Niël’s pumpkin puffs

Niël’s pumpkin puffs

You must be logged in to favorite a recipe.Login

Thanks for your rating!

You must be logged in to rate a recipe. Login

  • 4 to 6 as a side dish
  • Easy
  • Meat-free
  • 25 minutes
  • 20 minutes
  • Woolworths Lunato Lambrusco

“The late Niël Stemmet and I knew each other for 30 years. In his words: ‘My loved cook Emily made these puffs, which we served mainly with main courses, at Le Must Restaurant in Upington. As they stand, they become more chewy and nicer. So, you can make them a little before the meal. You can also enjoy the puffs with custard or Greek-style yoghurt, then you can call them pudding.’”


  • 750 g pumpkin, cooked and mashed
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 125 g self-raising flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 cups sunflower oil
  • For the syrup:
  • 250 g sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup fresh cream or milk
  • 1 T butter
  • a pinch sea salt
  • a knife point white pepper
  • ½ t ground cinnamon
  • ½ t ground ginger
  • 2 t cornflour

Cooking Instructions

1. Beat together the pumpkin, eggs and salt until creamy. Sift the flour and baking powder three times, then stir into the pumpkin mixture to form a soft dough.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan until it is at medium heat. Drop spoonfuls of the dough into the oil. Fry small batches at a time as it makes it easier to turn the puffs. When golden, remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm.

3. To make the syrup, bring all the ingredients, except the cornflour, to the boil in a saucepan. Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a thin paste that looks like buttermilk. Stir into the syrup mixture and cook for a short while to cook the cornflour and thicken the sauce. Pour the warm syrup over the puffs and serve immediately. Niël says: “Geniet die ou-se-dae se lekkerte.” (Enjoy the deliciousness of the olden days.)

This is an extract with permission from Michael Olivier’s book Friends. Food. Flavour. Great South African Recipes. It is published by Penguin Random House South Africa and retails for R400.

Find more South African recipes here. 

Photograph: Mike Robinson 
Illustrations: Roelien Immelman

Michael Olivier Recipe by: Michael Olivier
View all recipes

Michael Olivier is a well-known South African Wine commentator. Trained at the Cordon Bleu school of Cookery in London, he ran some of the Cape’s most popular restaurants. Michael was a Chef on the Expresso Breakfast TV show for a number of years. He has published five books, including Friends. Food. Flavour.

Social Media

Related Recipes