- Soaking Syrup:
- 3 cups white sugar
- 2 cups water
- 3 1/4-inch-thick slices peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 lemon, zested in large strips
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups oil, or as needed
Combine sugar, water, ginger, lemon zest, and lemon juice together in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes. Cool syrup to room temperature, transfer to a container, and refrigerate until flavors blend, 8 hours to overnight.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until mixture has a cornmeal texture. Add the milk; mix until a smooth dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 2 hours.
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Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 5×14-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut the dough into twenty eight 1/2-inch wide strips. Twist pairs of strips together and pinch the ends together. Repeat for all of the strips. Cover strips with a clean cloth and let rest for 15 minutes.
Heat about 2-inches of oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a wire rack over a baking sheet.
Pour some of the cold syrup into a bowl and return remaining syrup to the refrigerator.
Working in batches, fry koeksister twists in hot oil until twists swell and are golden brown, 2 to 5 minutes. Remove koeksisters from hot oil with a slotted spoon and immediately immerse in cold syrup for 10 seconds. Transfer soaked koeksisters to prepared wire rack to cool. Replenish cold syrup as necessary.