SYRUP: Combine ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Boil, without stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until a light syrup forms.
Strain into a large bowl.
Cool, then refrigerate until well chilled.
DOUGH: Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Whisk egg with 200 ml (4/5 cup) milk, add to flour mixture and knead to make a soft, pliable dough.
Add remaining milk only if dough is too stiff.
Shape into a ball, wrap in waxed paper and chill for a couple of hours, or overnight, if possible.
Roll out to 1 cm thick on a floured surface.
Cut into 4 x 8 cm strips, then cut each into 3 strips lengthways, almost to the top.
Plait together and pinch ends tightly to seal. Place on a tray and cover with a damp cloth.
Deep fry, a few at a time, in hot oil, turning constantly.
Watch the heat: koeksisters take 2 to 3 minutes to cook through and turn deep golden brown.
Drain briefly on kitchen paper and then, while still hot, dip into chilled syrup. Let them sit for a little while to really soak in the sauce.
(If syrup gets too warm, place it in a larger bowl of cold water and ice blocks.)
Strain off excess syrup back into bowl.
Drain koeksisters on a rack.