Although it is often found on the menu of many South African restaurants, nobody knows the exact history of this well-loved dessert. There are as many variations of it as there are arguments about who makes the best pudding. Try it with custard or cream.
Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes to 25 minutes Total time: 45 minutes to 55 minutes 55 minutes
2 Large eggs 1 tbsp Apricot jam 185g Plain flour 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda 30g Butter 1 tsp White wine vinegar 125ml Whole milk Sauce 284ml pot double cream 100g Unsalted butter 100g Caster sugar 100g Caster sugar 8 sprigs Mint
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Beat the sugar and eggs together until pale and fluffy. Add the apricot jam and mix well. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and a large pinch of salt; set aside.
In a pan, melt the butter and add the vinegar and milk. Cool. Bit by bit, fold the flour and milk mixtures alternately into the egg mixture.
Half-fill 8 x 200ml dariole moulds or pudding basins and bake for 15 minutes. (Alternatively, pour into a greased 22cm-square baking tin and bake for 25 minutes.) They are ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
For the sauce, place the cream, butter and sugar in a saucepan with 100ml water and stir over a moderate heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.
While still hot, pierce the bottoms of the puddings with a skewer and gradually pour over the sauce so that it soaks into the sponge; the puddings should absorb at least half the sauce. Set the remaining sauce aside. Leave the puddings to stand for 5 minutes before turning out.
Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve with the reserved sauce and some poached apricots.