Do you ever do that thing where you spill something on the kitchen counter and wind up cleaning the whole kitchen, including sorting out the pantry? What should have been been a quick, 2 minute mop-up, turns into a whole day of spring cleaning.  This recipe is the food equivalent of that scenario.

It started when the goat milk was on special at the supermarket.  Me:  “Oooo, goat milk for half its usual price, I can make something with that?”  Note, the “something”, but I had absolutely no idea what.  Then I remembered that I made a wicked dulce de leche a while back with regular cows milk and knew that if I used goat milk, it would be cajeta.

Cajeta is a divine Mexican caramel made with goat milk and flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla… it’s heaven in a jar.

So, I made cajeta.  Once I had a whole jar of cajeta in the refrigerator, I had to think of a way to use it to stop me from eating the whole jar by myself.

So, I made profiteroles.

And proceeded to stuff them with whipped cream and smother them with cajeta.  All because I bought a bottle of goat milk.

Profiteroles with Cream and Cajeta

Makes 12

For the Profiteroles:

125ml water 

75g plain flour

50g unsalted butter 

3 eggs

For the Cream:

200ml whipping cream

For the Cajeta:

1 litre goat milk

1/2 stick cinnamon

1/2 vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out and keep the pod

1 cup caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes

1/4 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 teaspoons water

Make the Profiteroles:

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Set aside.

Put the water and butter into a medium saucepan and cook over a high heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is boiling. Dump the flour in all at once and beat with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture forms a dough and starts to leave the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and spoon it into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm tip or a large ziplock bag with a 1cm hole cut into one of the corners. Pipe 5cm rounds onto the prepared baking tray and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden and puffy. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Cream:

Whip the cream until firm peaks form. Set aside.

Make the Cajeta:

Put the milk, cinnamon, vanilla (seeds and pod), sugar and salt into a 3 litre saucepan (no smaller, as the mixture will bubble up when you add the baking soda). Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring now and then. Remove the pan from the heat and add the baking soda mixture. Be careful as the mixture will bubble up like crazy, then it will subside.

Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook at a lively simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick. Keep an eye on it.

After about an hour, the milk mixture will start caramelising. You’ll need to be attentive as the mixture will start to thicken from now on. Stir the mixture every 5 minutes or so.  The thicker it gets, the more likely it is to stick. Stir constantly and watch it like a hawk. The cajeta is ready when it’s thick and golen. Pour it through fine sieve and discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. Set aside to cool.

Assembly:

Make a small hole in each profiterole with a skewer or a piping tip. Pipe the whipped cream into the middle, filling the pastry cases up. You’ll feel the profiteroles swell as they fill. Spoon a generous dollop of cajeta on top of each profiterole. If the cajeta has thickened on standing so much so that it is difficult to drizzle, you can add a little water to it to loosen it a touch.  Any leftover cajeta is excellent on pancakes, as a cake filling or topping, on scones and doughnuts or anywhere else you would use caramel… or eaten by spoonful from the jar.

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