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Irresistible Cajeta Casera: A Heavenly Homemade Goat’s Milk Caramel

Easy Homemade Cajeta Recipe: A Traditional Goats Milk Caramel Delight

Discover the magic of cajeta casera – a luscious, complex Mexican confection that will tantalize your taste buds and elevate your desserts!

Forget everything you know about caramel. Cajeta casera, the Mexican goat’s milk “caramel,” is about to revolutionize your sweet tooth. This decadent treat boasts a depth of flavor that will make you wonder how you ever lived without it. Best of all? You can whip up this gourmet delight in your own kitchen in just about an hour!

Unveiling the Secrets of Cajeta

Cajeta may look like caramel, but it’s a whole different beast. This velvety concoction is the result of slowly simmering goat’s milk with sugar until it transforms into a rich, golden-brown sauce. The magic lies in the Maillard reaction – a complex dance of sugars and proteins that creates a symphony of nutty, toasty, and malty flavors.

Unlike its cow’s milk cousin, dulce de leche, cajeta boasts a more complex flavor profile thanks to goat’s milk’s unique composition. Higher levels of amino acids like lysine, phenylalanine, and tyrosine contribute to cajeta’s irresistible notes of caramel, almond, and even rose!

The Baking Soda Secret

One key ingredient that sets cajeta apart is baking soda. This alkali helps kickstart the Maillard browning process, resulting in deeper flavors and a gorgeous color. Don’t worry about a soapy taste – the natural acidity of the milk keeps everything in perfect balance.

Mastering the Art of Cajeta

The beauty of cajeta lies in its versatility. You can customize the consistency to suit your needs:

  • Saucy and pourable: Perfect for drizzling over ice cream
  • Thick and gooey: Ideal for spreading on toast or using as a dip
  • Firm and fudgy: Great for candy-making or as a decadent filling

Our recipe aims for that perfect middle ground – thick enough to cling to a spoon but still drizzleable when warm. It’s the ultimate all-purpose cajeta!

Cajeta Casera (Homemade Goat’s Milk ‘Caramel’) Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Mexican vanilla bean
  • 34 ounces (4 cups; 965g) fresh goat’s milk, preferably UHT (see notes)
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup; 170g) sugar
  • 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt

Directions

  1. Start by splitting the vanilla bean and scraping out the seeds (save them for another use). In a 5-quart stainless steel pot, combine the split vanilla pod, goat’s milk, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Warm this mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heat-resistant spatula. Keep at it until the sugar dissolves and the milk becomes foamy and light – this should take about 15 minutes.
  2. Now comes the transformation! Let the mixture simmer gently, stirring and scraping the sides of the pot frequently. As it thickens, you’ll need to stir more often to prevent scorching. After about 45 minutes, you should have a thick, golden layer of cajeta. The magic moment arrives when you can drag your spatula across the bottom of the pot and the ‘trail’ stays open for 1 second. At this point, remove the pot from heat and fish out the vanilla pod. Pour your liquid gold into a heat-resistant, wide-mouth glass jar. If you end up with less than 12 1/2 ounces (1 cup; 355g), thin it out with a touch of milk or water to prevent it from becoming too thick as it cools. Your homemade cajeta will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months – if it lasts that long!

Notes

This quick-cook method is specifically designed for goat’s milk and won’t work with cow’s milk or non-dairy alternatives. For best results, use ultra-high-temperature pasteurized (UHT) goat’s milk – look for Meyenberg in purple cartons at stores like Kroger and Whole Foods. While raw or low-temperature pasteurized goat’s milk will work, it may result in a slightly grainy texture. Save those artisanal milks for fresh applications where their delicate flavors can truly shine.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
110 Calories
3g Fat
18g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 110
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 118mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 108mg 8%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 164mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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