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Cajeta


June 26, 2015
homemade vanilla ice cream with cajeta swirls and Mexican chocolate chunks

Pancho Villa, one of the most renowned generals from the Mexican Revolution was wild about ice cream. It is even said he was most fond of vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate. This historic photo, published in the El Paso Times, shows him sitting at the famous El Paso confectionery The Elite, right after having an ice cream.

Pancho Villa at Elite Confectionary

History has judged him both harshly and heroically. Yet, from the account of my husband’s great grandmother Regina, he was a true gentleman.

Continue reading Vanilla Ice Cream with Cajeta Swirls and Mexican Chocolate Chunks


Dulce de Leche Cinnamon Rolls

Dulce de Leche & Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
Roles de Canela y Dulce de Leche

Serves: makes 12 generous sized rolls

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Roles de Canela y Dulce de Leche" />

Ingredients

For the starter:

1/2 cup lukewarm water

3/4 cup lukewarm milk

3/4 ounce (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar


For the dough:

2 eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more to knead the dough

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more to butter the bowl


For the filling:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 -inch dice

3/4 cup dulce de leche or cajeta

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or canela

3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans


For the glaze:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

To Prepare

To make the starter: Place the lukewarm milk and water in a small bowl. Be careful as it shouldn’t be hot or cold, or the yeast will not react. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid along with a tablespoon of sugar. Stir and let rest until it puffs up and becomes foamy, about 10 minutes.

To make the batter: Place the flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a hole in the middle and pour in the beaten eggs, foamy yeast starter, sugar, and salt. Start combining the ingredients with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. After a few strokes, add the melted butter. Mix with energy, until fully combined. The dough will be very sticky and gooey.

Sprinkle your counter or work surface very generously with all-purpose flour. Turn the sticky dough onto the surface, and knead until it transforms from being sticky and gooey to soft and elastic, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add a bit more flour to the counter, if needed, and use a bench scraper to gather the sticky dough from the counter as you knead the dough, and it becomes malleable and soft. Shape the dough into a ball.

Butter a large bowl, place the ball of dough in it, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rest in a warm area of your kitchen with no drafts or air currents, for about 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until it doubles in size.

To make the rolls: Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan.

Sprinkle your counter or working surface generously with all-purpose flour. Place the dough on the floured counter and knead gently to begin to form a rectangle. Sprinkle a rolling pin with flour and use it to roll the dough into a long rectangle of about 10-inches wide by 24-inches long.

Leaving a 1-inch frame around the rectangle spread the dulce de leche across the length of the dough to form a centered and long 6-inch stripe. Sprinkle the chopped pecans, the cinnamon, and the butter chunks all over the surface, except for that 1-inch frame.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Working lengthwise, roll up the rectangle tightly. Brush the top 1 inch edge of the rectangle, with water, and close the roll up. Cut into 12 rolls: I like to cut the log in half first, then that half in half, and each of those quarters into 3 rolls. Place them in the buttered baking dish. Cover the baking dish with a kitchen towel, and let them rest in a warm area of your kitchen with no drafts or air currents, until they double in size, about an hour.

Bake the cinnamon rolls for 27 to 30 minutes, until they are fully cooked and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven.

To make glaze: In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the vanilla, lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk and mix with a whisk or spatula. Incorporate the confectioners sugar and mix until fully combined. Pour freely all over the rolls.

If you add the glaze while the rolls are still hot, they will turn out even better. Eat as soon as glaze has set, or at least try; it will be just a few minutes.

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Homemade Cajeta or Dulce de Leche

Homemade Cajeta or Dulce de Leche
Cajeta Casera

Serves: makes about 3 cups

Cajeta Casera" alt="Homemade Cajeta or Dulce de Leche
Cajeta Casera" />

Ingredients

8 cups, or 2 liters goat milk, you can substitute or combine with cow’s milk

2 1/2 cups dark brown sugar or shredded piloncillo

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

To Prepare

Place a large pot (I use my new copper one!) over medium heat. Pour milk, vanilla, sugar and baking soda, give it a good stir and let it come to a simmer. Keep it at a steady medium simmer for about one hour and a half, stirring occasionally, every 15 to 20 minutes or so, with a wooden spatula or spoon. The mix will gradually thicken and darken.

