Koekisters: Sticky but Sweet

Koekisters are a very sticky South African sweet. They’re like donuts but messier and possibly yummier. Koekisters are easy to make but require just a tiny little bit of precision. Are you ready?

To make South African Koekisters, here’s what you need;

  •  250 ml water (1 cup)
  • 625 ml white sugar (2 1/2 cups)
  • 12 1/2 ml lemon juice (2 1/2 tsp.)
  • 5 ml vanilla essence (1 tsp.)
  • 375 ml cake flour (1 1/2 cups)
  • 22 ml baking powder (4 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1 ml salt (1/4 tsp.)
  • 20 g butter or 20 g margarine
  • 150 ml milk (the vanilla soy milk gives added flavor, 5/8 cup) or 150 ml vanilla-flavored soymilk (the vanilla soy milk gives added flavor, 5/8 cup)
  • 750 ml canola oil (3 cups)

Here’s how you go about it;

  • Put the water and sugar in a bowl and boil on low heat. Stir frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved. Boil for 7 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla essence. Put the pot into the fridge.
  • Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Break the butter or margarine into small pieces and add to the four mixture. Add the milk. Mix well until a dough is formed.
  • Roll the dough out to a thickness of 5 mm (+ or – 1/4 in.). Cut the dough into thin (+ or – 10 mm or 1/2 in.) strips. Take 3 strips and join their ends on one side. Braid the strips to desired koeksister length and join other ends.
  • Heat the oil in a pot until fairly hot. Put about 3 koeksisters (or what can fit) at a time in the oil and fry them on both sides until they get a golden-brown color. As you remove the koeksisters for the oil, place them directly into the syrup from the fridge. It is important to keep the syrup cool, so between soakings, return the syrup to the fridge to maintain its coolness.
  • Remove the koeksisters from the syrup and allow the excess syrup to drip off.
  • Place them in the refrigerator to cool and voila! a sweet sumptuous dessert is ready.

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