Saturday, September 21, 2013

Recipe: Cajeta (Dulce de Leche or Caramel Sauce)

Dulce de Leche, Caramel Sauce
I love Cajeta. Some people know it as Dulce de Leche, or Caramel sauce. Whatever. It's delicious. Made with goat's milk, my son can eat it too. It's a key ingredient in many Latin American sweets, but is also a great topping for ice cream, in baked goods, or drizzled over fruit. I may make some caramel apples with my son, too.

Or you could just eat it off a spoon. Not that I would know anything about that.

Traditionally, cajeta becomes thick enough when cooled that it's almost like a pudding. It won't fall off the spoon like a sauce. It's great to use as a filling for cookie sandwiches that way. To make it more like a sauce, just shave off a bit of the cooking time indicated in the recipe, and remember that the sauce will thicken a little as it cools, so take it off just before it's as thick as you want it.


6 cups goat's milk (1 bag of milk)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon or one cinnamon stick, to be removed when mixture begins to thicken
1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon water


1- In a large sauce pot, pour in the milk and cook over medium high heat until it starts to bubble. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the cinnamon.  

2- In a small cup, dissolve the baking soda in water. When the milk mixture begins to bubble again, add the dissolved baking soda. The mixture will bubble. Remove from heat and skim off foam that forms. Return to heat, and cook at just above a simmer (around a 4 on a traditional stove), stirring every 10 minutes or so. If more foam appears, just skim it off.

3- Cook for 1 1/2 hours, reducing heat if bubbles start to get too big. The idea is for the milk to reduce slowly, but not to burn. As it reduces, the heat can be lowered. In the last half hour, it needs to be stirred more frequently to prevent burning. If using a cinnamon stick, remove it after an hour.

4- When cooked almost to desired consistency, remove from heat and pour into clean jars. For a completely smooth cajeta, pour through a sieve. Cool and refrigerate.

The heat from the cajeta should seal your jars. It will last several months.


Dulce de Leche, Caramel Sauce

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