Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Goat Milk Cajeta. Oh yes.

So, are goats a little louder than we'd planned on? Sure. More trouble than we'd anticipated to catch, collar, and milk? Yep. Do they poop a crazy amount and waste more feed than even the chickens? Yes again.

So why on earth, you may be thinking, would someone willingly keep goats? Well aside from their inherent sweetness, a frisky take on life, and personality galore, the only logical answer is cajeta. And what is cajeta? Only the most glorious thing that goat milk can achieve; a caramel sauce that by its sheer perfection will put all others to shame. And, you only need 4 cups of milk to make it, so even our tiny haul was more than sufficient after a few days of hoarding.

For the duration of this demo, picture me with the air conditioner cranked (we're having a heat wave) and a nice mix of alt country power ballads blaring over my stereo. Or maybe I'm belting out the lyrics to "Let It Go," Eddie Vedder style...My secret is safe with me.

First, gather your 4 cups of goat milk.

Then, place milk, a scant cup of white sugar, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla into a 2.5 or 3 Qt pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to prevent scorching.

When the milk boils, remove from heat and add 1/4 tsp of baking soda that has been dissolved in a TB of water. Stir stir stir - it will foam up. Then return the pan to the stove over medium heat and prepare to cook and stir for the next hour or so. Earn that cajeta!

At roughly 40 minutes, the milk started to take on a caramel color.

At about an hour, the milk had reduced to roughly under 2 cups and it was getting close!

And then, glory of glories, it was done. The milk had reduced to about one cup. Rumor has it that the longer you cook the milk, the sweeter and thicker it will be, but my arm gave out at 75 minutes, and it was damn good. Carefully pour the cajeta into a glass jar and let it cool.

While the cajeta cools, keep singing along to Idina Menzel...or someone more adult since the kids aren't home...and scrape the cajeta from the bottom of the pan and put it in your mouth.

The cajeta will thicken as it cools. After a few hours in the refrigerator, you will be rewarded with this. Well done, you. You deserve it. Cajeta is delicious heated over ice cream, as a fruit dip, or you can rely on my favorite pairing, a spoon. Dig in. 


Leigh said...

What a fantastic post. I've heard of cajeta and wanted to try it, so your step by step is really useful. You make it look so easy! And how perfect over goat milk ice cream. :)

Danielle (PareDownLookUp) said...

I totally recommend taking the leap and making this! Every batch is different. My second attempt resulted in a much thicker caramel - I cooked it down a little longer - and I think I liked the first round better. Next time I'm going to add cinnamon and maybe a little cardamom and see how that goes.

Anonymous said...

Can this be canned?? I finally am getting enough to make some and I'm excited to try it!

Danielle (PareDownLookUp) said...

I haven't found a way to can it without risk of poisoning my family or ruining it. Just think of cajeta as a seasonal treat!

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