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Exploring South Africa’s dessert gems with Léo's Little Jars : Malva Pudding

The list of South Africa’s dessert gems are endless! But one bowl – filled with a moist pudding and topped with custard (or a sweet sauce of your choice) – is always top of mind as a SA dessert favourite, it’s malva pudding. 

Malva pudding got its name from the Afrikaans word malva, meaning marshmallow and refers to the similarities between marshmallows and the pudding's soft texture. Malva pudding's base is served warm, topped with a sweet sauce, and best served with custard, ice cream or whipped cream on the side. 

Here to serve a bowl of warm malva recipes and some of her sweet learnings as a Cape Town-based confectioner is Léo of Léo's Little Jars.

Anyone who's had the pleasure of meeting Léo knows she’s all about blending South Africa’s diverse local cuisine with her grandmother’s traditional French recipes – creating what she terms a diverse culinary experience with South African flair.

“South Africa gives me a permanent source of inspiration. With the incredible variety and quality of the local fruits I find; as well as the powerful energy emanating from this beautiful city that is Cape Town – I make unique small-batch jams with no preservatives - no additives - just love” – she explains.  

She makes sweet and savoury jams so it’s understandable that her list of favourite South African ingredients includes curry, Malay spices, fruits and vegetables – all which she combines to create unique jams which when added to our local desserts (as you’ll soon find out) creates irresistibly unique flavourful combinations. 

On South African cuisine’s influence on her cooking style Léo explains that:

“Coming from a traditional French cuisine background, but growing up with parents that have travelled so much in Africa, I learnt to seek different flavours in my cooking. South Africa has acted as a catalyst for my creativity. There are no limits to my imagination with such beautiful products and inspiration.” 

On this week’s Recipe Inspiration page find a Malva Pudding with Homemade Custard recipe made from Léo's Little Jars’s orange and cardamom jam. Visit


“Bonsoir/Bonjour UCOOK-ers! 

COVID has been tough and we are so grateful to all of our clients who supported us, in the shop, at the market, online and in their delis. If COVID has taught us anything it is that we must enjoy what we are given, take advantage of our country’s economy rather than looking for imported products and most definitely to support people, like us, that pour their heart and souls into the products in your Market Box”.