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  • For the syrup
  • 1 kg granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • For the dough
  • 280 g cake flour
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 4 T butter, softened
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 7 T water
  • 6 cups vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions

To make the syrup: Over a low heat, dissolve the sugar in the water, stirring frequently. Do not bring the mixture to a boil before the sugar has completely dissolved.

Once dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 1 minute, then add the spices, lemon juice and zest.

Reduce the temperature and simmer the syrup for a further 5 minutes.

Remove from the stove and allow to cool before transferring to a rectangular airtight container. Chill overnight.

To make the dough, sift the flour, salt and baking powder together. Rub in the butter to create a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs

Use a palette knife to mix in the egg, then add the water a little at a time until the dough comes together. Add more flower if it feels overly sticky.

Knead for 30 seconds to form a ball, rest it in a bowl covered with clingfilm at room temperature for at least 1 hour

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1 cm. Cut into a rectangular shape and then into 1 2x 4 cm strips. Turn each strip so that the short side is at the top.

Make two incisions, 1 cm apart, down the length of each strip, keeping the tops intact.

Plait the three "legs" tightly and pinch the loose ends together. Fold the top in slightly to resemble the bottom. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and, when hot, place 3 koeksisters into it.

Deep fry for 3 minutes, turning and lightly pressing the koeksisters into the oil.

When golden brown, remove using a slotted spoon and drain briefly on kitchen paper before plunging into the cold syrup. Coat thoroughly in syrup and leave to soak for 1 minute. Remove and transfer to a rack to cool and dry slightly before serving.

Cook's note: Make the syrup a day before in order to get it sufficiently cold for serving.

Discover more South African foods here

Charlene Pretorius Recipe by: Charlene Pretorius
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