Cajeta, for those of you so deprived as to have never heard of it, is a delicious Mexican sweet. It's basically caramel, made with goat's milk, vanilla, and lots of sugar, all boiled together for a long, long time. That's simplifying, but only a little. A recipe is kind of redundant.
Friday, October 2, 2009
You can boil it for two or three hours, into a thin sauce such as you might use on pancakes, or you can simmer it all day and end up with a sticky paste just right for spreading on toast. I like to split the difference and make a thick syrup. In Mexico, I've seen it made into candy, almost like maple sugar candy, and into a taffy-like substance on a lollipop. But I think those applications must involve other ingredients and techniques that I don't know about.
We mainly use cajeta for sweetener/lightener in coffee. It's delish. But it is also heavenly as an ice cream topper, stirred into a bowl of yogurt and fresh fruit, or even drizzled on a cheesecake (do that when you want the guests to swoon.)
Aside from a basic inborn sweet tooth, I make cajeta because it is easier than making cheese, and can be made with less milk. It's pointless to make cheese with less than a gallon of milk, but you can make cajeta with a half gallon and end up with a pint or so of cajeta, which lasts quite a while.
Now that my goats are giving less milk (Flopsy is essentially dry) it's hard to get enough milk to make cheese. Plus, I have a pretty good store of cheese already. Unfortunately, I found that the cajeta I made last year and canned did not store well. I'm not sure why; everything I read says milk can be canned in a pressure canner. And my cajeta didn't spoil. But it separated, into a thin, rather sour liquid and a thick, cheesy/sweet solid. Pretty gross. I tossed it. This year, I'm only making amounts that can be kept in the fridge. It does last a pretty long time in the fridge; perhaps six weeks.
That's a lot of coffee.