Vanilla Zulus Telephone Pudding

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Living away from my home country, I have found myself not only longing for my mother but for my precious aunts and cousins spread over the globe.  We haven’t seen each other in years as many of us fled South Africa and are now scattered all over the world, but from time to time we will drop each other a line and we always know we are missed and loved.

I am lucky to have a wonderful set of aunts that have not only contributed to my upbringing, but continue to be a valuable support, strength and bring happiness to me.

We all bear a slight resemblance to each other as I suppose most families do, but what really connects us is food.  A ridiculously sweet tooth unites us.  We have always celebrated, swopped, discussed and enjoyed sweet treats at family gatherings, get togethers and when we are feeling homesick and missing each other.

We also have a secret to reveal.  A very very old and dear family recipe that has been passed for generations from one sweet tooth to the next.  We all have a copy of this recipe in our well-worn recipe folders and will often get a desperate call from a family member or a guest that has attended, BEGGING for the recipe.

Thus this decadent and delicious and world famous recipe is known as TELEPHONE PUDDING.  Yes, telephone pudding.  Because, as I said,  you are guaranteed to get a phone call from a guest or a relative begging for the recipe over the phone once they have tried it.  It remains, to date, my favourite all time dessert.

Not only does it conjure up precious memories of family get togethers and of my childhood, but it is now my quick-fix for any homesickness that I feel!

Perhaps we should re-name it EMAIL PUDDING or FACEBOOK PUDDING but either way I have decided to share it with you and spread the love.


With much love from my family to yours xxx

Telephone Pudding

This dessert is also a must for winter! As discussed, this is  called telephone pudding in my family because the recipe is usually given over the phone! It is essentially a self-saucing ginger sponge…heavenly xxx

375 ml plain flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda dissolved in a 250 ml cup of milk

250 ml white sugar

1 cup almonds or pecans blended to resemble breadcrumbs (optional, feel free to omit)

125 ml soft or just melted butter

1 tsp powdered ginger

1 egg

2 Tablespoons apricot jam

Pinch of salt


250 ml cup of white sugar dissolved in 500 ml cups of boiling water


Beat the sugar and the butter together until light and fluffy and then add the egg. Mix until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix through. Spoon into a greased baking dish. Now make the sauce by mixing the sugar and the boiling water together. Use the back of a spoon to pour over the batter….DO NOT MIX.

Bake in a pre-heated oven of 160 c for 25-30 minutes depending on how deep your baking dish is. Check for doneness and then serve hot and sticky with a big dollop of whipped cream.

Family friendly comfort food!

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