'Spaghetti' to sandwiches: Durbanites get inventive with ice cream

Shelley Seid speaks to the (ice) cream of the crop - three young entrepreneurs who are designing frozen treats with a twist

26 July 2017 - 12:01 By Shelley Seid
Zakeeya Mitha, owner of Sugarlicious, with a unicorn tears macaron and a burfee macaron.
Zakeeya Mitha, owner of Sugarlicious, with a unicorn tears macaron and a burfee macaron.
Image: Jackie Clausen

Zakeeya Mitha of Sugarlicious

Bubbly patisserie chef Zakeeya Mitha has taken the country by storm with Sugarlicious, her stylish, delicious, ice cream-filled macarons.

She started small in 2013, selling her products at an Umhlanga market. Since then she has opened a Durban outlet and delivers to Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Standard flavours include Nutella, mint, Milo and Bombay Crush, and there are also macarons dipped in premium Belgian chocolate with roasted peanuts.

"A lot of the adults buy what I thought would be the kiddie flavours - Cotton Candy is a best seller," says Mitha, whose husband manages the business and is her "test kitchen".

The ice cream macarons are perfect as dessert at a dinner function and Mitha provides containers packed with dry ice that keep macarons at the correct temperature for long enough to get them home and into the freezer. There is plenty of Sugarlicious online business too.

"This year our Eid orders went crazy. Within four days we had to close as we had reached our limit."

The Burfi flavour macaron that she had created for Eid proved so popular that it has joined her permanent menu.

Jordan Buckley of Sweet Dream

Rugby player, BComm student and artisanal ice cream vendor - that's 19-year-old Jordan Buckley. As far as he is concerned, there is nothing odd about the combination.

"I've always been business-inclined. I sold clothing when I was in matric and last year I was keen to get a food truck. Then I went to Cape Town and saw how people were going crazy for artisanal ice cream.

"I thought how hard can it be to make?"

Jordan Buckley with one of his artisanal ice creams.
Jordan Buckley with one of his artisanal ice creams.
Image: Jackie Clausen

Buckley put his back into it, researching and experimenting with recipes. The result is Sweet Dream, an ice cream/gelato combination.

"It's smoother than standard ice cream and it is frozen at lower temperatures," he says.

"At times I've stayed up until 2am making stock and developing flavours."

He now has nine different ice creams and only uses natural, fresh products.

"I use free-range egg yolks and fresh cream. The flavours are natural - I would never use syrups."

His strawberry ice cream is made from pulped roasted strawberries, his granadilla ice cream is hand-sieved to remove the pips.

He says his salted caramel, choc mint and peanut butter are bestsellers.

Buckley has a stand at the Morning Trade market in Station Drive and sells and delivers one-litre tubs in and around Durban.

Yaseera Essack Carrim of Eish Kream

Yaseera Essack Carrim studied fashion design and ran her own successful clothing brand until marriage and babies came along. As the kids grew up Essack Carrim wanted to "do something".

While on a trip overseas she stumbled across a cold press "spaghetti" ice cream and fell in love with the idea.

The concept of long, spaghetti-like strands of soft ice cream curled into a cup or cone is as much fun as the brand's name: Eish Kream.

Yaseera Essack Carrim's spaghetti-like Eish Kream.
Yaseera Essack Carrim's spaghetti-like Eish Kream.
Image: Supplied

But it's more than just a gimmick. She has spent over a year refining textures and flavours.

"I play with different flavours, I work on the colour, then I have a range of people taste and when I am happy I write out the recipe."

Among her 12 flavours are charcoal, bubblegum, chocochino and sweet cream and lime.

Essack Carrim says she has been overwhelmed by the response to her product. It can be found in outlets around Johannesburg and Durban.