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Cajeta -- making my own


jsmeeker
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Do you have a Big Lots where you are?

I've found Cajeta there, it both the sherry flavor and the vanilla. 

It was pretty cheap too!!

eta:  a picture I dug out of my first foodblog

gallery_25969_665_175377.jpg

Did you get them at Big Lots in the US, or Odd Lots in Canada? I'm hoping you meant Odd Lots--my mother loves Cajeta and Dulce de Leche and all that stuff, so if they have it at Odd Lots, she'll be very happy!

Anyone know where I can get goats milk in Japan? Maybe I can try making my own here.

Sorry to dissapoint, but I bought it at Big Lots in Hollywood, FL. We were there( visiting my family) right before I began my first foodblog.

We're going for xmas so if they have more, I'll grab one for your mom and mail it to her when I get back to Ontario.

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as we speak, on my stove I have a double boiler of the crock pot cajeta simmering, ok, it's no longer crock pot, mostly because my slow cooker died about an hour into the cooking :rolleyes:

still, it's been hovering around the 200 mark for a few hours now and is getting darker but not really any thicker. the top of the pan has crusty/sticky stuff round it which I stir in from time to time.

I'm going to give it another four hours, then see what happens with the consistency before adding the reserved cup of milk. looking at your pictures it needs to be a lot darker/thicker before it's done. currently it pours off the spoon like thin cream.

Edited by binkyboots (log)

Spam in my pantry at home.

Think of expiration, better read the label now.

Spam breakfast, dinner or lunch.

Think about how it's been pre-cooked, wonder if I'll just eat it cold.

wierd al ~ spam

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The temp was one of the first things I thought of.  There was no guidance on temp other than the one that said to add the baking soda/water mixture at about 140 degrees.  It took a long time to get to 140. I actually added it at about 138.  It eventually crept up to 140.  then stayed there for a very long time.  But eventually, after 3 or 4 hours, it started to climb. 160, 170, 180. I think by the 8th hour, it was push 200.  I guess I should have logged this effort.

By that 8th hour, it was looking good color wise, and starting to foam.  So, I put it to low, and scraped best I could, the sides of it down.  Then, it started to foam more. And more.  The foam never really went away. I kept trying to mix it out, but I think that actually made it worse.

After 2 hours on low, I had light and foamy on the top, with a bit of  "pure" stuff on the bottom. And it was thickening up. Definitely coat the back of a spoon. ( I actually did that test)  I was going to hold off on adding in the reserved cup of milk,  but decided to do it any way. This helped with the foam some, but it really thinned it out.  I decided to call it quits and poured it out into a container.  When I did that, I could clearly see the foamy part and the part that wasn't.  It was like a beer with a big head on it.  But after just a few minutes, the foam started to subside as all the air bubbles came out.  but it's still thin.

All that said, it tastes freaking GREAT!!  Smooth as silk.  Really sweet.  caramel like, but not exactly.  No slightly "burned" notes to it.    It's really nice.

is there anything I can do to thicken it up?    What would happen if I put some it into a double boiler for a while? Would it thicken up?  I want it to be somewhat thick when it's warm.  (although it will be interesting to see how it is at room temp)

I haven't really had a problem with it foaming as much as you describe and I can't explain why yours is doing so.

I wil do a batch and see if I get the same problems - I think if there were excessive foaming, I would skim off the foam, I do this when I make a buttermilk custard.

The only problem I have is that sometimes it gets too thick after sitting in the fridge for a few days, so that I can't even spoon it out of the jar without heating it in the microwave. (Carefully and on reduced power because otherwise one can get a volcano effect which can take hours to clean!! :rolleyes: - do profit from my mistakes.)

Actually I think I will do two smaller batches. I want to try using a pinch of calcium carbonate in one batch to see if it has any effect.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Remember, it will be thicker when it cools.

Spoon some into a small dish and let it cool to room temp. It should be like thick honey at room temp. When chilled, you can invert the dish and it shouldn't pour at all.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Remember, it will be thicker when it cools. 

Spoon some into a small dish and let it cool to room temp.  It should be like thick honey at room temp.  When chilled, you can invert the dish and it shouldn't pour at all.

I checked the conistency last night, after it had been chilling for about 24 hours in the fridge. Thicker.. A little thicker than heavy cream. But not like honey at room temp.

Still, it's tastes fantastic!!!!

