In my quest to search out new recipes for our 20th Anniversary International Festival cookbook, a South African friend recommended Malva Pudding. Apparently, it’s a very popular dessert in the country, and publicized in the U.S. by Oprah a few years back. The recipe that was given to me was actually a link to oprah.com - so I tried it!
As with other “puddings” in the U.K. and related countries, this is not the dairy-based custard that we typically call ‘pudding’ in the U.S. Rather, it is a moist baked cake. I followed the Oprah recipe and baked it in a 9-inch square casserole (the size of pan wasn’t really stated in the recipe), which seemed to work well.
A cream mixture is poured onto the cake halfway through baking, and you can see from my photo that it kind of pooled in the middle of my cake. I maybe should have waited just a bit longer for the middle of the cake to be more cooked through so that the cream would have distributed more evenly. But it was all very delicious. There wasn’t a strong flavor to it, just kind of a warm, sweet, moist, yummy-ness to end the meal. Definitely best eaten soon out of the oven, though I was able to warm up a serving or two for the next day in the microwave.
I’ve been a slacker, not posting anything for the entire month of January – sorry! I cooked a few international dishes last month, but have also been trying to eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and not “plan” my food too much. I need a break from that sometimes :)
I did want to share the results of a dinner from mid-January with my fellow International Festival cooking demo planners. We decided that we would each cook at least one item from the 1992 Festival cookbook. We’re hoping to have a 20th Anniversary edition of that cookbook available at the 2012 festival. So this was a good excuse to cook a few of the recipes, decide if they’re ones we want to include in the revised cookbook, and get some photos of the food. In addition to the dish I contributed (described below), we also enjoyed Irish soda bread, Pakistani Chicken Pulao, and a Greek Cabbage and Rice dish. I will also share in the next post about our dessert, South African Malva Pudding. It was quite the world tour!
The main dish that I made is called Aushak with Gondona filling; a spicy leek-filled ravioli served with thickened yogurt, crushed dry mint and a tomato meat sauce. I was intrigued by the recipe because of the mix of flavors, and because I love leeks and raviolis, so what could be better than putting them together!
The recipe was very involved, so I won’t type it all out here – but you’ll probably see it in the cookbook. Although it was time-intensive to make, we all agreed that it was unique and tasty enough that it should be included. My only criticism was the heaviness of the ravioli dough. It was homemade, using only flour, water and salt to make a very stiff dough that was difficult to roll as thin as it should have been. Next time, I might substitute a different dough, or use my machine pasta roller to get it thinner. It did hold together very well though, not one ravioli leaked (no pun intended) during the boiling.
Here’s what it looked like on my plate – yum! I loved the combination of the spicy leek filling, the coolness from the yogurt and mint, and the tang from the tomato and yogurt.