South African Food: Dessert Dishes

Table of contents 



A firm favorite with most South Africans!


  • 480g (4 x 250ml) cake flour
  • 2ml salt
  • 20ml baking powder
  • 70g (75ml) butter / margarine
  • 15ml sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 250ml cold water


  • 800g (4 x 250ml) sugar
  • 625ml water
  • 1 large cinnamon stick or crushed ginger root or lemon rind

Prepare syrup at least one day before baking, needs to be icy cold. Combine sugar & water and heat slowly until all sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon or ginger or lemon and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. Leave to cool thoroughly, then refrigerate overnight.

Make pastry: Sift flour, salt & baking powder together. Cut butter or margarine into smaller pieces and rub into the dry ingredients. Add sugar, beaten eggs and water. Mix into a soft dough. Chill in refrigerator.

Roll out dough to a thickness of 5-7mm. Cut oblongs 80mm x 40mm approximately. Staring 10mm from one end, make two vertical cuts in the oblongs so that there are 3 strips joined together. Plait the strips loosely. Secure ends by brushing with a little egg yolk.

Heat cooking oil to 190C and deep fry for 1 minute or until golden-brown. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and immediately dip into well chilled syrup for 30 seconds. Remove from syrup with another slotted spoon and leave to dry slightly.



Good old fashioned Milk Tart


  • Puff pastry
  • 80 g / 100 ml sugar
  • 1 liter milk
  • 50 g / 100 ml cake flour
  • 50 g / 50 ml butter
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • cinnamon sugar

Line a 225mm diameter pie dish with a thin layer of puff-pastry and bake blind.
Bring milk & cinnamon stick to the boil. In a heat-proof bowl, mix sugar, cake flour and salt. Add the hot milk very slowly to this mixture. Return to the saucepan and continue stirring over a very low heat until thick and until the flour is cooked properly. Remove from heat, add butter, leave to cool slightly then add to the beaten egg yolks. Return again to the saucepan and stir over low heat until thick. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and salt. Pour filling into pre-baked pastry shell. Bake for 20 minutes at 180ºC. Reduce heat to 160ºC for the last 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar. Serve while lukewarm or reheat before serving.




  • 750 ml sugar
  • 2 x 20 g cakes compresses yeast, OR:
  • 30 ml (2 x 10g sachets) active dry yeast
  • 15 ml salt
  • 1,7 liters boiling water 500 g butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2,8 kg cake flour

Dissolve sugar in boiling water. Leave to cool. Add crumbled yeast and leave to stand for one hour. Sift salt and flour together. Rub shortening into flour, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add eggs to yeast mixture. Add to flour and knead until the dough does not stick to sides of mixing bowl. Cover lightly and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. Do not flatten.
Shape into rounds, place in greased bread tin and leave to rise until even with edge of bread tin.
Pre-heat oven to 200º. Reduce to 180º after placing rusks in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Leave to cool thoroughly. Break into smaller pieces with hands. Leave in warming drawer to dry out.