This popular South African treat (pronounced “cook-sister”) is a plaited and fried doughnut dough, dipped in delicious ‘syrupy’ goodness.
Being South African, Koeksisters are really one of my favourite treats, and I’ve always wanted to try making it myself. It took me up until June this year (2019), to work up the ‘courage’ because a lot of people kept telling me how difficult and time-consuming it is.
Why did people say that?
Time-consuming because there is waiting time after making the syrup and dough but plaiting and frying wasn’t too bad. It was not difficult AT all!
The MOST important step is to make your syrup (the recipe link will be at the bottom of the post) the day before, as it always needs to be ice cold – I made the syrup and divided it between 3 dishes and alternated the dishes as a batch of koeksisters came out of the oil.
The next day, I started by making the dough before I went out for the day. TIP: use a pizza cutter for easier cutting. A nice kitchen activity for the kids, because you can do a 2 or 3 strand plait. I think that most kids will be able to do it. Remember to show them how to pinch it at the end to keep the plait together. [Please be careful with the hot oil at all times!]
Test the oil by putting a small piece of the dough in and it starts bubbling. I watched as they turned a beautiful golden brown color. When I took them out I put them into the syrup immediately (that’s how they soak up the syrup the best). I recommend using a fork to roll them around and make sure they covered. Once I took them out the dish, I put that dish back into the fridge, and took the next cold syrup dish out for the next batch.
Once I’d finished them, my husband got home from work – basically inhaled them – it was a huge success! We had a few left-over the next day and they were MUCH better – so if you can wait – I promise it’ll be worth it!