Crêpes with Cajeta and Chocolate

Crêpes with Cajeta owes its popularity to the French occupation of Mexico under Napoleon III. After decades of warfare, Mexico eventually overthrew the occupiers, who left behind a taste for pastries, French bread (the Mexican bolillo) and desserts. Crêpes are one of the dessert dishes that have helped soften the memory of those years of occupation.

Crêpes with Cajeta and Chocolate serves 6

Crêpes (from the New Joy of Cooking)

  • ½ cup (2.5 oz./60 grams) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup (120 ml.) milk
  • ¼ cup (60 ml.) lukewarm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) melted, unsalted butter
  • 1  tablespoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth.
  2. Let batter rest for 1 hour.
  3. Heat a heavy skillet, measuring 7″across the bottom, over medium heat. Butter pan well.
  4. Pour in 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) of batter, quickly swirling the pan to completely coat the bottom.
  5. Cook until set and golden, about 1 minute. Turn crêpe over and cook 45 seconds more.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter, buttering pan each time.
  7. Stack cooked crêpes between wax paper or parchment paper. Makes 12.

Cajeta Sauce

  • 1 ½ cups (360 ml.) cajeta
  • 6 tablespoon (90 ml.) cream
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) rum or brandy
  1. Warm cajeta until soft.
  2. Stir in cream and brandy.

Chocolate Sauce

  • 2 oz. (60 grams)  bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) cream
  • 2 tablespoons ( 30 ml.) lukewarm water to thin
  • ¾ cup (180 ml.) toasted chopped walnuts or sliced almonds
  1. Set crêpes on a work surface and spread 1 tablespoon of cajeta sauce on each crêpe.
  2. Sprinkle each crêpe with ½ tablespoon of nuts.
  3. Fold crêpes in quarters. Arrange on a large baking sheet and warm in 350 deg. F (180 C.) oven for 15 minutes. This step is only necessary if the crêpes were made hours before or the day before serving.
  4. Place 2 crêpes on a plate and spoon remaining cajeta sauce over crêpes.
  5. Spoon chocolate sauce decoratively over crêpes. Sprinkle each with remaining nuts. Serve warm.

Notes:

Cajeta sauce, also known as Dulce de Leche or Leche Quemada, is an ultra-sweet sauce made from caramelized goat milk or cow milk. You can find it at Mexican grocery stores or in the Hispanic aisle of supermarkets.

Use left-over cajeta to make Chocoflan, another wonderful Mexican dessert with a seemingly impossible combination of chocolate cake and flan.

Mexico designated Cajeta the official 2010 Bicentennial Dessert of Mexico.


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27 thoughts on “Crêpes with Cajeta and Chocolate

    1. Sorry for not being more clear about that, Bertha. I use cream that is skimmed off the top of whole milk. In the U.S., it is called whipping cream or heavy cream. In Mexico, it is called crema para batir and sold under the Lyncott brand.

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  2. Dear Kathleen, per my can of cajeta here, I can tell you that the cajeta is made of goat’s milk, the flavour is stronger. Dulce de leche is made of cow’s milk. This is the main difference. Then, the texture. Cajeta is difficult to spread. Dulce de leche has different textures and densities. The lightest, you can spread it. The “dulce de leche pastelero” is for bakery, it has more density, it’s heavier. I know there’s dulce de leche in Mexico, there’s a nice story of a friend of mine who was waiting for his green card. As soon as he got it, he travelled from CA to Tijuana to buy ” dulce de leche” :)
    Then, we can buy caramel, and the taste is pretty similar to dulce de leche. But, it’s impossible to spread it, I tried to use it in rolls (arrollados) and it became completely liquid. The story tells that the dulce de leche was invented by chance, by Rosas’ servant in colony times, she forgot the governor’s milk cooking with sugar. When she remembered, it was converted into something sweet and brown.
    Nice to be in contact!
    Myriam

    1. Myriam,

      Thank you so much for your explanation and the story of the origin of dulce de leche. Different countries have their different preferences, and Mexico seems to prefer cajeta. They are both wonderful to use in cooking or eat straight out of the jar with a spoon.

