Chat to anyone with a sweet tooth and they’ll animatedly tell you all about their favourite dessert. Whether it’s the visual appeal, the decadent act of eating it, or the nostalgic memory it conjures, dessert deserves a place on any menu. It certainly plays a starring role at GOLD Restaurant in Cape Town!
As sweet-lovers ourselves, here is a list of what we think are the 5 best South African desserts – some often features on our seasonal menu.
“Melk tert” is Afrikaans for milk tart. It consists of a sweet pastry crust with a light, creamy filling made from milk, eggs, and flour. It’s a popular dessert or teatime treat in South Africa and just about everyone who loves milk tart has a recipe handed down from “Ouma” (granny).
This is an eye-wincingly sweet sponge pudding served hot with ice cream or custard. Dutch settlers brought the recipe to the Cape centuries ago. It has since been adapted over the years to become a popular South African treat. The word “malva” refers to its spongy texture. At GOLD we serve ours with a sprinkling of edible gold dust.
Koeksisters are a sticky deep fried, crispy treat with a syrupy centre. They look a lot like golden pastry braids. The trick to creating the perfect koeksister is to get your oil for frying incredibly hot and your syrup for dipping afterwards perfectly chilled.
Adapted from traditional Cape Malay cooking, Boeber is traditionally enjoyed as a rich creamy pudding or drink. Either way it’s best served warm. We add a sprinkling of 24-carat gold dust to ours.
Peppermint Crisp Tart
This incredibly rich and refreshing tart traditionally uses Nestlé peppermint crisp chocolate and Bakers tennis biscuits, both of which are South African ingredients. Peppermint crisp consists of milk chocolate around a layer of crunchy mint crisp. Bakers tennis biscuits are thin, square coconut biscuits. You can substitute with similar ingredients.
Peppermint Crisp Tart
More reasons to try these South African desserts
People often crave the comfort of a homemade dessert but don’t necessarily have the time to prepare it. All of the above recipes are make-ahead desserts that don’t require heaps of ingredients or much slaving in the kitchen. They’re ideal for dinner parties, afternoon tea, or an anytime decadent snack, and all are utterly delicious. The very best of traditional South African cuisine!