After about an hour and a half, the liquid will have thickened and reduced and the simmer will become stronger. Reduce the heat to medium low, to keep it at that constant medium simmer. You want active bubbling, but not over the top angry bubbles. Stir a bit more frequently, as you don’t want the bottom to develop a thicker layer.

You know the cajeta is ready when: It achieves a caramel brown color; it is thick as liquid caramel or syrup, much like a chocolate syrup consistency; it envelops the back of the spoon; when you gently stir across the pot with your wooden spoon, a slightly delayed trail behind the spoon appears, revealing the bottom of the pot if only for a few seconds; as you slowly lift up the wooden spoon or spatula, cajeta takes it’s time to drop and lastly, the sides of the pot show how the cajeta has cooked down and if you run your spoon across that side, you get a fudgy (and delicious) residue.

Turn off the heat and let cool (it will thicken considerably as it cools).

Place in a glass jar, cover tightly with a lid. It will keep in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://www.patismexicantable.com/2015/04/homemade-cajeta-or-dulce-de-leche/


Churros with Cajeta or Dulce de Leche

Churros con Cajeta

Serves: makes about 16

Churros con Cajeta

Ingredients

Canola oil for frying, plus 1/4 cup

1 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon

2 cups water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

Cajeta or dulce de leche (optional dipping sauce)

To Prepare

In a large, heavy and extended casserole, or cast iron, high-sided skillet, heat about 1 1/2-inches of canola oil over medium heat until the oil temperature reaches 350 degrees (or test with a piece of tortilla or bread; it’s ready when the oil bubbles actively all around it). It will take awhile to heat, so get this started before making the dough.

On a large plate, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, 1/4 cup oil, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the flour all at once, turn off the heat and use a wooden spoon to stir vigorously until the mixture forms a dough as smooth as possible with no flour lumps. It will take about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip or a churro press. Pipe the dough into about 6 to 8-inch pieces (or if you want to replicate a churro store, pipe a rope-like dough of about 24-inches) and carefully place in oil. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and crisp, flipping in between. Use tongs to remove them and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet or drying rack.

While the churros are still very hot, toss them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat. If desired, serve with cajeta or dulce de leche as a dipping sauce and Mexican hot chocolate on the side.

© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://www.patismexicantable.com/2015/04/churros/


March 11, 2015
churros

Some Latin foods don’t need translating anymore. That is the case of churros. Crisp and golden on the outside, soft and almost moist in the center, and covered in a gritty mix of sugar and cinnamon. They have to be some of the most, if not the most, irresistible fritters.

Mexicans don’t get the credit for inventing them though. That battle is still disputed between the Portuguese and the Spanish. But we do owe the Spanish for helping churros find their way to our Mexican kitchens, where we have found a way to make them our very own. More than five centuries later, so rooted they have become, it is hard to find a town, small or large, that doesn’t sell them.

You can find churros being sold by street vendors in little paper bags, in baskets, or in stands that have a heating light to keep them warm – people tend to underestimate how chilly Mexican nights can get. But there are also churrerías, places that only sell churros and different kinds of hot chocolate to accompany them.

Continue reading Churros Don’t Need Translating Anymore


February 25, 2013
pouring finished cajeta into jar

For years, I’ve managed to turn every Mexican vacation into a working trip. As soon as I touch Mexican soil, I set up interviews, plan research tours, library searches, cooking adventures, all the while trying to tweet and instagram. And facebook, pinterest and blog too… My appetite expands outrageously as if giving me a chance to try all that my eyes can see and my mind can gather. Even with the best of intentions to relax and disconnect, they only last so long.

My family had been enthusiastic about it until recently: my husband announced last summer he’s had it. He won’t travel with me to Mexico when he wants us to vacation, together.

So when I suggested we go visit for the December holidays, he said “no, no, no Pati, you can’t control yourself there.”  I kept pursuing Mexico because I missed it so bad, seeking out a place where I wouldn’t be tempted to work. San Miguel de Allende sounded like just the spot.

