25 October 2009

Great recipe site

I was going to chirp about the joys of making Koeksusters together!  Oh those days of getting together once a month to make 1000 Koeksusters to fill the Tamboetie Nursery School coffers...  ice cold syrup and boiling hot oil and slippery floors... I don't think it would be allowed anymore. Too dangerous! Too dirty (none of us wore hair nets or gloves and we used the nursery school kitchen table to roll out the dough - shock! horror!). We had a lot of very noisy fun though and I still think those were the best ever Koeksusters. They were sold out before we even began making them!

You might well ask what a Koeksuster is... the direct translation from Afrikaans to English is 'Cakesister'. You mix the dough, roll it out, cut it into thin (yes, thin!!! thick plaits are simply lazy!!!), strips and then plait three strips together, fairly tightly.  Your plaits should look like old fashioned hair plaits.  Plaits can be short to serve as finger food at tea parties, but 'in the olden days' we made them about 6 inches long (15cm).  They're 'pinched shut' tightly at either end so they don't unravel while they're being fried.

The secret to really good Koeksusters is simple. 

Drop your Koeksusters into your deep fryer (use Sunflower oil for best results) one by one (being careful not to splash yourself with hot oil!), let them go a light golden brown, remove from oil with a slotted spoon (to drain the hot oil!) and put them straight into the ice cold syryp mix (if you let them drain and cool, as some recipes suggest, before you put them into the syrup they will be soggy!).  Remove them quickly and let them drain on a draining rack placed over a tray - this is a messy business...

You should have at least two bowls of syrup in the fridge!  Change your syrup once it starts warming up.

We used to prepare our syrup days before we needed it (we needed an awful lot!) and would pop the 'warm' syrup buckets into the chest deepfreeze to cool off again. 

We worked in teams.  One team would mix the dough, one team would roll, one team would slice the dough into strips (we had a commercial cutter that worked a treat, but I've never found another one like it), one team would plait, one team would fry and 'syrup' the koeksusters.  The last team packed.  We'd rotate teams during the morning and were finished by 2:30pm on Koeksuster day.  Finished.  Literally and figuratively. A mammoth task.

I was going to give you a Koeksuster recipe I've had forever, but I came across a wonderful African recipe website this week and so I'm going to let you go on a taste experience of your own.  Try his recipes out! There's even a recipe for Cape Malay pickled fish, my fathers favourite!

Different recipes/instructions will give you a different end product.  If you want crisp outsides and sticky centres that are not soggy... use my frying/dipping instructions or follow the instructions given by the Cook Sister site below.

There's a good recipe for Meltert (Milktart... a custard tart) and a fantastic recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie.

Lots of diabetic recipes too.

Found another great blog with a Koeksuster recipe that sounds really good too, quite different, but her instructions on making them are great! 

Cook Sister -  (lots of other interesting recipes to try too).

I popped into a butchery in St Ives on Friday afternoon and was absolutely delighted to find it jam packed with all the South African products we loved and could not buy that easily here.

Pronutro, Ouma Rusks (I have a great recipe which I must share with you next week), Ina Paarman's spices (and even some cake mixes that are 'new' since we left South Africa so I couldn't say how good they are, but I do love her spices), dried fruit rolls, Redro Fish Paste, Marmite (relabelled Zarmite... anyone know what that's about?), Cadbury chocolate (chocolate tastes different here... different milk, more sugar - I don't know, it's just a fact), Bar One, Elizabeth Anne's baby products (used them for all my kids with great success) and even some magazines.  Stacks more!  Has to be the best selection I've seen in a shop here.  His boerewors has absolutely no preservatives either!  Which is fantastic news for me.  Very, very little fat and (he assures me) no water!  Tried his Karoo wors which is a mixture of lamb and beef and it was truly delicious.

Time to get stuck into my man's paperwork now.  GST is due in on Wednesday.

April Blackbird


ChickieChirps said...

One day we have to make these together! You promised...


Anonymous said...

I did and we will. I promise. Again. So, so looking forward to that day. I will also teach you how to make 'vetkoek' (fatcake) which we will eat filled with hot, spicy mince. Yum.