Muslim food writers share custard-inspired desserts in time for Eid

Muslim food writers share custard-inspired desserts in time for Eid

With the imminent end of the holy month of Ramadan and ahead of Eid al-Fitr, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, four of South Africa’s Muslim food writers have shared their custard dessert recipes.

During Ramadan, Muslims observe a fast that begins just before sunrise and ends at sunset with the daily iftar, or breaking of the fast. Meals at iftar often consist of Haleem, savoury snacks and simple yet decadent desserts, which provide the perfect finish to the long-awaited repast.

The daily responsibilities of life continue during the fast, prompting many families to work around their busy schedules by opting for quick and easy treats. And, as Ridhwaanah Khan, brand manager for Parmalat Custard explains, custard has long been one of the Muslim community’s favourites.

Custard is an affordable and versatile dessert option that can be served hot or cold to round off popular desserts such as malva pudding, bread pudding, jelly and trifle for everyday indulgence for the family.

Two-Ingredient Custard Milkshake 

The best milkshake requires no more than two ingredients, says fashion-forward food writer Aqeelah Harron Ally who starts with smooth, creamy custard. Add milk to the recipe and an optional flourish of cinnamon and sugar if desired, and you’ll have the makings of the perfect milkshake.


500 g Parmalat Vanilla Flavoured custard

500 ml full-cream milk

Cinnamon and sugar (optional)


Freeze the milk in an ice block tray.

Once frozen, combine frozen milk cubes with Parmalat custard in a blender and blend until frothy.

Pour and enjoy.

Sticky date pudding

Food photographer and cookbook author Zorah Booley Samaai enjoys desserts with a fruity twist. Her recipe incorporates dates – a fruit that has become synonymous with the breaking of the fast.


226 g Medjool dates

1 ¼ cup boiling milk 

1 tsp baking powder

7 Tbsp butter, softened

½ cup brown sugar 

2 large eggs, at room temperature 

1 tsp vanilla extract 

1 ⅓ cups cake flour 

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

For the toffee sauce:

⅓ cup salted butter 

1 cup whipping cream 

1 cup brown sugar 

1 tsp vanilla extract 

For the topping:

Parmalat Vanilla Flavoured custard

1 scoop of vanilla ice cream


Preheat your oven to 180℃, line a 23 cm square baking tin with baking paper and spray with a non-stick spray. Set aside.  

Chop your dates and remove the stones. Soak the dates in the hot milk and baking powder until soft. This should take about 15 minutes. 

Mash the dates up so they have a paste-like consistency. 

In a stand mixer or using an electric whisk, combine the mashed dates, soft butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. 

Add the flour, baking powder and salt. 

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. While the sticky date cake is baking, start on your toffee sauce. When a toothpick comes out clean, it is ready. 

Once the cake comes out of the oven, use a toothpick or fork to poke holes throughout the cake. This will allow the sauce to be absorbed. 

Toffee Sauce:

Combine all the ingredients for the toffee sauce in a large pan and stir until combined. 

Let the sauce come to a simmer and then pour it over the cake as soon as you have poked the holes. 

Cut the cake into square slices and enjoy with some vanilla ice cream and a generous amount of custard.

Croissant pudding

Foodie and lifestyle writer Fehmida Osman-Latib (“Fehmz”) brings custardy flavour to a traditional French delicacy.


4-5 croissants

500ml fresh cream

250ml milk

1 cup castor sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

Pinch of ground cardamom

Handful of chopped pecan nuts

1 tsp cinnamon powder mixed with 2 tsp brown sugar

Parmalat Vanilla Flavoured custard


Preheat your oven to 180℃.

Slice the croissants into 4-5 chunky pieces and butter on both sides. 

Place in an oven-proof dish and set aside.  

In a bowl combine the fresh cream, milk, castor sugar, eggs, vanilla essence and cardamom. Pour over the croissants.  

Sprinkle with the chopped pecans and the cinnamon sugar mix.  

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  

Serve warm, drizzled with Parmalat Vanilla custard.

Custard cream-filled bollas

Offering her rendition of a Cape Malay classic is foodie and recipe developer Saadiyah Hendricks who brings a generous dash of custard to a well-loved Eid dessert.


For the bollas:

1 egg

¼ cup sugar and extra for garnishing

30ml oil

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 ¼ cup flour

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom 

1 teaspoon baking powder

170ml buttermilk

For the creamy custard filling

250ml whipping cream

¼ cup Parmalat Vanilla Flavoured custard

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, and extra for garnishing

Pistachios, chopped, for garnishing


Whisk the egg and sugar together until well incorporated and pale. 

Add the oil and vanilla and whisk to combine.

Sift in the flour, baking powder and cardamom and fold until incorporated. 

Whisk in the buttermilk until fully combined then set aside to rest while heating up some oil for frying.

In a medium pot on medium heat, fry the bollas by spooning in a tablespoon of dough at a time then allowing to fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove and allow to drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. 

While they cool, make the filling by whipping together all the ingredients until a medium peak forms. 

To assemble, roll each bolla in castor sugar then slit and pipe in the custard filling. Top with chopped pistachios and a sprinkling of ground cardamom. DM/TGIFood


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