In honor of this sweet-tooth-lover’s dream of a day, I’m sharing my homemade cajeta, which just might be my favourite recipe of 2016.
Unfamiliar with cajeta? Don’t worry, you’re probably not alone. Cajeta is a Mexican-inspired caramel, similar to dulce de leche, but made from goats milk. It sounds strange, and I’ll admit, it is. There is a uniqueness to the taste, which makes it oddly satisfying as you eat it. There’s almost another level of flavour with each spoonful.
My first experience with this velvety sauce was at a local cheesery. If you live in the lower mainland you should definitely check out Golden Ears Cheesecrafters. They house their own livestock and milk their own cows to make their cheese. It’s pure, fresh, and #local! (Hashtag optional)
One lick of sampling this stuff and I was instantly hooked. Needless to say, I bought a jar. When it (quickly) ran out, I was just about to head out to buy another, but thought I’d do a quick Google search to see how easy it was to make at home.
It turns out, it’s SO EASY. All you need is a few simple ingredients, and some time. The result is a rich and complex caramel sauce that you’ll no doubt be eating right out of the pot.
This being a food blog, I should probably try and explain the taste of cajeta. It’s obviously caramel-y and sweet, but there’s a complexity in the flavours. The added cinnamon and vanilla bean give this sauce a more robust flavour than traditional dulce de leche. The goat milk base lends a slight tang, but not in an overpowering way.
Really, the only way to fully appreciate such a lick-the-bowl-worthy sauce is to try it yourself! Store-bought is tasty, but it may be hard to find. That shouldn’t stop you from enjoying it – it’s so simple to make at home!
In a pot on the stove, heat goat’s milk, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla. Add a little baking soda and simmer on low, stirring as often as you can, for 1 1/2 to to hours. There is a bit of patience needed, as you have to stir often to prevent it from burning. But, if you’re like me, having that kind of patience is worth it if there’s such a delicious reward. Bring a book into the kitchen with you to read as you stir (or, hey, a laptop with some Netflix).
Have you tried cajeta? Do you have any other delicious ways of eating it? If so, let me know in the comments!
Now go forth, my friends, and try cajeta!
|Homemade Cajeta (Mexican Caramel)|| |
- 4 cups goat's milk
- 1 cups brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (optional)
- ½ tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp water
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla bean pod. Bring to a low simmer, stirring often to avoid the milk from bubbling over.
- Once the mixture has come to a low boil and the sugar has dissolved, remove pot from heat. Stir in baking soda; it will become frothy and rise, but just keep stirring.
- Return the pot to the stove and continue to gently simmer on low, stirring often and scraping the sides and bottom of the pot with a rubber spatula to prevent it from sticking. Keep an eye on the milk to prevent it from boiling over. Cook for up to 1½ to 2 hours until the milk has thickened and caramelized into a dark golden brown colour. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean pod and pour into an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to a month.