For the dough:
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons butter, diced
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
oil for frying
For the syrup:
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
pinch cream of tartar
1 tablespoon ginger, sliced
juice and zest of 1 lemon
Method of Preparation:
1. Combine ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil, without stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until a light syrup forms. Strain into a large bowl. Cool, then refrigerate until well chilled.
2. For the dough: sift flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. Whisk egg with 4/5 cup milk, add to flour mixture and knead to make a soft, pliable dough. Add remaining milk only if dough is too stiff. Shape into a ball, wrap in waxed paper and chill for a couple of hours, or overnight, if possible.
4. Roll out to 1 cm thick on a floured surface. Cut into 4 x 8 cm strips, then cut each into 3 strips lengthways, almost to the top. Plait together and pinch ends tightly to seal. Place on a tray and cover with a damp cloth. Deep fry, a few at a time, in hot oil, turning constantly. Watch the heat: koeksisters take 2 to 3 minutes to cook through and turn deep golden brown.
5. Drain briefly on kitchen paper and then, while still hot, dip into chilled syrup. Let them sit for a little while to really soak in the sauce. Strain off excess syrup back into bowl and drain koeksisters on a rack.
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