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Traditional South African recipe

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Koeksisters are a traditional South African sweet treat.

Koeksisters, twisted and dripping with syrup, a Lekker South African Dessert
Koeksisters, eaten as a dessert, or
just anytime you fancy something
Nowadays, you probably wouldn't find Koeksisters served as dessert at a formal sit down dinner.

You will find them on the menu of some restaurants, especially those desirous of creating the traditional South African ambience

They have become a very popular treat, eaten as a sweet snack, at braaivleis, sporting events, church and other fetes and cocktail parties. You'll find koeksisters almost everywhere

These South African Koeksisters are very different to the Cape Malay Koeksister or Koesister which are not twisted but a somewhat doughnut shaped, spiced, indulgence, which are boiled in the syrup rather than dipped in cold syrup.

The texture and taste are completely different.

To see the Traditional Cape Malay recipe click

Koeksister syrup:

800g (1lb 12oz) sugar
250ml (1 cup) water
5ml (1 tsp) cream of tartar
2.5ml (½ tsp) tartaric acid
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
or 5ml (1 tsp) grated orange rind
or 5ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
or 1.5ml (⅓ tsp) ground ginger

Add the dry ingredients to the water and bring the mixture to the boil.

Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes or until syrupy.

Set the syrup aside to cool.

It is advisable to make the syrup first and to leave it in the fridge overnight.

The koeksister batter:

1 egg
500ml ( 2 cups) flour
90ml (6 tbsp) milk
90ml (6 tbsp) margarine or butter
10ml (2 tsp) baking powder
5ml (1 tsp) salt

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.

Cut or rub the margarine or butter into the dry ingredients.

Beat an egg thoroughly and add it to the milk. Add this to the flour mixture, taking care to handle as little as possible.

Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/2 cm ( ¼ inch).

Cut into strips that are approximately 9cm (31/2 inches) long and 2.5cm (1 inch) wide.

Cut each strip into three lengthwise, leaving one side uncut, and plait the pieces, pressing the cut ends together firmly.

Pre-heat vegetable oil in a deep pan and remove half of the syrup from the fridge.

Deep-fry the KOEKSISTERS in the oil until golden brown.

Drain them for a few seconds on absorbent paper.

Dip the koeksisters into the cold syrup, for a few seconds, whilst they are still hot.

This will seal the syrup outside and leave the inside of the koeksister dry in contrast.

Place on paper towels to allow excess syrup to drain

The syrup will gradually become hot, so when you have done about half of the koeksisters take the remaining syrup from the fridge and use this for the balance.

Your koeksisters should turn out to be a somewhat crisp, sweet indulgence which are a favourite of all South Africans who have a sweet tooth.

People sell them outside shopping malls to earn an income.

You will find them at all fund raising functions where food is sold.

Koeksisters are certainly a popular item at church and other fetes and create strong competition in the recipe judging events at agricultural and other shows.

If you like sweet things you will certainly enjoy these.

But be careful, they're so nice that it's easy to over indulge and start feeling a little queasy, rather save some koeksisters for tomorrow.

Time, Servings and Nutritional Values

Preparation 1 hour 45 minutes
Cooking 30 minutes
Total 2 hours 15 minutes

Yield:- 18 Koeksisters

Serving Size = 1 koeksister of about 85g
261 total calories, 39 calories from fat
Fat Content 4.4g of which Saturated Fat 2.6g
Carbohydrate 56.2g of which Sugars 44.7g
Protein 2.0g
Cholesterol 20mg
sodium 104mg

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Date Published 3rd March 2003
Author: Michael Tracey - Africhef

My Africhef African Recipes Cookbook is currently unavailable as I am revising it and re-writing it in Kindle format, meanwhile I suggest the following

THANKS!... Africhef

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