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?



pauljoseph October 19, 2010
innoabrd - I refer Indian ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India ) recipe not Native American recipe
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?
pauljoseph October 18, 2010
For Indian recipe if you want the exact flavor use Molasses that is Jaggery syrup
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)
Jon P. October 18, 2010
Buckwheat honey has a very good molasses taste. It's almost like liquid brown sugar.
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.
thirschfeld October 18, 2010
sorghum would be a good substitute so would buckwheat honey, tulip poplar honey and even cane syrup.
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.
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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