South African Koeksusters

South African Koeksusters

Ingredients

For the dough:
8.4 oz (240g) cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
4.2oz (125ml) milk
2 cups vegetable oil for frying

For the syrup
35oz) 1 kg sugar
2 cups water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla essence or extract

Instructions
For the syrup
1. Place all the syrup ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil, while stirring constantly.
Reduce to a moderate simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and place in a metal bowl if you have one.

2. Place the bowl in a bigger container (or kitchen sink) filled with ice water — you want to get your syrup really cold. You can place it in the freezer too (in a Ziploc bag) when cool enough.
Leave to chill while making your dough.

For the dough:
3. In a bowl, sift the dry ingredients together and rub in the butter. Add the milk and mix into a soft dough; knead thoroughly, then leave to stand for about 15 minutes.
If the dough is too crumbly, add a dash more milk.; if it’s too wet, sprinkle with a little more flour.

4. Roll out to a thickness of about 5mm and cut into strips 1.5cm wide and about 7cm long. Divide the 1.5cm into strips 5mm wide, but keeping them joined at the top.

5. Create plaits with the three strips, making sure that you press the strips together firmly at both ends — this is very important because if you don’t, the koeksuster will fall apart in the oil. I know the plaits might seem very small now, but they expand when they fry and then absorb all the syrup. Don’t be tempted to make them bigger!

6. Deep fry the koeksusters in hot oil until golden brown — don’t be afraid to get them a rich, deepish brown.

7. Drain quickly and immediately dip into the ice-cold syrup. I left mine in the syrup for maximum saturation, and only removed them before I was going to serve. Yum.

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