Edited by jsmeeker (log)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I ran into some trouble with my first batch. I wasn't sure of the temp, so I brought it up to boil then down...well, too late, and it boiled over. I now have a nice caramel that I've poured, sprinkled with fleur de sel and rolled for snacking.

This morning I started a new batch keeping it at its lowest setting and so far so good. I don't know if anyone else is using fresh goat milk, but I bought some from a friend who milked on Sunday, so its fresh, fresh, fresh.

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I ran into some trouble with my first batch.  I wasn't sure of the temp, so I brought it up to boil then down...well, too late, and it boiled over.  I now have a nice caramel that I've poured, sprinkled with fleur de sel and rolled for snacking.

This morning I started a new batch keeping it at its lowest setting and so far so good.  I don't know if anyone else is using fresh goat milk, but I bought some from a friend who milked on Sunday, so its fresh, fresh, fresh.

I don't know how fresh my goat's milk was, but it came from the dairy case, right next to the regular milk, at my local Super Target.

Did you bring it to a boil in the crock pot? Since it took so long for mine to come up to temp, I thought that maybe next time I would pre-heat the milk and sugar to abut 140 on the stove top, then dump it into a pre-heated crock pot. Maybe that will help speed things along.

I do get the impression that slow is good, but if it *should* take hours in a crock pot alone, then helping it out with a stove instead of going 12 hours should be OK. (12 hours is really a long, long time to cook something at home)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Yeah, I'm more confused than ever. I'm at 5.5 hours right now and its very dark and as thick as...warmed caramel. It has a hefty crust on the top that I stir back in every now and then (I try to wait for the 2 hours in the recipe). I read later in the recipe to turn it DOWN to finish, but I'm on low and that seems higher than the recipe calls for...so obviously we have variance in the crockpots. I'm going to push for the full 8 hours and see what happens. Worse case I have more caramel and my friend's goat is a little raw under the belly.

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I know I have not had a truly successful batch yet, but if it's as dark as what is pictured a few posts above and it's thick like honey, I think you have it where it needs to be.

question for you. did you start with room temperature milk? Mine was straight from the fridge.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I generally use milk right out of the fridge and it does take a long time.

In an hour or so I am going over to visit with my neighbor and her sister-in-law who is from Bolivia and had a dairy, made cheeses and cajeta, although a little different from Celia's and she calls it manahara-something. We are going to have a barnstorming session about cajeta and discuss the various ways it is made.

There is also going to be a couple or three aunties sitting in, none of whom speaks English and my Spanish is minimal, at best.

I will report back later.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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as far as the foam goes, I wonder if it's something in the air that I have in my apartment in dallas, but isn't in the air in SoCal?

I appreciate the help and diagnosis on this.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Cajeta de leche quemada or cajeta de dulce de leche, cajeta meaning "little box". From the time when people returning to Mexico City through Celaya would pick up a "little box" of the stuff, Celaya being a famous town for its production.

A typical shortening of the description over time as was done with:

Tequila (from mezcal de Tequila or aguardiente de Tequila)

Enchiladas (from tortillas enchiladas)

Jalapenos (from chile Jalapeno)

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^Cool information, Jay. Thanks for sharing that.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I'm back, stuffed full of empanadas, flan and having tasted four different varieties of cajeta or dulce de leche, I can barely fit behind my desk.

I have several pages of notes, some near to undecipherable at a brief glance so it will take me a little while to get them in order.

The ladies with whom I met had numerous stories of how dulce de leche is made. Cajeta being that made predominately from goat milk. Colectively there were ladies who had made the various milk caramels with milk from cows, goats, sheep, burros and even llamas. The lady from Bolivia, Doña Madelueña Escudero (she printed it out for me) maintained a dairy on her family's estancia near Tariya for more than twenty years and sold fresh milk as well as butter, eggs, cheeses and "Manjar Blanco" as it is called there.

It was made mostly from cow's milk as this is "cow country" but she also bought milk from farmers who raised llamas for their wool, sheep and goats for meat and milked the ones who were "not too wild."

There were many jokes and much laughter about the "cowboys" and I wish I could remember all the stories.

An interesting sidelight was the information that sometimes the dulce de leche is cooked in an iron pot in what I think is an outdoor oven or maybe an enclosed barbecue and it gets a smoky flavor.

This latter bit really fascinates me, because I think it might make a very interesting variation.

They also make a spicy rice pudding that is baked until it has a sweet caramel crust on top and that one sounds like it is something I would love.

More later.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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