Sugar, spice and all things nice….Date Chocolate and Pecan Pie

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika Sujanani on DSTV's Home Channel 176

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika Sujanani on DSTV’s Home Channel 176

It’s been an eventful week with the first episode of a whole new season of Sugar ‘n Spice airing on The Home Channel. It’s pretty special because up until now, I have been doing short food inserts on Saffron TV, Great Expectations on Etv and appearing on SABC 2’s MELA! When the Home Channel approached me earlier this year, I was gobsmacked at their offer and thrilled to have my first very own show!

Taking it up a few notches from a food insert, it’s taken us 4 months to complete the series and it’s been a roller coaster ride with my family, team and the crew! I have once again been incredibly lucky to work with such amazing people from the Channel….big thanks to Michael Porter and Simphiwe Gamede, the crew…Africa Vezi and Sipho, who tolerated many crazy out take moments, takes and re-takes, and the awesome team at Holi Cow….for the early mornings, long nights, and my long prep sheets! And then, there are those special people who always find a moment in their day to send me a beautiful message of love and encouragement…thanks to my the people out there on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the food love and sharing my posts and links…thanks and thanks again! And my family, who I am most thankful for….what you see on telly isn’t just me, you see the team effort with me being the ‘front lady’ and that also includes the crazy make up artist/stylist…Stavroula Georgakis! Spar has once again sponsored our ingredients and AMC Cookware just keep me cooking in their fabulous pots! I just realized how big this team really is…it’s huge!

Episode one...Pecan pie with dates and chocolate by Yudhika Sujanani

Episode one…Pecan pie with dates and chocolate by Yudhika Sujanani

In the first episode, we spiced up old favourites…leftover butternut was recycled into a delicious salad with hazelnut dukkah and prawns, a french chicken casserole got a spicy makeover with saffron, chilli, cumin and coriander…and the classic pecan pie was turned into a chocolately one with dates too!

For more information and recipes from the show, check out The Home Channel’s website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter,

Yudhika's Sugar & Spice...check out the show times on DSTV's Channel 176

Yudhika’s Sugar & Spice…check out the show times on DSTV’s Channel 176

I first made this recipe for Eid last year. It’s fruity, crunchy, buttery and purely decadent! Here is the recipe for pecan pie with dates and dark chocolate.

A slice of gooey pecan nut pie with dates and Yudhika Sujanani for Sugar & Spice

A slice of gooey pecan nut pie with dates and chocolate…by Yudhika Sujanani for Sugar & Spice

Chocolate Date and Pecan Pie


120g butter
200g cake flour
65g sugar
1 egg

Rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the sugar and mix. Lightly beat the egg and knead gently into a soft dough.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Roll the pastry on a lightly dusted work surface until it is about 5mm thick and is large enough to line the bottom and sides of a 23cm loose bottomed pie tin.
Line the tin with the pastry and press down into the base and about 3,5cm up the sides.
Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Place a piece of baking paper over the paper, cover with dried beans and bake blind for 10 minutes.
Remove the beans and the paper and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Leave the pasty case to cool completely.

For the filling:

125g butter
175g brown sugar
75ml golden syrup
3 large eggs
1 cinnamon stick
200g pecan nuts
90g chopped dark chocolate, chopped
75g chopped dates, chopped

Whipped cream, to serve

Place the butter in a 28cm AMC Chef’s Pan, and melt on low heat.
Add the brown sugar and golden syrup.
Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Leave the mixture to cool till slightly warm.
Remove the cinnamon stick.
Lightly whisk the eggs, then add the melted ingredients.
Scatter the pecan nuts, chocolate and dates over the bake pie crust, then pour over the egg mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes at 150 degrees celsius, then reduce to 140 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.
Leave the pie to stand for a minute and then remove from the tin.
Serve slices of the pie warm with whipped cream.


Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat…Where have you been?

Yudhika's Harrods Inspired Chocolate Fig Cupcakes

Yudhika’s Harrods Inspired Fig and Chocolate Cupcakes

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat,

Where have you been?

I have been to London,

Not to visit the Queen!

My days have been full, my evenings fuller and life has just been crazy! I must apologize for not blogging in a while!  And from here on, ‘I solemnly swear to blog’!  Thanks and thanks again for the lovely messages and posts – and to those of you who said you missed the recipes, its just the inspiration needed to publish a new recipe!

So, the question everyone asks is, ‘Where have you been?’

Well here, there and everywhere!  But my latest highlight was an invitation to London!  I have been hankering after a break for ages.  I will be blogging some of the highlights of my trip as well as the recipes and dishes that made a memorable one!

Yudhika's adventure at Harrods

Yudhika’s adventure at Harrods

A trip to London would not be complete without a trip to Harrods.  I should write a story titled, ‘Lost in Harrods’…it is the most amazing shopping experience ever! And the entire 5th floor is dedicated to shoes…only shoes!  For those of you who know me, I have an ongoing love affair with shoes! I spent hours admiring the displays and feasting my eyes on the exquisite collection.

