Friday, June 28, 2013

Good Things Come In Small Boxes (Cajeta)

We have been fans of Rick Bayless for a lot of years.  We've been to Frontera Grill, watch his shows, buy his books, buy his products...

I became intrigued by a Twitter post the other day.  Rick posted a link to cajeta made in a slow cooker.  I'm not interested in a slow cooker method but I sure am interested in caramel sauce!

I learned that cajeta translates to "small box".  Small boxes often hold surprises... of the good variety!

I'm posting this in the vegan section as well as non-vegan since you may choose to make it using the traditional goats milk.

Rick's standard recipe is in our Mexico One Plate At A Time cookbook.  I'm making it. I'm buying glass jars to keep it in. I'm eating it on ice cream. I'm putting it in my coffee. I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it!

8 cups (2 quarts) Very Vanilla Soymilk (or whole goats or cows milk or any combo of)
2 cups sugar
2" cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the milk of your choice, sugar, and cinnamon until it is boiling.  Slide off the heat and stir in baking soda mixture.  Allow the mixture to stop foaming after baking soda addition and return to heat.  You want your heat to allow a good simmer but not hot enough to boil over.  For me, this was medium-high.  Simmer until golden stirring on and off. This will take about an hour.

When it is a nice golden color, stir constantly so the thickening mixture does not stick to bottom of the pot.  When you think it is about maple syrup consistency, test a little on a cold plate.  Put a few drops on the plate. Swirl it around a little and run your finger through it.  If it looks like caramel sauce, you're done!  Continue cooking if it is not.  Rick's recipe says if it is too thick, you can remove from heat and add a tablespoon of water.

Pour through a fine mesh strainer into glass jars.  When cool, cover and store in the refrigerator for an endless amount of uses.

Cajeta is often used in candy making and eaten with crepes.  Yeah.  That sounds right.

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