Bibby's Chocolate and pear malva pudding

There are no secret recipes in our family. Everything that could be regarded as sacred has been poured into the Cookbook. The recipe for this corruptively decadent Chocolate and Pear Malva Pudding with hazelnut cookie crumble is one of them. It’s our inescapable, sweet-toothed nemesis. It comes with a disclaimer, for obvious reasons! For those who already have a copy of Bibby’s Kitchen, you’ll find it in the Dessert Chapter, page 160, just before the Mandarin Christmas pud with rum caramel.

Bibby's Chocolate and pear malva pudding

Only the brave climb into the ring with a Malva. Why poke the bear? As long as we keep rattling the cage, the evolution of food continues. I grew up on a traditional malva, every milk-soaked spoonful saturated with nostalgia. My girls will remember this pear malva as their childhood pudding.

Spiking holes in the top facilitates a good syrup soaking, but will resemble hail damage. In a bid to cover the hovels I made a cookie crumble. Necessity turned out to be the genie! It’s been the most requested dessert for special occasions, birthdays and Christmas dinner. Be sure to make the crumble!

Bibby's Chocolate and pear malva pudding

Bibby's Kitchen CookbookBibby's Kitchen Cookbook


The book is available locally from all good book stores – Exclusive Books, @home Stores, Uppercase Bookstore, Alternatively, if you’d like a signed copy for Christmas gifting, you’re welcome to contact me directly.


Chocolate and pear Malva pudding with hazelnut crumble

Serves 10


  •  2 eggs
  • 100g (½ cup) demerara sugar
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) butter, melted and cooled
  • 150g (1 cup) cake wheat flour
  • 40g almond meal
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) full cream milk
  • 3 firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm dice
  • 120g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Milk syrup
  • 150g demerara sugar
  • 250ml (1 cup) Ideal milk
  • 125ml (½ cup) full cream milk
  • 60g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
Hazelnut cookie crumble
  • 80g cake wheat flour
  • 40g castor sugar
  • 45g butter
  • 60g raw Hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 15ml (1tbls) cold water

Preheat the oven to 180° C. Grease a 2-litre capacity baking dish.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture pale and light. Add the melted butter and beat slowly to combine.

Sift the flour, almond meal, cocoa, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients and milk to the egg mixture in alternate stages. Beat on a low speed until the batter is smooth.

Arrange the pears on the base of the baking dish and nestle the chocolate chunks in between. Spoon the batter over and spread to cover the fruit. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

To make the milk syrup, place all the ingredients, except the vanilla, in a saucepan.

Stir over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, then simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Poke the top of the pudding with a skewer as soon as it comes out the oven. The more wholes, the better. Ladle the hot syrup over slowly, allowing it to seep in before the next soaking.

For the cookie crumble, place the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour. Add the water and work through to form clusters, before adding the hazelnuts. Spread the crumble onto a lined baking sheet and bake at 180 C for 17-20 minutes, turning over several times during the cooking time.

Scatter the crumble over the soaked malva. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream. Drizzle with hot chocolate sauce, if you like.



For a snippet from the Bibby’s Kitchen Cookbook, you can follow the link below.


For more local flavours that’ll add cheer to your festive table, here are several sweet recipes that’ll hit the spot!

Spiced Cape Brandy Pudding aka Tipsy Tart

Blueberry chocolate cobbler pudding

Peppermint crisp ice cream pudding-cake





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