Andrew’s family have heritage from South Africa and as such there are a few delicacies that his mother speaks of that I have been dying to try. One of these is a koeksister.
Koeksisters (pronounced cook-sister) are a South African sugar coated doughnut. The way they have been described to me, they sounded delicious. They conjured images similar to those of pop biscuits from The Magic Faraway Tree.
And after trying my first koeksister, it was exactly what I expected. It was amazing. The outside was dripping in a sweet, honey, sugar syrup that had a hint of spice and ginger. The ginger was a surprise and really added an extra dimension; it also countered some of the intense sweetness. After the initial hit of syrup I bit into a crunchy dumpling like pastry. They’re said to be doughnuts, but they aren’t the same consistency as the cinnamon doughnuts we know, more like a dumpling with a very crunchy surface.
All in all if you ever get to try one, do it! They are a real treat. Be warned though; eat more than one and you could really spike your blood sugar levels!
I can understand why Andrew’s mum was addicted to them when she lived in Africa. She craved them when pregnant with Andrew, and would to line up at the bakery in the morning wating for it to open!
I’d like to thank Sheldon, the guy who works across the hall from me. He originates from South Africa and brings us such treats from a local South African bakery. If he hadn’t popped in with a container of koeksisters, I may never have tasted one.
Finally, Golden Syrup Dumplings are a dessert I cook often during winter. My mother-in-law always comments that they remind her of koeksisters, so if you’d like to try something similar (let me state – only similar…) then perhaps you should try this recipe.