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Recipe: Chef Zola Nene’s Indulgent Chocolate Malva Pudding is all about Romance

Take this classic South African dessert to the next level with the addition of rich cocoa for a heavenly sweet treat

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By House & Garden South Africa | February 5, 2024 | Recipes

Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of warm malva pudding topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? Very few desserts are as nostalgic and heavenly as a malva pudding with a romantic twist: The addition of cocoa powder, which makes for a divine dessert to indulge your loved ones. This specially curated dessert by acclaimed chef and author of Simply Seven Colours, Zola Nene is the perfect closing to a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at home. Here’s how to make it:

Acclaimed South African chef and author of Simply Seven Colours, Zola Nene. Imagee: Supplied.


250 ml demerara sugar

2 eggs

30 ml apricot jam

190 ml cake flour

60 ml cocoa powder

5 ml baking powder

A pinch salt

250 ml milk

5 ml bicarbonate of soda

5 ml white vinegar


60 ml unsalted butter

250 ml demerara sugar

125 ml boiling water

250 ml cream

5 ml vanilla extract

To serve

Custard or vanilla ice cream

How to Make Zola Nene’s Chocolate Malva Pudding

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. In a bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and jam. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, alternating with the milk.

Combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, then mix into the batter. Pour the batter into a baking dish and bake for 20–30 minutes, or until golden-brown and risen.

3. Make the sauce by placing all the ingredients in a saucepan, stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil. Pour the sauce over the baked pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.

4. Serve with custard or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.