These South African fritters or donuts (koeksusters) are a little crunchy on the outside and soaked in a delicious cinnamon-ginger syrup.
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!
The dough is soft and easy to handle. If you have an electric mixer with a dough hook, use that. If not, it is very easy to knead by hand. Both the dough and the syrup need to rest for 6 hours, although I have seen other recipes that say that the dough only needs one hour of rest.
But the syrup needs those 6 hours or a whole night in the refrigerator. It must be cold. Place it in the back of the refrigerator and when it is time to cook the fritters, have a large bowl with ice and place a smaller bowl with the syrup on top.
These South African fritters can be enjoyed immediately after cooking or you can keep them in the refrigerator and serve them cold.
Do not forget! 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.
Koeksusters (South African Donuts)
- 2-¼ cup sugar (500g)
- 1-¼ cup water (375ml)
- half lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 piece of about 5 centimeters of peeled ginger
- 2 cups flour (271g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 teaspoons cold butter (15g)
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup water (100ml)
- 2 tablespoons milk (25ml)
- Oil for frying
For the syrup:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After 6 hours of rest, heat the oil over low heat in a large pan.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and serve cold.