Cajeta Recipe

Cajeta
Makes: You'll end up with 1 cup (250 ml), which you can dribble onto ice cream, waffles, brownies, or pound cake—or scrape it off a spoon at midnight when you can't sleep.

There may be no more iconic goat milk sweet than cajeta (Spanish, kah-HAY-tah), a creamy, silky caramel that’s long-cooked to a thick sauce, then stored in the fridge for months, only to be rewarmed until pourable when needed. (Often.)

Bruce Weinstein demonstrates how to make cajeta in this CHOW Tip video.

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups (960 ml) regular goat milk (do not use low-fat)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda stirred until smooth in 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Bring the milk to a low simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Pour in the soda mixture, which will cause the milk to rise in the pan. Stir it down, then stir in the sugar.
  3. After bringing the mixture back to a full boil, reduce the heat a bit. (To medium? Medium-low? It depends on your stove and how much heat it puts out.) Cook at a very low boil, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
  4. Now the hard part. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the internal temperature registers 236°F (113°C) (that is, soft-ball stage) and the cajeta is thick and golden, about 30 minutes, maybe longer, depending on the day’s humidity and the residual fat content of the milk. Cool the hot cajeta for about 10 minutes in the pan, then pour it into a heat-safe glass jar or glass container of some sort, perhaps a canning jar. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Reheat it in dribs and drabs in a bowl in the microwave, or set the whole storage jar in a warm water bath in a medium saucepan over low heat for a few minutes, until the cajeta is again spoonable.

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.