I used to come in in the morning and eat a malva straight out the freezer with my coffee. Because of all the sugar they wouldn’t freeze but would be really sticky and chewy.


Malva pudding

  • 15 ml unsalted butter
  • 250 ml castor sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 15 ml apricot jam – softened by heating if necessary
  • 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 250 ml milk
  • 250 g cake flour
  • pinch salt
  • 20 ml brown vinegar

Malva pudding sauce


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare an 18 × 9 × 8cm baking tray by lining it with silicon paper. Cream the butter and castor sugar. Add the egg and beat well, about 12 minutes – this is important to achieve a crumbly texture. Beat in the apricot jam.

Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk. Sift the flour and salt together and add the creamed mixture alternately with the milk mixture. Lastly, stir in the vinegar. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Cover with aluminium foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Prepare the sauce while the malva pudding is baking, by placing all of the ingredients in a pot, bringing to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the pudding when it comes out of the oven.

To assemble, spoon a 60 g slice of warm malva pudding from the tray onto each plate. Arrange 1 g naartjie skin preserve and 22 g pumpkin preserve with a brandy snap around the pudding, and finish with a 5 g quenelle of pumpkin ice cream and 4 marigold petals.

They say that if you need something done, you should ask a busy person. As though we weren’t busy enough with the School and Extreem Kwizeen, we decided to open a restaurant. Leinster Hall was located just behind the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. It was an iconic space in the old Cape Town Club.
I’ll never forget those evenings, after teaching at the school all day, we’d cook at Leinster Hall at night. Wynand would be cooking and I would be plating and calling orders. I hadn’t set foot in a restaurant kitchen since I had left Peers. I had been missing that energy all along without realising it. The rush of service reignited my passion and my confidence was up; it was time to get back into the restaurant business.
Just when I thought we were at full capacity with everything we were doing, Herman Coertze, a majority shareholder of Meerendal Wine Estate, approached us to work with him. We opened a restaurant and a brasserie, relocated the cooking school to the farm, and even renovated one of the old buildings into a chapel. I had been on the radio for four years and had engaged a large part of the Afrikaans community in the Durbanville area where Meerendal is located. The power of radio was evident. We were literally full from the day we opened. Meerendal flourished and soon became a popular venue for weddings and other functions. It was an amazing time.

I felt invincible. Everything was going well – the cooking school, the catering business and the new restaurants at Meerendal. Herman saw the potential of where we were headed and decided to buy the restaurants. He offered me a position as the general manager of the farm. This is where I learned one of the most important lessons in life. Stick to what you fucking know – and don’t run an office like a kitchen. This experience would be invaluable in my next chapter. I owe Deon Adriaanse an immense debt of gratitude for his guidance and humility.

It was around this time, with all of these ventures running simultaneously and things at fever pitch, that I returned to Namibia for the first time in many years. It was also at this time that I rediscovered my love for motorbikes. The freedom of the open road provided a break from the stresses of the city, and this is how I came to reconnect with my home.