  3. Hello Kathleen, thank you for visiting my blog. I left you an explanation of the convention of words for ¨hongos¨ and ¨setas¨, at least in my country, Argentina. I´m not living in Mexico, but 2 hrs from the border, in Huntington Beach, CA. So, of course I know about Mexican food, for which I try some variations. I´m not sure if you´ve seen I have a translator on the right side of the blog. If you have any question about some specific translations, feel free to send me an email, I´d be glad to answer you.
    I know your blog and like your recipes. For this one, I have cajeta at home, but, we really prefer our ¨dulce de leche¨ ;)
    Best regards,
    Myriam

    1. Myriam,

      What is the difference between dulce de leche and cajeta? I thought they were different names for the same caramelized milk, depending on which country you are in.

      I’ll check your translator and your reply — thanks!

  4. Wow – that looks yummy!

    The use of chocolate in Mexican food can be interesting. It obvious with this recipe, being sweets, but I recall coming across chocolate in mole’s on savoury dishes. Fascinating that it can work!

    1. Vicki in GA

      You can boil the can in a regular pot but it takes about 4 hours compared to 45 minutes in a pressure cooker and the water has to be checked all the time for evaporation. Imagine a cajeta bomb in the kitchen!!! My Cuban friend puts 3-4 cans in the pressure cooker because they use cajeta when making flan for the restaurant.

      Truthfully, the taste of the homemade is like the cajeta I would buy in Mexico at flea markets, not the prepared processed store bought cajeta.

      One night in my hotel in GDL I nearly OD’d on homemade cajeta. I was hungry, it was too late for a woman to go out alone, I had a container of this “yummy stuff” I’d purchased at a market, so I watched TV eating the cajeta out of the container. Years ago cajeta was sold with a little popsicle stick. OMG did I get sugar sick – it took me a while before I’d touch cajeta.

  5. Vicki in GA

    My Cuban friend gave me a taste of something from a small can at her restaurant today. It was homemade cajeta.

    She makes cajeta using condensed milk. An unopened can of condensed sweet milk is placed in a pressure cooker – covered with water – and cooked for 30-45 minutes. The pressure cooker isn’t opened until it is cool – my friend usually lets the pressure cooker sit overnight. This prevents the can from exploding.
    The taste is amazing. The longer the milk is cooked the thicker the cajeta.
    My friend is going to make shortbread cookies. Two thin cookies with cajeta in the middle and then the cookie is drizzled with chocolate.

    I can’t wait to try the cookies.

    The crepe recipe sounds delish, too. The Jewish part of me will fill the crepes with a ricotta/creme cheese filling then drizzle with cajeta, chocolate sauce, and sprinkle with nuts.

    1. I have read recipes for making cajeta, but have not tried it. Some recipes call for boiling the can of condensed milk in a regular pot, not a pressure cooker. I guess a pressure cooker would do it in less time.
      Your Jewish version of filled crepes sounds wonderful. I love ricotta cheese in just about anything.

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  7. Lorin Johnson

    Those look fantastic. The cajeta is available all over around here. I’ve got nuts in the freezer and chocolate on the shelf. What’s wrong with a little more fat and calories anyway?
    So were you saying that for savory crepes just leave the sugar out? I think that the chef from Mexico City with the great crepe place in San Pancho uses the same batter for both types of crepes, but I have no idea if there is any sugar in it, they are just fantastic.

  8. linda

    I wonder if making the batter the night before would change the texture of the crepe?
    Can crepes be filled and served or do they need the extra oven time? I have a lot of lemons and am thinking of a lemony filling, but am unsure about how to put it together?
    ricotta cheese?
    Your crepes look scrumptious!

    1. I would say that this can be made the night before, though I have not done this. Pancake and muffin batters can be made the night before and left to rest overnight in the fridge, so I think the same would be true for crêpe batter.

      Crêpes do not need extra oven time — good question. I should have clarified this in the recipe. They are best served warm, and this is only to re-warm them if they were made the day before or hours before serving. I will edit the recipe to add this information.

      A lemon curd would make a nice filling, perhaps lightened with ricotta cheese.

      I’m thinking of doing them again with a filling of sautéed apples. I made a full recipe of 12 crepes and regret that I used sugar, because now I can’t use the left-over crepes for a savory filling, like creamed mushrooms or spinach.

      Thanks for your great questions and thank you also to Zia Elle and Muybueno for your kind words.

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