Cape Malay Koesisters
A dessert commonly found in the Cape Malay Culture in Cape Town, South Africa, this doughnut includes a delicious combination of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, aniseed and dried naartjie peel (naartjie is also known as mandarin or satsuma). This popular dessert is served as a breakfast treat on Sunday mornings!
For the batter:
- 1 small potato, with skin on
- 600 grams (5 cups) sifted cake flour
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) ground cinnamon
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) aniseed
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) ginger powder
- 7.5 ml (1 1/2 teaspoons) cardamom powder
- 7.5 ml (1 1/2 teaspoons) naartjie peel (dry out fresh naartjie peels in a warm oven until its hard, then grind into a powder)
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) baking powder
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) granulated sugar
- 10 grams (1 packet) instant yeast
- 237 ml (1 cup) milk
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) butter
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 118 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
For the syrup ,and finishing:
- 594 grams (3 cups) granulated white sugar
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Fine desiccated coconut, as needed for coating
- Bring a small pan of water to a boil and add the potato to cook until soft. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, aniseed, ginger, cardamom, naartjie peel, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to blend.
2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and yeast with milk and 237 ml (1 cup) warm water. Set aside for yeast for activate.
3. Remove the potato skin while it’s still warm. In a large bowl, mash the potato with the butter. Add mashed potato and oil to dry ingredients and rub together until it has a sandlike texture. Add the yeast mixture and egg. Knead by hand until the dough is well mixed, with a soft, sticky consistency. Leaving the dough in the bowl, pat the top surface with a bit of oil, then cover the bowl. Set aside to proof until double in size (usually 1 hour).
4. Once the dough has doubled in size, knock back the dough and lubricate hands with a little oil. Break small chunks of dough (about 30 grams/2 tablespoons each) and roll each into a ball before slightly stretching it out to form an oval shape. Set aside in a warm spot until doubled in size. Meanwhile, in a large pot or fryer, heat the vegetable oil in while you will fry the doughnuts.
5. Fry the doughnuts until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to paper towels to absorb excess oil and cool. While the doughnuts are cooling, make the syrup.
6. For the syrup and finishing: In a medium saucepan, combine 710 ml (3 cups) water with the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar has melted and the liquid reduces to a runny syrup; it should not be thick at all.
7. To finish the koesisters, choose a pan large enough for the koesisters to cover the base. Place over medium heat, and pour in enough syrup to cover the base. Add koesisters to the syrup and move them gently to ensure they are completely covered. Do this until the syrup thickens. Transfer to a rack to drain, and sprinkle with coconut.