Koeksusters (South African Donuts)

A few months ago I posted this recipe on the Spanish side of this blog. I was participating in a culinary challenge, where a food blogger chooses a country and then we all try and post a recipe from the chosen country. And that month it was my turn to choose. I chose South Africa. I wanted it to be some Africa country because my husband grew up there and the meals I’ve tried are so delicious, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

This fritter or donut recipe comes from my friend Vonnie who is from South Africa and lives here in Paraguay. My family and her family got to spend a couple of Christmas together a few years back. She brought a few South African desserts and one of those were these delicious koeksusters. And since then, I’ve been wanting to make them.
These fritters are spongy and are soaked with a tasty syrup. I recommend that you serve them on a plate or just eat them outside, especially if you’re serving this to kids. These koeksusters are finger-licking good!
These South African fritters or donuts (koeksusters) are a little crunchy on the outside and soaked in a delicious cinnamon-ginger syrup.

  • Syrup:
  • 2-1/4 cup sugar (500g)
  • 1-1/4 cup water (375ml)
  • half lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece of about 5 centimeters of peeled ginger
  • Dough:
  • 2 cups flour (271g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cold butter (15g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup water (100ml)
  • 2 tablespoons milk (25ml)
  • Oil for frying

  1. For the syrup:
  2. Add all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over high heat and when it begins to boil, cover with a lid and let cook for a minute. Lower the heat and uncover, and let it boil for 3 minutes. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before using.
  3. Fritters:
  4. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cold butter. Mix with 2 knives or with a fork until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  5. Add the egg, water and milk. Using an electric mixer with the dough hook, beat for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Cover and let stand 6 hours.
  6. After 6 hours of rest, heat the oil over low heat in a large pan.
  7. Divide the dough into 8 balls. Roll each ball in a thin strip. Divide each strip into 3. Gather the 3 ends and make a braid. Follow this step with each dough portion.
  8. Fry each braid for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Immediately add the braids to the syrup; turning so that both sides absorb the syrup.
  9. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and serve cold.
Recipe Notes
Two very important things: One, the syrup needs to be very cold. Two, add the donuts in the syrup immediately after removing from the oil.


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