Wednesday 12 September 2007

Koeksisters and milk tart

Now why is it that these 2 "food groups" were not a HUGE feature in my diet in South Africa and I have already made both? I will admit to indulging in koeksisters more regularly than milk tart but it certainly was not something I imagined myself making so soon! But make them I did and it actually was a request from South African friends so there!
I had invited Derrick and Rose around for homemade pizza on Friday night (this is where the milk tart please came from) and we were invited to another South African family for a braai on Saturday (the koeksisters please)
Now there were a few unforeseen problems with this mammoth task that I had set myself....Firstly I had dedicated the morning to clean the house (got that done!) and the afternoon to bake all manner of things:

Yeast pizza dough
Tomato base for pizzas
Yeast koeksister dough
Syrup for koeksisters
Pastry for milk tart
Filling for milk tart
The kitchen, well it was not very pretty to say the least, I did not have an inch of space on a single counter top....all my own fault mind, because as I am always saying....I am NOT the tidiest cook! So 2 different types of dough rising, a syrup to be made, dough to be plaited... aarrgghh and....I have to go and fetch Malcolm from work ($%^&*) nothing like cutting a chunk of about 70 - 80 minutes out of your day! Luckily I had decided to pre-bake the pizza bases with the tomato sauce and the milk tarts were done. I left Jessica to make the syrup and Kirstin to clean up behind me, and a fine job they both did. I got home again about 10 minutes ahead of the Rowes (luckily I had taken the casual evening approach) to a clean kitchen, boiled cooling syrup and lots more to be done. By now the koeksister dough had more than doubled so I knocked it down again and concentrated on grating cheese and slicing vegetable toppings for the pizzas. By now the dough was rising again, not sure that this is a good start plaiting for a while. Realise that this will have to wait so cover plaits and get back to pizza...
Well pizzas were fine, koeksisters were now plaited loaves...knock back down, plait again and quickly fry a few for Derrick and Rose. I decided that the rest could be done in the morning, I think yeast dough can go in the fridge overnight???? Bagged the dough made space in my tiny fridge and sat down to relax and watch the rugby. Of course as the dough was still warm it rose in my fridge again, bad bad bad for 2 not think it is good for the dough to rise so many times and my fridge is too small. The syrup which I had placed in the fridge in an OPEN container had been knocked over by the rising dough, luckily it was still there, it had just been tipped to an angle, phew! Or so I thought....when I took the spring onions out of the vegetable crisper they were decidedly sticky OOPS! Now I have to clean the bloody fridge and fry 40 koeksisters...not to mention find the uniform shop to buy Kirstin some more shirts (that is for another post) and be at a braai at 14h30, okay so the cleaning of the fridge can wait!
After all that, the koeksisters were a bit tough, I guess the manhandling of the dough and all that rising contributed to this, I had omitted the cream of tartar when making the syrup as I did not have any, and what difference would that make right? But they were not awful and I guess if you have not had koeksisters in a long time they were bloody marvelous! Mmmmm Rose later googled the cream of tartar and it stops the sugar from crystallising, and I thought I had not boiled the syrup enough! I guess I will have to try again when I have a cold rainy afternoon stretched before me with nothing else to do! So Irene I still owe you some decent koeksisters....someday soon I promise.

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