The last time I was in Mexico, I had the most delicious semi flan, semi cake like dessert. I don’t think it was a traditional dessert, I’ve never seen anything like that before and it was finished with a big drizzle of warmed dulce de leche…which I later found out was actually cajeta. Cajeta is pretty much dulce de leche, but it’s made with primarily goats milk and not cows milk, unlike regular dulce de leche. The goats milk gives a slight tangy taste to the rich sauce. I haven’t had much experience with cajeta so unfortunately I can’t go into detail about the other things that may make the two different from one another, but what I do know is that it’s very easy to make and it’s delicious.
I like how you can control the thickness of the sauce when you make it yourself. Personally, I like my dulce de leche and now cajeta, a little thinner than what you usually find in the markets. I like being able to pour it without having to warm it up, so this recipe makes a slightly thinner cajeta. I really love the subtle but apparent tang that the goats milk creates, it adds a little it of balance to this super decadent sauce. Just make sure you don’t take your little eyeballs off the stove during the seemingly tedious process because once the mixture gets going and needs a good stirring…it needs it…the.whole.time! to prevent burning and to make sure the mixture caramelizes evenly.
There are so many things you can do with this sauce, but sometimes it’s nice to keep things simple, so lately I’ve been spreading it onto buttery Ritz crackers and enjoying them as a midday snack…..sort of like the poor mans alfajores? Anyway, yum. Is making your own cajeta, cheaper than buying it from the store or online? It really depends on if you’re able to find a good, inexpensive source for goat milk. If you’re picking your goat milk up from a place like Gelsons, Whole Foods, etc. then probably not . I think a quart can range anywhere from 3.99 to 6.99 and although you start with 2 cups of milk for the recipe, the overall yield is cut quite tremendously. That being said, I do recommend making this at least once because there’s something so fulfilling and gratifying about making your own jar of thick and beautiful cajeta….and Hey! If the cost of making such a little jar of cajeta is bumming you out, just replace the goat milk with whole cow milk and make yourself some dulce de leche…so easy! Also, if you’re like me and have a sweet-toothed dad, this Father’s Day, why not make him a little jar of sweetness? Literally! Enjoy! xx, Jenny
Makes 3/4 cup
2 cups goat milk
1/2 cup superfine sugar (granulated is fine)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cow milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. In a small pot, stir together goat milk, sugar and salt. Simmer over medium- low heat until sugar dissolves, 2 to 4 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Pour baking soda mixture into the goat milk mixture and stir together.
3. Continue to simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Once the mixture is thick enough to thoroughly coat the back of a spoon and has turned a caramel color, remove from heat and pour mixture into a sterilized jar.
5. Tightly seal the jar and can in a water bath, or method of your choice, until the jar is properly canned.
6. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Spread onto cookies or crackers or gently warm and pour onto ice cream, pies, cakes, etc.