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SA foodies share recipes for their favourite custard-flavoured Diwali treats

Custard gulab splits. Supplied image.

Custard gulab splits. Supplied image.

Published Nov 8, 2023


With Diwali set to be celebrated by Hindu’s across the globe this weekend, sweet treats are part of the festivities.

And the ‘festival of lights’ commemorations, which symbolise the spiritual victory of light over darkness, will include an array of delicious food.

Food influencers and content creators believe that custard could be an interesting and unique addition to this year’s Diwali snacks.

“Its versatility is what South Africans enjoy most about custard,” Kershnee Kallee, Parmalat’s marketing manager, said.

To give avid bakers and sweet treat enthusiasts some ideas ahead of Diwali celebrations, South African foodies and content creators shared their custard-inspired desserts.

For Prev Reddy, a content creator and one of the stars of the hit South African series “Miseducation” on Netflix, “nothing embodies the spirit of Diwali better than Gulab Jamuns,” prepared with a dash of decadence that’s fit for the occasion.

“This recipe keeps it short and sweet and is super easy to prepare.”

Prev Reddy’s Diwali custard gulab split


– Store-bought Gulab Jamuns

For the icing mixture:

125g salted butter (1/2 cup)

1 and ½ cups icing sugar

½ tsp ground elaichi

1 tbsp Klim (milk powder)

2 drops rose essence

1 tbsp fresh cream or milk

To dress:

Vanilla Flavoured Custard


- Beat butter until light in colour.

- Add sugar and mix until creamy and combined and then add the rest of the ingredients.

Meanwhile, renowned social media content creator and voice-over artist Tee Pillay says she can’t enjoy ice-cream without custard. “This dessert is best prepared the day before Diwali for the best results, and in my opinion, it’s well worth the wait,” she said.

Custard ice-cream with a caramel-burfee syrup. Supplied image.

Tee Pillay’s custard ice-cream with a caramel-burfee syrup


For the custard ice cream:

– 500ml fresh cream

– ½ can sweetened condensed milk

– 1 cup vanilla flavoured custard

For the caramel-burfee syrup:

– 1 cup sugar

– ⅙ salted butter

– ½ cup whipping cream

– ½ tsp elachi (cardamom) powder

– 1 drop of rose essence


- Whip fresh cream until thick and it can hold its shape.

- Mix in condensed milk.

- Mix in 1 cup of vanilla flavoured custard.

- Pour mixture into a freezer-safe dish and freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight.

- Melt sugar over medium-high heat. Stir constantly – lumps will form, turn brown, and eventually melt.

- Add in butter once the sugar has become a brown syrup. The butter will bubble and require constant stirring to combine with the sugar syrup.

- Remove mixture from heat.

- Add in whipping cream once butter and sugar resemble caramel. Stir until combined.

Also known as basbousa or hareesa in the Middle East, shamali in Armenia and gabelouze in France, soji cake is a crowd-favourite among lovers of Indian cuisine the world over.

In this easy-to-follow recipe, food influencer Tamara Reddy, who is known as tasty_on_my_table on Instagram, gives us her take on the traditional treat.

Custard soji cake. Supplied image.

Custard soji cake


– 1 cup semolina

– 1 cup cake flour

– ½ cup desiccated coconut

– 1 cup castor sugar

– ½ tsp elachi/cardamom powder

– 2 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp vanilla essence

– 250g salted butter

– 1 cup of milk

– 1 cup vanilla flavoured custard

For the sweetened whipped cream:

– 250ml cream

– 3 tbsp icing sugar

To dress:

– Coloured almonds

– Edible rose petals


- In a large mixing bowl, add semolina, cake flour, desiccated coconut, castor sugar, cardamom powder, and baking powder. Mix well and set aside.

- In a separate bowl, add 250g Parmalat Salted Butter and melt in the microwave. Add in milk, vanilla essence, and vanilla flavoured Custard and mix until combined.

- Add your wet mixture to your dry ingredients and mix well.

- Grease a baking tin and pour in the mixture.

- Bake at 180 degrees for 33-35 minutes.

- Decorate with sweetened whipped cream, coloured almonds and edible rose petals.