Travel Food

Travel With Food And Femina: Koeksisters from South Africa

Koeksisters

Prep30 + chilling mins

Cooking30 mins

Category Dessert

CuisineSouth African

Take yourself to sugar heaven with these deep-fried plaited dough rolls dipped in sinful syrup.

If you’re looking for a treat that’s new but strangely familiar, this South African dessert is a calorific splurge worth the effort. 

They are so deservedly beloved back home that there is even a Koeksister Monument in Orania, in the Northern Cape province. Traditionally, koeksisters were baked to raise funds for churches and schools.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg, beaten
½ cup milk
Vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the syrup:
600 g sugar
1½ cups water
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
9 cm fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

Method

  1. To prepare the syrup, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the lemon juice and zest, and ginger. Chill overnight.
  2. To prepare the dough, mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Using only your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and milk, and knead to a smooth dough. Cover in cling wrap and allow to rest for two to three hours. Place the dough on a lightly-floured work surface and roll out to a 12.5cm x 35cm rectangle about one centimetre thick. Cut into 1.25-cm wide strips. Braid pairs of strips, and pinch together at both ends. Repeat for all the strips. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil on a medium-high flame and deep-fry the koeksisters until golden brown.
  4. Remove the chilled syrup from the fridge. Dip the hot koeksisters into the syrup, remove, and serve immediately.

Tip: It is important to have the syrup really cold and the koeksisters piping hot.

Image: Shutterstock

Bring joy to your table with easy recipes from across the planet. Even if we must stay at home, these dishes will bring the world to your plate and help keep our families nourished, warm, cool, or, in the case of our fabulous desserts, just happy! Stay tuned to our Stay Home And Travel With Food And Femina series. 

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