Friday, April 27, 2012

A recipe which is quite tasty


Goat's Milk Caramel Sauce
Makes about 3 cups


2 quarts goat's milk or a combination of goat’s milk and cow’s milk—or even with all cow’s milk (use whole milk in all cases)
2 cups sugar
A  2-inch piece of cinnamon stick, preferably Mexican canela
1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon water


1.  Simmer the cajeta.   In a medium-large (6-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven or Mexican copper cazo), combine the milk, sugar and cinnamon stick and set over medium heat.  Stir regularly until the milk comes to a simmer (all the sugar should have dissolved by this point). Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the dissolved baking soda—it’ll foam up if the goat’s milk is acidic. When the bubbles subside, return the pot to the heat.  
Adjust the heat to maintain the mixture at a brisk simmer (too high and the mixture will boil over; too low and the cooking time will seem interminable). Cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture turns pale golden, more or less one hour.
Now, begin stirring frequently as the mixture colors to caramel-brown and thickens to the consistency of maple syrup (you’ll notice the bubbles becoming larger and glassier).  Stir regularly so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Test a couple of drops on a cold plate: When cool, the cajeta should be the consistency of a medium-thick caramel sauce.  If the cooled cajeta is thicker (almost like caramel candy), stir in a tablespoon or so of water and remove from the heat; if too runny, keep cooking.

2.  Finish the cajeta.   Pour the cajeta through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl or a wide-mouth storage jar.  When cool, cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.  Warming the cajeta before serving (a microwave oven is efficient here) makes it extra delicious.

Working Ahead:  Cajeta keeps for a month or more in the refrigerator.  Keep it tightly covered to keep it from absorbing other flavors. 
For the crepes:
1 small cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil as needed
For the goats' milk caramel:
2 quarts goats' milk
2 cups granulated sugar
2-inch cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
For the pecans:
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1 cup pecans, chopped
For the plantains:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 plantains, peeled and sliced
For the dish:
Diced papaya
For the garnish: Mint sprigs
For the crepes, in a spice grinder, pulse the cinnamon stick and the cloves until finely ground. Transfer to a blender, add the milk, eggs, salt, sugar, vanilla, and flour and blend until smooth, about two minutes, scraping down the sides of the blender. With the motor running, add the butter and blend until the mixture has the consistency of heavy cream, about one minute. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside for two hours.
For the goats' milk caramel, in a large saucepan, bring the milk, sugar, and cinnamon stick to a simmer, stirring frequently.
Remove from the heat, add the baking soda, and stir to combine. When the bubbles disappear, return the pan to medium heat. Bring to a brisk simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to turn golden brown, about one hour. Continue to simmer until the mixture thickens to the consistency and color of maple syrup, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine mesh sieve, and set aside keeping warm.
For the pecans, in a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the pecans and saute until toasted and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer the pecans to a medium bowl. Reserve the butter and pecans separately.
For the plantains, in a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the plantains and sauce until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside keeping warm.
To finish the crepes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat a seven-inch skillet over medium heat and brush lightly with the oil. Pour 1/4 cup of the crepe batter into the pan, swirl to coat, pouring out any excess. Cook until the edges begin to dry, about one minute. Using a thin spatula, flip the crepe and cook for one minute. Transfer the crepe to a parchment-lined sheet pan, keeping flat. Repeat with the remaining batter and set aside keeping warm. Brush the top of each crepe with browned butter and some goats' milk caramel. Fold each in half and gently press down to spread the filling. Brush with butter and fold in half again. Arrange the crepes in an ovenproof dish. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside keeping warm.
To serve, place two crepes in the center of the plate and spoon some of the goats' milk caramel on top. Arrange some plantains, papaya, blackberries, and raspberries on top, sprinkle pecans around the dish, and garnish with mint.

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