Have you ever tasted blackstrap molasses? It has a bittersweet robustness that rounds off well into a smooth aftertaste. I substituted it in muffins for sugar while adapting from a recipe published in the Tassajara Bread Book and I managed to concoct some of the most sprightly muffins I have tasted in a long long time. But I must add that the muffins, tempered in sweetness and resplendant in a molasses-ness, are more suited to an adult palate; perfect for those seeking to infuse their diets and bodies with deliciuos yet nutrient-rich foods. However, my two-year-old, who has adventurous taste buds, is gobbling them up too!
The recipe is yours to have but first a little background on blackstrap molasses, a kickass ingredient that has the potential to be the next big thing, toeing the same line as culinary stalwarts such as bacon and cayenne.
Blackstrap is the dark viscous molasses that is left over after vigorous extraction of sugar from sugar cane. The third boiling of sugar syrup leads to this beauty.
Unlike refined sugars, BS is rich in iron, calcium, other minerals and vitamins. Also, it has no fat, making it a fantastic sweetener for both health nuts and weight watchers.
Now the recipe that got my heart racing and fingers blogging after a phenomenally long time —
You will need:
(For 12 muffins)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
3/4 cup fruit juice – mango, orange, guava or berry or a mix of any of them.
3/4 cup milk
Two heaped teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Mix the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients in another bowl. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients till it forms a smooth batter. Do not over-mix.
The fruit juice gives the muffins some additional natural sugar and the cocoa deepens the brown and gives the muffins an appetizing look.
Once the batter is smooth, add the batter to the cups of a greased or lined muffin pan.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Once done, store in airtight containers. If you are freezing them, use a plastic wrap.
All the best. Let me know what you think.