One can hardly mention Darling without mentioning Evita Bezuidenhout, or Tannie Evita as she is affectionately known by South Africans. The former stateswoman owns the local railway station and has a whole boulevard in the quaint town named after her.
We sat down with a glass of her favourite wine, Groote Post Old Man’s Red Blend, as she shared her recipe for that quintessentially Afrikaans confectionary, koeksisters, with us. Cheers skattie!
500 g cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 tbs butter
1 cup milk
1 kg sugar
2 cups water
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp ground ginger
First prepare the syrup. Heat sugar and water in a pan and stir until sugar has dissolved.
Add the cream of tartar, cinnamon sticks and ginger and boil for a few minutes. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes, until it becomes syrupy. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
To prepare the dough, mix cake flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter, using your fingers, until it feels like breadcrumbs. Beat eggs and milk together and add to flour mixture. Knead into a dough. Form into a ball and cover with wax paper for 2 hours.
Roll out dough to 1 cm thick. Cut into strips about 8 cm by 3 cm. Make two cuts, 1 cm from one end of the strip, so that you have 3 strips, attached at one end. Plait together and pinch to seal at the bottom.
Heat cooking oil in a pan and deep-fry koeksisters for 2 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper for half a minute, then immerse in cold syrup until all air has escaped. Drain on a rack. Best served with a cup of tea.
This recipe was taken out of her cookbook Evita Se Kossie Sikelela which is available at Evita se Perron, signed and tested.