- 1,25kg sugar
- 750ml (3 cups) water
- 560g cake flour
- 15ml (1 tbsp) baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
- 1 large egg
- 375ml (1½ cups) milk
- oil, for deep frying
For the syrup, start the day before. Dissolve the sugar in the water over a medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool, then chill in the fridge overnight.
For the dough, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Mix the egg and milk together. Add it to the flour mixture, a little at a time, to form a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 15 minutes until smooth and elastic. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out 1cm thick on a very lightly floured work surface. Cut it into strips about 10cm long and 2,5cm wide. Cut each strip in the length into 2 strips, but not completely through at the top. Plait and pinch the ends together thoroughly. Set them aside under a clean kitchen towel.
Pour the sugar syrup into a bowl and suspend it over another bowl filled with ice water. Place a wire rack over an oven pan (you will use this to drain the koeksisters once they have been soaked in the syrup).
Heat the oil over a moderate heat in a large saucepan (it must fill up to two thirds of the saucepan). Drop a small piece of dough into the oil – if it floats to the top and turns golden brown the oil is ready. Carefully place about 4 koeksisters at a time in the oil, pressing them down for a few seconds with a slotted spoon. Fry them until they are golden brown on both sides.
Remove the koeksisters with a slotted spoon and immediately dunk them into the chilled syrup. Place them on the wire rack and reuse any syrup that drains into the oven pan.