Pronounced 'cook sisters', these delightul doughnuts are a South African classic. The name implies that they are ideal for afternoon tea and are condissive to a little gossiping between sisters...
In a mixing bowl, mix together the plain flour, salt and baking powder. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until all the lumps are broken down.
Whisk the egg and water together, and slowly add to the flour mix until you obtain a soft and sticky dough. Knead for a few minutes, or until you obtain a smooth ball. Wrap the dough tightly in cling film and leave to chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
When the dough has rested, flour the the dough and roll out to about 5mm thickness. Cut into strips, and plait together two at a time, pinching the ends to prevent unravelling.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a fryer or a deep saucepan. When the oil reaches 175'C (use a wooden skewer if you do not have a thermometer: the skewer will bubble wildly when the oil is hot enough), drop a few plaits at a time into the pan.
When the dough turns golden brown around the edge, use tongs or a long spoon to flip over. Cook until golden on both side, then drain on paper towels.
The koeksisters hould still be piping hot when you dip them into the syrup.
Juice the lemon. You can peel the zest as well if you want an extra lemony kick.
Bring all the ingredients up to a gentle simmer, and stir until the sugar is completely disolved.
Leave to chill and infuse in the refrigerator until needed.
Strain out the bits before dipping the fried dough.
Plate up the koeksisters and sprinkle with the coconut.
«Traditional koeksisters are left to soak up the syrup, but a brief dip is wenough to impart sweetness while keeping enough crunch in the dough. Although served year-round in South Africa, koeksisters can be a great treat for Mardi Gras.»