In anticipation of National Braai Day on 24 September, we’re giving you a recipe each week courtesy of South African braai master, Jan Braai.

Some time in the late 1970s food guru Michael Olivier, who worked for Boschendal Restaurant, asked his friend Maggie Pepler to come and teach them how to make the original malva pudding. Ever since, it’s been a permanent fixture on their buffet menu. My malva pudding is based on that original recipe and is published with Michael’s blessing. The single biggest adjustment from the original recipe is that I bake the pudding in a no. 10 flat-bottomed baking potjie on the fire, and not in a conventional oven.


For the batter: (serves 6)

1 cup flour
1⁄2 tot bicarbonate of soda

1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tot apricot jam
1 tot vinegar
1 tot melted butter
1 cup milk

For the sauce:

1⁄2 cup cream
1⁄2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup hot water

1⁄2 cup butter


1. Light the fire. You need fewer coals than when braaing steak, but you’ll need a steady supply once the pudding is baking. Use butter to grease your no. 10 flat- bottomed baking potjie.

2. Sift the flour and the bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and stir in the sugar (you don’t need to sift the sugar).

3. In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg and then add the jam, vinegar, butter and milk, whisking well after adding each ingredient.

4. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.

5. Pour the batter into the potjie, put on the lid and bake for 50 minutes, making sure to place some coals underneath the potjie and on top of the lid. But be careful not to add too much heat as burning is a big danger. While the pudding is baking, add a few fresh hot coals to the bottom and top of the potjie.

6. When the pudding has been baking for about 40 minutes, heat all the sauce ingredients in a small potjie over medium coals. Keep stirring to ensure that the butter is melted and the sugar is completely dissolved, but don’t let it boil. If you want a (slightly) less sweet pudding, use half a cup of sugar and a full cup of hot water for the sauce, instead of the other way round.

7. After about 50 minutes of baking, insert a skewer into the middle of the pudding to test whether it’s done. If the skewer comes out clean, it’s ready.

8. Take the pudding off the fire and pour the sauce evenly over it. Leave the pudding to stand for a few minutes before serving it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of fresh cream or a puddle of vanilla custard. A good way to keep the pudding hot is to put it near the fire.


In the original recipe, the tot measures of apricot jam, butter and vinegar as well as the half tot of bicarbonate of soda are all given as one tablespoon each. These minor changes won’t affect the outcome of the dessert but for the sake of accurately recording history, I think it’s important that we note it.

Did you like this recipe? If so, go get yourself a copy of Jan Braai’s Red Hot cookbook for many more tasty recipes, all adapted to cook over a good, old-fashioned fire.

Like Jan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and check out his website here.