What is Cajeta?
A favorite ingredient in the Latin and Mexican section of your local grocery store, cajeta is a traditional caramel sauce created using goat’s milk. The name cajeta means “little box” in Spanish which was how this caramel was packaged long ago. Its components are cooked down slowly until they produce a thick, syrupy, golden caramel sauce which you can even make from scratch at home. Cajeta, pronounced “ka-hey-ta” is made of goats’ milk instead of cow’s milk to give it its unique taste. There are lots of things you need to know about exactly what cajeta is and how to make it for yourself.
What Does Caieta Taste Like?
As anticipated, cajeta has a very deep flavor and a rich and dreamy caramelized taste that gives sweetness too anything you add it to. As you should be using goats’ milk it will also give you a dairy flavor that tastes divine. Because it is made using goat’s milk, this means that it has an element of earthiness to the caramel taste. The goat’s milk is absolutely what makes this delightful sauce different from any other caramel that you can buy as it has its own exclusive flavor. It is true to say that if you enjoy eating goat cheese, then you will undoubtedly enjoy the taste of cajeta.
Homemade Cajeta Recipe
Preparation time: 2 hours
Servings: 1 pint
- 4 cups goat’s milk
- 1 Mexican vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Combine the milk and sugar together in a large pot and then add the cinnamon, salt and vanilla bean which has been split open and the seeds scraped out. Boil the pot on a medium heat while continuously stirring for around 15 to 20 minutes.
As soon as milk boils, you need to take it away from the heat and then add 1 teaspoon baking soda which you can dissolve in some water first. Add this to your mixture in the pot. This will cause the mix to become frothy, but if you keep stirring the pot it should be fine.
Return the pot to the stove and again use a medium heat to cook your sauce. You will need to stir and stir again to ensure that your milk remains at a gentle simmer instead of starting to boil. This process takes at least an hour, but often much longer, until the milk will begin to go golden brown.
Take away the vanilla pod and the cinnamon stick once the mix has changed in color and consistency.
Once it begins to turn you will find that the sauce will begin to thicken up quickly so it is vital to continue stirring the mixture to ensure that the milk will not burn as it can do on the bottom of the pot.
You need to continue to stir the mix until it gets a characteristic caramel color and is thick enough to stick to a spoon that you can dip in it to test it.
Once cooked, allow the mixture to cool slightly before you put the mix into a sealed glass container.
Homemade cajeta ought to keep in your refrigerator for about a month.
Related Post: Best Food Storage Containers
Goats Milk Cajeta
Traditionally the Mexican recipe for cajeta insists on the use of a combination of goats’ milk and cow milk to make the sauce. Some people might be put off slightly by the idea of having to use goats’ milk but there is no need to be concerned. Goats milk is very comparable to cow’s milk and it is used because it actually has to some extent a more saltier tang to it than cows’ milk. You should not be able to tell the difference as soon as the cajeta is ready.
Cajeta is conventionally produced with goat milk, though you can attempt to make it yourself with cow milk and it ought to still be tasty, and absurdly easy to make but it might just lack the earthy flavor that is just to delicious to resist. If you do decide to skip the use of goats’ milk and just use cow’s milk, then the sauce you make becomes dulce de leche which will obviously while tasting great, will at the same time taste very different to the traditional cajeta recipe. Just do not attempt to make Cajeta with vegan alternatives such as soy or almond milk as this is very much a dairy sauce.
Ways to Eat Cajeta
As well as being simple to make at home, cajeta is also tremendously adaptable and there are lots of ways that you can eat it.
- Drizzle cajeta over top of warm brownies to give you a sugar high.
- Put cajeta on crepes to create a great dessert.
- Pour this caramel sauce all over a bowl of ice-cold ice cream.
- Create caramel lollipops by pouring cajeta all over a plastic spoon and the allow it to cool and set.
- You can create tasty milkshakes with for a rich caramel taste.
- Use cajeta sauce as a deep and flavorsome dip to be used with fresh fruit like grapes and strawberries.
- Mix cajeta sauce into your cup of coffee to give sweetness and depth to your morning drink.
- Trickle on top of any cheesecake to give a caramel finish.
- Use as the filling to sandwich two cookies together for a gooey centre.
- Drizzle the caramel sauce over warm waffles or pancakes.
- Trickle on top of your breakfast cereal bowl for a luxury breakfast.
- Drizzle cajeta sauce all over the top of a warm slice of homemade fruit pie.
- Spread the sauce over any cake for a delicious topping.
- Add to a warm slice of toast.
- Or simply lick this yummy caramel sauce straight off your spoon…….
To all of the cajeta lovers out there, the tartness of using goat milk to make your cajeta balances the sugariness of the other ingredients so you are left with. a richly flavored multipurpose sauce which can be enjoyed by everyone.
- Cajeta (Mexican Caramel Sauce) – Tablespoon