The chocolate truffle display at Harrods - how beautiful!

The chocolate truffle display at Harrods – how beautiful!

The Harrods Food Hall has the most amazing selection of food creations that I have experienced.  From designer cupcakes that cost around 6 pounds to triple layer cakes that cost more than a pretty penny. The best way to survive London is to never think about the exchange rate.  I did a quick little clip, take a look here: and here:

Yudhika visits Harrods: 75 pounds for a cake at Harrods!!!  WOW!

Yudhika visits Harrods: 75 pounds for a cake at Harrods!!! WOW!

I got home feeling inspired and whipped up a batch of these delicious cupcakes.  They are rather ‘Harrods Looking’ even if I say so myself.  I did pick up a foodie keepsake from the store, an Irish wood board which I am sure I will treasure for years.

I got back to Jozi feeling inspired and made up a batch of these to impress my kids!  They are delicious and more importantly come without a Harrods price tag!  This recipe is going to be featured in the Post Newspaper’s Easter Supplement that comes out on Wednesday this week so don’t forget to pick up your copy!

On to the recipe….here is my Harrod’s Inspired Fig and Chocolate Cupcake recipe.


Makes 12

100g cake flour

7,5ml baking powder

25g cocoa powder

120g sugar

50g butter, room temperature

120ml full cream milk

1 egg

5ml vanilla essence

The Frosting Ingredients

100g butter

200g sifted icing sugar

45g cocoa powder

230g cream cheese
 – I used Spar Cream Cheese

30ml full cream milk, optional

Fresh figs, to garnish

Fresh mint, to garnish

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.

Place the cake flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar into a mixing bowl.

Add the butter and beat until the ingredients are combined – the mixture should look quite gritty.

Gradually add the milk and vanilla essence while beating continuously.

Add the lightly beaten eggs and beat again until the batter is smooth.

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cakes are tested.

Remove the cakes from the tin and then leave on a wire rack to cook completely.

For the frosting:

Beat together icing sugar and butter until well combined.

Sift in the cocoa powder and continue beating.

Add the cream cheese and continue beating the ingredients until smooth and fluffy.

This should take 2 – 3 minutes – take care not to over work the frosting.

Add full cream milk if the frosting is too thick.

To finish:

Pipe the frosting over the cupcakes and top with a fresh fig.

Garnish with a mint sprig.

Drop dead delicious!

Yudhika Sujanani's Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Yudhika Sujanani’s Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Is it just me or is a self saucing pud just the sexiest thing?  It’s rich, moist and oozes with luscious chocolatey goodness!  It’s wicked, it’s sexy and it is drop dead delicious!  With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I have been dreaming up recipes that would be perfect for this special day and if you are the ‘dessert at my place’ kinda person, then this recipe is especially should tickle your fancy!

This is a rather off-beat recipe but then again, I am an off-beat sort of cook…the sauce is mixed together and then poured over the cake batter which is certainly odd, but it works…trust me on this! I used Belgian cocoa powder in this recipe but you can also try Bournville Cocoa…it will give you a dark chocolatey richness and a silken warm lava like sauce!

Serve with a dollop of fresh cream or ice cream, the choice is yours but this recipe will definitely have your Valentine asking for more! If Creme Brulee is more your kind of dessert, click here to watch the step by step guide from my cooking slot on Mela,
and don’t forget to catch the show this Sunday on SABC 2 at 13h30! On the menu is a Valentine inspired menu with marinated lamb chops and a dreamy berry pavlova!

Did I mention how easy this recipe is? Give it a go and don’t over bake it or the sauce will disappear!

Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding


For the sauce:
250ml milk
90g light brown sugar
35g cocoa powder

125g soft butter
125g light brown sugar
5ml vanilla essence
2 large eggs
100g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

Cream or ice cream, to serve

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Gently heat the milk in a 16cm AMC pot until lukewarm and remove from the heat.
Add the brown sugar and cocoa powder.
Stir until the lumps have dissolved and the sauce is smooth.
Leave to cool.

Cream the butter and gradually add the sugar. Scrape down the mixing bowl.
Continue beating until fluffy and add the vanilla essence.
Add the eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of flour, beating well after each one.
Sift the dry ingredients and fold into the cream butter.
Grease a 1,5 litre greaseproof dish with butter. The dish should be about 5cm deep.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish.
Pour the cooled sauce mixture over the unbaked mixture.
Bake the for 30 – 35 minutes.
Serve hot with cream or ice cream.

Yudhika’s Chocolate Volcanoes….

Yudhika's Chocolate volcanoes aka fondants

Yudhika’s Chocolate volcanoes aka fondants




Sugar ‘n Spice is my first very own tv show….I loved every moment of shooting the show and the production team were amazing. I was terribly spoilt on shoot days – my hair and make up was done by Alexa Wilson, I was terrible spoilt with a flash new wardrobe from Jo Borkett and her team, and I got to cook in my AMC cookware all day dressed to the nines while sipping on G & T’s!




