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Koeksisters

Makes 36

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

pinch salt

3 tablespoons butter, diced

1 egg

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk or buttermilk

oil for frying

For the syrup:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

pinch cream of tartar

1 tablespoon ginger, sliced

juice and zest of 1 lemon

Method of Preparation:

1.Combine ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil, without stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until a light syrup forms. Strain into a large bowl. Cool, then refrigerate until well chilled.

2.For the dough: sift flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3.Whisk egg with 4/5 cup milk, add to flour mixture and knead to make a soft, pliable dough. Add remaining milk only if dough is too stiff. Shape into a ball, wrap in waxed paper and chill for a couple of hours, or overnight, if possible.

4.Roll out to 1 cm thick on a floured surface. Cut into 4 x 8 cm strips, then cut each into 3 strips lengthways, almost to the top. Plait together and pinch ends tightly to seal. Place on a tray and cover with a damp cloth. Deep fry, a few at a time, in hot oil, turning constantly. Watch the heat: koeksisters take 2 to 3 minutes to cook through and turn deep golden brown.

5.Drain briefly on kitchen paper and then, while still hot, dip into chilled syrup. Let them sit for a little while to really soak in the sauce. Strain off excess syrup back into bowl and drain koeksisters on a rack.

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