Continue reading Homemade Cajeta

Continue reading
Homemade Cajeta

COMMENTS (93)


CHOCOLATE AND DULCE DE LECHE (CAJETA) CUPCAKES
Recipe from my sister Alisa Romano
Cupcakes de chocolate con cajeta
Makes 12 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
Cupcake ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup hot water
3/4 cup La Lechera dulce de leche or cajeta

Ganache ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
14 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

TO PREPARE
To prepare the cupcakes:
Place oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the cupcake molds.

In the mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until soft and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix it up and add it to the butter mixture. Pour the buttermilk and continue beating. In a small bowl, combine hot water and cocoa powder and stir into the mix, beat until combined. Pour the batter into the cupcake molds.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cupcakes rise, are cooked and tanned on top. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely. Using a paring knife, cut a 1-inch piece from the top of each cupcake. Save the cut pieces. Fill each hole with one tablespoon of dulce de leche or cajeta and replace the cut-out pieces. Top the cupcakes with the chocolate ganache.

To prepare the ganache:
Mash the butter until it’s creamy and has no lumps. Heat the chopped chocolate in a double boiler water bath and let it melt. Warm the heavy whipping cream slightly

Slowly fold the whipping cream into the melted chocolate. Finish off the ganache by folding in the softened butter and adding sugar until everything is well combined.


A tasty look at the way French cuisine has historically influenced modern Mexican cooking, and simple techniques any American cook can manage with impressive results.


CAJETA CRÊPES WITH TOASTED PECANS
Crepas de cajeta con nuez

INGREDIENTS
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
Pinch kosher or sea salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water
Extra butter to oil the pan
2 cups cajeta or La Lechera dulce de leche
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon rum, optional
1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted, to garnish
Vanilla ice cream, optional

TO PREPARE
To make the Crepes: In a small pan, heat the butter over low heat until it melts. Set it aside. Place flour, eggs, milk, sugar, salt and melted butter in the blender and purée until smooth, for about 10 seconds. Add water and blend again until smooth. You can also mix the ingredients by hand, following the same order.

Place batter in a container, cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour, up to 12 hours. Once ready to make the crêpes, whisk the batter well with a fork or a whisk.

Set a crêpe pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Butter the bottom of the pan and ladle about ¼ cup of batter onto it. Instead of working from the center to the sides, tilt the pan and pour the batter over one side and spread it as quickly as possible to the rest of the pan, so that it covers the entire surface.

Cook for about 20 to 25 seconds, until edges are cooked and begin to dry out and the bottom of the crêpe is lightly browned. With a small spatula or fork, lift one edge of the crêpe and turn it over quickly with your fingers. Cook the second side for about 10 to 15 seconds, or until it has lightly browned. Flip the crêpe onto a plate.

Repeat with the rest of the batter. After 3 or 4 crêpes, you may need to butter the pan again. If it isn’t a nonstick pan, you may need to do it for every one. Stack crêpes on top of each other with the first, darker side down. That darker side will become the outer layer of the crêpe once you fill them up or fold them.

If you aren’t going to use all of the crêpes at once, or if you are making them ahead of time, wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in a closed plastic bag and store in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or in the freezer for weeks.

To make the Sauce:
Pour the cajeta and the milk in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring and gently simmering it for a couple of minutes until it is completely mixed together and well dissolved.

To Assemble:
Place a crêpe on a plate and spread a couple tablespoons cajeta sauce all over the surface. Fold crêpe in half, add a couple more tablespoons of sauce into the middle of the half-moon shape. Fold the crêpe again to make a triangle shape (with a rounded bottom) and pour a few more tablespoons of sauce on top.

Garnish with the toasted pecans and serve. You may want to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream too…


AVOCADO MARTINI
Martini de Aguacate
Single serving

INGREDIENTS
2 oz vodka
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 cup ripe pulp from a Mexican avocado
2 tbsp cajeta or La Lechera dulce de leche
2 tbsp La Lechera sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup milk

TO PREPARE
Pour all of the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake it and strain into chilled martini glasses.


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