500 ml water
1 kg sugar
2 ml kremortartari
2 thin slices ginger
1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
500 g cake flour
30 ml baking powder
0.5 teaspoon salt
50 g butter, diced
1 large egg
250 ml milk, sour milk, or buttermilk
Oil for frying
Syrup: Combine ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil, without stirring, for about five minutes, or until a light syrup forms. Strain into a large bowl. Cool, then refrigerate until well chilled.
Dough: Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk egg with most of the 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.
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.
Deep fry, a few at a time, in hot oil, turning constantly. Watch the heat! Koeksisters take 2 – 3 minutes to cook through and turn deep golden brown. Drain briefly on kitchen paper and then, while still hot, dip into chilled syrup. Drain koeksisters on a rack.
Creme of tartar is added to prevent the crystallisation of the syrup