Another suggestion by my Joburg friend Claudine, koeksisters are a South African doughnut coated in a sticky syrup that tastes almost honey-like (due to the lemon juice). When I asked C and her partner about SA recipes, this was near the top of the list – they had me at deep fried.
Speaking of deep fried, I never cease to be amazed at how little damage someone like me manages around a big wok full of hot oil. I mean last week I splashed some hot fat on my eyelash, but considering my track record in the kitchen that’s not much to cause worry. Okay, so almost everything I own has a grease stain but whatever.
If anyone can work out how both my kitchen and bedroom (!!!) doors get coated in food, I’ll mail you some cake. It’ll come flat packed like an Ikea desk.
- First make the syrup by adding all of the syrup ingredients to a medium saucepan and bringing to the boil until the sugar has dissolved. This should only take a few minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight until very cold.
- To make the dough sift the flour, salt, baking powder, corn flour, and nutmeg (if using) together into a large bowl. Add the margarine in small chunks and mix into the flour lightly with your fingers, until it looks like crumbs and there are no big chunks of margarine left floating around.
- Add the non dairy milk and stir with a wooden spoon to bring the flour and liquid together. Switch to using your hands and knead the dough for a few minutes, or until smooth and stretchy (you can add a splash more milk if need be). Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for an hour or two.
- Heat a few inches of vegetable oil to 180 degrees C.
- Roll the dough out to just under 1/4 inch in thickness and cut into approximate 1/2 inch x 4 inch pieces. Take three strips and pinch them together at one end, braiding the strands together and pinching to seal at the other end. You can make the koeksisters longer if so desired.
- Careful not to overcrowd whatever you’re using to deep fry in, place some of the koeksisters in the hot oil and fry until golden (2-3 minutes approximately). Remove from the oil with tongs or a slatted spoon and immediately plunge into the cold syrup and then place in a large 9 x13 inch dish. Continue until all the doughnuts are cooked and pour the remaining syrup over top.
- Refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature. Either way the koeksisters are best if they’ve been left in the syrup for awhile.