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Indulge in Maltese Pudina: A Luxurious Twist on Traditional Flavours

Discover the decadent Maltese Pudina, a modern twist on Malta's beloved bread pudding, perfect for any dessert lover!


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Maltese cuisine, deeply rooted in its Mediterranean backdrop, offers a colourful tapestry of flavours and recipes passed down through generations. Among these traditional dishes, the Maltese Pudina holds a special place. It is revered not just for its flavour but also for its comforting, homely essence. 


This modern take on the classic Maltese Pudina introduces a richer texture and an indulgent chocolate twist.



Chocolate pudina served fork

The Evolution of Maltese Pudina


Originally, Maltese Pudina was a practical dish meant to use up stale bread and other leftovers in a tasty and economical way. As Malta's connections grew, so did the complexity of its dishes. New ingredients and techniques were incorporated, turning the Pudina into a richer and more flavourful dessert.


Exploring the History of Maltese Pudina


Like many traditional recipes worldwide, the Maltese Pudina tells a story of cultural exchange and evolution. Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta has historically been a nexus of European, North African, and Middle Eastern cultures, owing to its strategic importance and numerous rulers throughout the centuries. 


Each of these cultural influences has left its mark on Maltese cuisine, transforming the Pudina from a simple bread pudding into a rich, complex dessert enjoyed today. For a deeper dive into this subject, check out our article about Maltese Food History.


It started as a simple bread pudding, incorporating leftover bread to create a cost-effective yet delicious dessert. It is a testament to the Maltese knack for creating sumptuous food from modest ingredients. 


Over time, this dish has evolved, absorbing influences from various occupiers and neighbours, leading to the rich, flavourful dessert we enjoy today.


Chocolate pudina

The Phoenicians and Romans


The earliest influences on Maltese cuisine can be traced back to the Phoenicians and Romans, who introduced various farming techniques and new ingredients to the islands. The Romans, renowned for their lavish feasts, possibly influenced the early versions of bread-based desserts in Malta, which would evolve into the Pudina.


Arab Conquests


The Arab occupation of Malta introduced many spices and culinary techniques that significantly influenced Maltese cooking. Ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, and dried fruits became staples in Maltese kitchens and found their way into many traditional dishes, including the Pudina. The Arabs also introduced almonds and citrus, now common in Maltese desserts.


Chocolate pudina one slice

The Knights of St. John


The arrival of the Knights of St. John in the 16th century brought with it the refined tastes of European nobility. They introduced elaborate confections and the use of chocolate and cocoa, expensive and prestigious ingredients at the time. The integration of chocolate into the Pudina reflects this period of opulence. It has remained a popular variant of the dish.


British Rule


Under British rule, Malta experienced a surge in importing goods from the British Empire, including less readily available spices and sugars. This period also saw the introduction of baking powder and other modern baking ingredients, which improved the texture and variety of baked goods, including the Pudina.


Ingredients of our Maltese Pudina


The base of our Maltese Pudina starts with a traditional Hobza tal-Malti, a staple in Maltese households. This bread is soaked in milk and light cream, absorbing the liquid and becoming the perfect foundation for the pudding. 


Adding rich, dark chocolate and a blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, and mixed spices elevates this dish from its humble beginnings to a decadent treat.


Ingredients:


1 Hobza tal-Malti (large)

350 ml Milk to soak the bread

1 Egg Le Naturelle Bio

150g Sultanas

1 tbsp candied fruit

40g Sugar

3 tbsp Cocoa

1 tsp Vanilla

Pinch of Nutmeg

1 tsp Mixed Spices

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Baking Powder

Zest of an Orange


Method: Crafting Your Maltese Pudina


Creating this delightful dessert involves a few key steps. First, the bread is thoroughly soaked in a milk and cream mixture, ensuring it's perfectly saturated. 


After blending in an egg, butter, and an assortment of fruits and spices, the mixture is enhanced with dark chocolate, giving it a luxurious depth. The pudding is baked until just set, creating a delightful contrast between the soft interior and a slightly crisp top. 


Once cooled, a generous topping of chopped dark chocolate completes the dish, creating a visually stunning and delicious dessert.


Chocolate pudina two slices

Why Try This Maltese Pudina Recipe?


This version of Maltese Pudina pays homage to the traditional Maltese dessert. It brings a modern twist with its chocolate infusion. 


It's perfect for anyone exploring Mediterranean desserts or seeking a new take on classic bread pudding.


Frequently Asked Questions


What makes Maltese Pudina different from other bread puddings?

  • Maltese Pudina is unique because it incorporates local ingredients like Hobza tal-Malti and traditional Mediterranean spices.

Can I use different types of chocolate?

  • Feel free to experiment with other types of dark chocolate according to your preference. Another option would be to skip the chocolate and use desiccated coconut as a topping.

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