Cajeta

Cajeta

By
From
Salted Caramel Dreams
Makes
400 g
Photographer
River Thompson

Cajeta, like dulce de leche, is made by reducing sweetened milk, in this case goat’s milk, with added cinnamon and vanilla for spice. It’s awesome spread over fresh crusty bread or as a dip for juicy strawberries. If you can get hold of some cones of piloncillo sugar, you are in for a real treat. (It is available to buy online, but you don’t even want to know the price!) An unrefined Mexican sugar made from boiling cane juice, its smoky, earthy tones really enrich this recipe, adding further notes of deep caramel. For a very smooth cajeta, opt for UHT milk or ultra pasteurised goat’s milk, which is available at most supermarkets. Goat’s milk doesn’t contain as much lactose as cow’s milk so isn't as likely to catch, meaning you don't have to watch it like a hawk until you are nearing the end of the cooking process, unlike dulce de leche.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g piloncillo, grated
or 250g good-quality dark soft brown sugar
1 litre full-fat goat's milk
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cinnamon stick
1 small vanilla pod, split
or 1/2 large vanilla pod, split
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, stir together the piloncillo, goat’s milk and bicarbonate of soda until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cinnamon stick. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan, then add the scraped pod.
  2. Very slowly bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. It will foam up considerably so keep a close eye on it. At no point do you want the milk to boil, but keep it at a bare simmer for 1–1 1/2 hours. Keep a good eye on the pan and stir every so often. After this time, the mixture will be thickened and turning a light golden brown.
  3. Now it’s time to pay close attention. The cajeta will cook and catch quickly at this stage so it is best to stir constantly as this also allows you to gauge the desired consistency. For a pourable sauce, stop cooking when the mixture just coats the back of a spoon. For a spreadable texture, cook for slightly longer until a thicker coating is left, but always bear in mind the cajeta will thicken considerably when cooled.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the sea salt, then leave to cool before using or store in sterilised jars.
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