Thursday, August 9, 2012
Word of the Week - Molasses
Not to be confused with sandstones near mountain bases called molasse, Molasses in the culinary world are the by products from beating sugar cane. Juice is first extracted from the cane, and thereafter, boiled to become concentrated. The caramelization of the sugar results in molasses. The quality of molasses depends on the maturing of the sugar cane.
Essentially, there are 3 rounds of boiling resulting in 3 grades of molasses - mild, dark, blackstrap. The first round of boiled juice retains the highest amount of sugar, the second round gives off a slightly bitter taste, and the final round produces high grade blackstrap which gives off a robust flavour. It also contains a higher level of vitamins and minerals and is sometimes given as health supplements, serving out a good source of calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Its texture is rich like honey and the taste is finger licking good. Get the unsulphured version which has no preservative (sulphur dioxide) added in the treatment process.
Molasses is used in dark brewed beverages such as stout and dark ales, and it is also a common ingredient in baking. Check out my next post on a Molasses Kahlua Cake.