I'm cooking Indian Pudding, having heard about it from a friend of mine. The recipe calls for molasses, but all I could find at the supermarket was something called Blackstrap molasses...what's the difference (or is there one) between this and "regular" molasses, and can I use it in the Indian Pudding recipe?

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames October 18, 2010

Blackstrap molasses is bitter, and has a very strong taste that most people don't care for, at all. Molasses gives Indian pudding its distinctive taste, but if I were in your situation, and could not get any molasses other than blackstrap, I'd look at this page, under molasses and proceed.
http://www.foodsubs.com...
My understanding is that dark brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added, so I'd probably use dark brown sugar. But as I said, the molasses really makes the Indian pudding what it is . . . so I'd probably make something else and wait to get a good regular molasses. ;o).

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thirschfeld
thirschfeld October 18, 2010

sorghum would be a good substitute so would buckwheat honey, tulip poplar honey and even cane syrup.

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betteirene
betteirene October 18, 2010

Wow. . .It's usually difficult to find blackstrap molasses except at a health food store. I'd substitute 1/3 blackstrap and 2/3 homemade simple syrup for the molasses called for in the recipe.

Perhaps a more authentic cornmeal pudding could be made with maple syrup. Native Americans did not have access to molasses, but they did know a thing or two about tapping maple trees.

I make a traditional Indian/Yankee or hasty pudding with molasses, and sometimes I stir in a cup of roasted squash. While the pudding is in the oven, I simmer down a cup of maple syrup until it's thickened, reduced by a third or so. I spoon the very warm (not hot) pudding into bowls, plop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on each serving, then drizzle the maple syrup over the top.

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Jon Palmer
Jon Palmer October 18, 2010

Buckwheat honey has a very good molasses taste. It's almost like liquid brown sugar.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames October 18, 2010

Betteirene, I like the way you think. Your way of making it, with maple syrup and squash, sounds better than the typical recipe with molasses. I might use a bit of both molasses and maple syrup, given the option, though molasses has a tendency to overwhelm any other sweetener in a dish, if not used quite sparingly. To Jon Palmer's point, beware of buckwheat honey . . . some is delicious, as he says, but some is very strong, somewhat bitter and not particularly tasty. ;o)

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pauljoseph
pauljoseph October 18, 2010

For Indian recipe if you want the exact flavor use Molasses that is Jaggery syrup
http://janakipattiskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/11/jaggery-syrup-recipe-marathon-day-17.html

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innoabrd
innoabrd October 19, 2010

pauljoseph--I believe the "Indian" they are referring to is the Native American type!

I like betteirene's authenticity suggestion, though I do wonder where the Native Americans would have obtained their vanilla ice cream!

most molasses as we know it is a by-product of sugar cane processing. As the sugar is extracted, the molasses is what's left. I believe sorghum syrup is made using a similar process and in the middle east you find things like pomegranate molasses as well. I do wonder how early molasses in some form or another might have made it to America and been a trade good that would have ended up in Native hands?

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pauljoseph
pauljoseph October 19, 2010

innoabrd - I refer Indian ( http://en.wikipedia.org... ) recipe not Native American recipe

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