Thirteen episodes seemed daunting and I was in a complete tizz about which recipes to choose….just twenty six recipes from my whole love affair with food… was a tough choice.




On this weekend’s Sugar ‘n Spice menu is Chocolate Volcanoes – they are actually chocolate fondants but my kids prefer calling them volcanoes…they are wickedly decadent for kids and adults too!  Think of a moist sponge that has melted Lindt chocolate centres….dolloped with cream and served with fresh cherries.  Chilli butter prawns are the main course and this is another decadent treat….you could have this menu done in minutes and it certainly is impressive.


A word on the volcanoes – I would suggest baking them for 12 – 14 minutes in Johannesburg.  The altitude does affect the cooking time….the higher you go, the longer it takes to bake….If you are baking at sea level, please reduce the cooking time.  I would recommend you check the volcanoes after 10 minutes.  The measurements for this recipe are in GRAMS!

Chilli Butter Prawns

Chilli Butter Prawns


Chilli Butter Prawns


Serves 6


2kg frozen prawns (16/20), shell on

Salt to season

50ml Spar sunflower oil

8 cloves garlic, crushed

10ml red chilli powder

65g Spar butter

1 lemon, juiced

200ml chopped coriander



Defrost the prawns.

Use a sharp kitchen scissors to cut from the head through to the tail.

Use the tip of a knife to remove the dark vein.

Gently rinse under cold running water and drain.

Season the prawns with salt.

Heat a large AMC chef’s pan and when it is smoking hot pour in the sunflower oil.

Place the prawns in a single layer and turn them when they are light golden brown.

Add the garlic and red chilli powder.

Stir for a few seconds before adding the butter.

Simmer for a minute.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice.

Sprinkle the chopped coriander in and toss lightly.

Serve immediately with fresh crusty bread.



Picture perfect volcanoes!

Picture perfect volcanoes!



Chocolate volcanoes (fondants)  – makes 6 – 8 depending on the size of the ramekin





200g soft Spar butter, not melted

240g Spar icing sugar

200g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa – I used Lindt!

4 large eggs

4 egg yolks

60g cake flour

30g cocoa powder


Whipped cream, to serve

Fresh berries, to garnish



Volcanoes with melted chocolate centres...served with a dollop of cream!

Volcanoes with melted chocolate centres…served with a dollop of cream!

Here’s how:


Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over gentle simmering water.

Leave the chocolate to cool.

Grease the ramekins with butter and dust with cake flour.

Shake off excess flour.

Cream butter and gradually add the icing sugar.

Continue creaming the mixture until light in colour and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of the cake flour to prevent curdling.

Add the egg yolks and continue beating until well combined.

Pour in the cool melted chocolate and gently fold into the creamed mixture.

Sift the cocoa powder and flour in and fold again.

Spoon the mixture into prepared ramekins and place on a baking tray.


Bake for 12 – 14 minutes – the chocolate centres should be wobbly and the molten chocolate centres hot when tested with a skewer.

Leave to rest for a minute before un-moulding.


Serve with a scoop of whipped cream and fresh berries.


No Bake Cheesecake….


Here is a quick and easy cheesecake recipe that Amrisha requested on facebook!  To watch the ‘how to video’ click on this link:

No bake cheesecake:


1 – 1,5 packets Tennis biscuits

125g – 150g melted butter, to bind biscuits

4 eggs, seperated
435ml Spar whitesugar
35ml gelatine
50ml cold water
30ml lemon juice
2 tubs Spar smooth cottage cheese (low fat)
190ml Spar Greek yoghurt
250ml fresh cream
300g fresh berries in season, optional
150ml dark chocolate, melted in double boiler

Here’s how:

Crush the biscuits in a food processor.

Mix crushed biscuits and butter in a mixing bowl.

Add a little extra butter if necessary and press this mixture into the base of a loose bottomed 25cm cake tin.

Refrigerate while the filling is being prepared.

Sprinkle the gelatine over cold water and leave aside to sponge for a few minutes.

Gently heat the gelatine in a small pan on low to dissolve.

Beat the egg whites adding 250ml sugar in total – Add sugar gradually until soft peaks form.

Whisk the fresh cream until firm.

Place the egg yolks in top of a double boiler.

Add the 185ml of the remaining sugar into the yolks until light and fluffy.

Pour in the gelatine and then add lemon juice.

Continue whisking until well combined.

Remove from the double boiler and then add the cottage cheese with yoghurt.

Fold in the whisked egg whites and then the fresh cream.

Stir in the fresh berries or place them on top when the cake is set.

Leave in a refrigerator to set.

Run a warm knife around the cake tin to loosen the sides.

Remove the cake from the tin by pushing the base upward.

Swirl the melted chocolate over the cheesecake and refrigerator until set.

Garnish with fresh berries.