Capsicum Culinary Studio: Pumpkin Tartlets

Pumpkin Tartlets 1

Final year students got at Capsicum Culinary Studio got me drooling, munching and savouring every last bite…..

The students were Ayesha Bibi Juwaley and Yuveer Maharaj.  First of all, let me give you some interesting facts about Capsicum Culinary Studios ….

  • Capsicum is the largest national provider of culinary arts accredited programmes in South Africa.
  • They are the first culinary school to use a technologically integrated learning platform in order to enhance the traditional way of learning.  Each student gets an ipad (which is included in their fees) to facilitate innovating learning.
  • They offer full time, part-time, block release and day release study options to both corporate and the individual learners nationally.
  • They have a full time Chocolate Arts and Confectionary programme at both the Cape Town and Johannesburg campuses ( I was invited at the launch of this programme…they students get to do amazing stuff).
  • The students graduating from Capsicum Culinary Studios have an opportunity to work with international celebrity chefs at the annual Good Food and Wine shows.
  • Southern African and international culinary tours are offered to students.
  • Over 600 students are currently enrolled at Capsicum.

Capsicum Culinary Studios pride themselves by providing high quality practical & theoretical education and developing expertise to a professional level.  Another reason you should love ther is that the founder of Capsicum Culinary Arts Studios is a woman, Cheryl Nesbitt.  Cheryl is one of those women we should all look up to, she is  a mover and shaker and has earned herself an array of awards including:

  • Sanlam / 3 Talk Business Owner of the Year Competition , 2005
  • South African Council of Businesswomen Awards (small size category , 2008) medium size category, 2009).
  • Finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Southern African Chapter (emerging entrepreneur category).

If that is not inspiring, I don’t know what else is.  I particularly loved  the answers she gave to an interview she did with Entrepreneur Magazine back in 2009, read her answers here.

For more information, visit

Follow them of twitter: @capsicumcooking

Like them on Facebook: Capsicum Culinary Studio

Ayesha and Yuveer prepared two dishes, Chutney glazed Springbok served with pomme frites on a bed of bilton, sauteed green beans and aioli.  For dessert, they prepared the Pumpkin Tartlets recipe below.  See more pictures here.  Enjoy!

Ayesha and Yuveer
Ayesha and Yuveer


Pumpkin Custard Tartlets

Makes: 2 tartlets

home-made or bought short crust pastry

For the custard:

2 eggs

¼ cup castor sugar

250ml (1 cup) milk

1 cinnamon stick

Zest of 1 lemon

10ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence

2 cups pumpkin, cooked and pureed

Pinch Citrus salt

5ml (1 tsp) honey


60ml (¼ cup) honey

3ml (½ tsp) citrus salt flakes


  1. Press pastry into a tart case.
  2. Make a custard filling: Combine eggs and sugar in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Heat milk, cinnamon, zest and vanilla in a saucepan until just boiling.
  4. Remove from heat, strain milk into a jug and slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture.
  5. Return the custard to the saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until custard thickens.
  6. Whisk 1 cup of the puree into the custard mixture.
  7. Pour mixture into pastry lined tins and bake for 25 minutes at 190˚C or until custard is just set.
  8. Garnish: Season remaining pupkin with a little citrus salt, honey and lemon juice.
  9. Boil the honey in a saucepan until a dark caramel colour. Spoon onto a non-stick mat and sprinkle with citrus salt flakes.
  10. Once slightly cooled bend to shape and place on top of tartlet with pumpkin puree and serve.


About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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