- For the topping:
- 200 g brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 T orange juice
- 2 oranges, sliced
- For the puddings:
- 2 T butter, cubed
- ½ cup milk
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 extra-large free-range eggs
- 220 g Muscovado sugar
- 1 T apricot jam
- 180 g cake flour
- ½ t bicarbonate of soda
- a pinch salt
- For the sauce:
- 115 g butter
- 55 g caster sugar
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 cup cream
- ¼ cup brandy (or rooibos tea)
- vanilla custard or ice cream, for serving
To make the topping, place the sugar, water and orange juice in a pan over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sliced oranges and cook for 20 minutes until sticky.
To make the puddings, preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 12-hole muffin pan liberally with butter.
Combine the butter, milk and vinegar in a saucepan and heat for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Beat the eggs and add 2 T sugar at a time, beating between additions, until all the sugar has been added and the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the apricot jam and beat until incorporated. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and sift a third of the flour mixture into the egg-and-sugar mixture, alternating with the warm milk mixture, until well combined. Repeat until all the ingredients have been added, taking care not to overmix.
Using a large measuring cup, half-fill each muffin mould with batter. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt the butter, sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is light caramel in colour. This takes about 4–5 minutes.
Add the cream and brandy while whisking. Simmer for 8 minutes until slightly thickened and velvety. Make sure the sauce is not too thick – the puddings must be able to absorb it.
Remove the malva puddings from the oven and poke small holes into them using a wooden skewer. Spoon 3 T (or more) sauce over each pudding, gently releasing the edges of the pudding from the pan to allow the sauce to seep through to the sides.
Place 1–2 pieces preserved orange on top of each pudding and return to the oven. Bake for a further 10 minutes, or until sticky. Serve immediately with the custard or ice cream.
Cook's note: "Brian [Siba's husband] likes malva pudding so much that I have a few different recipes so that I can change it up from time to time. He loves this citrusy version and so do I – it’s a great make-ahead dessert because it freezes well, which is why I bake it in a muffin pan.”