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Old 05-21-2019, 11:35 AM   #1
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Unhappy Dark Molasses Substitute - BBQ Sauce

I've made really delicious ribs with a homemade barbecue sauce in the past via a recipe where one of the ingredients was light/dark molasses. This one time I was at a friend's cottage and was asked if I could make the same ribs, I made the sauce with fancy molasses which was the only type in the local store. It turned out horrifically sweet even though I tried to cut down on the quantity and increased the other flavors to balance it out.

I've been (t)asked to make them again, and after searching and calling most grocery chains in Toronto, it seems everyone only stocks fancy or blackstrap molasses.

So I'm looking for a dark molasses substitute. Most online articles I've read suggest maple syrup/honey/more dark brown sugar, but I'm worried about the sugar content making the sauce too sweet while losing that rich molasses flavor.

Any recommendations? I've also read that dark corn syrup works well, but I've never worked with it before and can't judge it as a substitute.

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Old 05-21-2019, 12:07 PM   #2
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Hi Elys
Welcome to DC.
I don't like molasses so I use
karo syrup they have dark and clear.
My dad made cane syrup when I was
small it is too strong for me.

Josie
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:00 PM   #3
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Find a Middle Eastern store, or a grocery with a Middle Eastern food section, and get some pomegranate molasses. Not only will it be less sweet, it will also be kosher!
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:39 PM   #4
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Molasses has a bitter under note that offsets the sweetness. Corn syrup and other sweeteners don't have that. If you swap it out, reduce the amount to keep it from being too sweet and add something to bring in a little bitter note. Coffee come to mind, and it's good in a bbq sauce.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:52 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, Elys!

I'm not sure what you mean by "fancy" molasses. Is that one of those imported ones, like the middle-eastern pomegranate, date, or sorghum molasses? I'm not sure what the brands are in Toronto, but here there's Grandma's, which is a mild molasses, and Brer Rabbit dark or light, and the Brer Rabbit dark is probably close to what you want - more flavor and less sweet than those mild ones, but not that intense flavor of the blackstrap. Amazon has this, and others, though it is much more than in the stores, due to shipping. Another possibility , if you have one in your area is Walmart, which you can get some things free of shipping, if you pick them up at the store, at least around here.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:11 PM   #6
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Fancy molasses is a grade of molasses. https://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/Molassas.htm
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:28 PM   #7
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I have never seen that term on a bottle of molasses! I learn something new every day. I have seen gold star on some, but it looked so light, I never bought it, and now this makes sense, as it has 40% more sugar than lite molasses. I wonder where the term "fancy" originated?
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
I have never seen that term on a bottle of molasses! I learn something new every day. I have seen gold star on some, but it looked so light, I never bought it, and now this makes sense, as it has 40% more sugar than lite molasses. I wonder where the term "fancy" originated?
Fancy molasses is made from cane syrup that hasn't had any of the sugar extracted, so it's probably the most expensive to make.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:18 AM   #9
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If you mix the blackstrap molasses with castor sugar, or brown sugar, you can approximate the flavor and intensity of a lighter, nut less sweet molasses. Also, substituting dark chilli powder, with a little cocoa powder mixed in gives a rich flavor, without being too sweet. The trick is to balance the salt, onion, garlic, sugar, and bitter to produce a balanced flavor. Pineapple and brown sugar make a great rub, and glaze for ribs, with the acidic pineapple complimenting the brown sugar. Tart apples, peaches, plumbs, apricots, cherries, blueberries, and others will also go great with the ribs, especially if they are barbecued all day in a slow fire with wook smoke. You could even make a teriyaki basting liquid. And don't forger the classic honey and mustard sauces.

Here's a homemade bbq sauce that always gets em rave revies: cup Dark-Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp. Mesquite or Hickory Liquid Smoke Flavoring
1 cup tomato Sauce
2 tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp. Mustard Powder
 tsp. Granulated Onion Powder
1/4 tsp. Granulated Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
green Bell Pepper, chopped
4 tbs. dark chili powder
2 tbs. coarse-ground mustard.
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat while stirring until the Peppers are soft. Pour the cooked contents into a blender and liquefy for 15 seconds. Pour into a suitable container and refrigerate.

This sauce can be put on the ribs for the last half hour of cooking, to create a glaze, or can be watered down to make a mop, which is used to baste the pork evey 20 minutes or so.

Hope this helps.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Fancy molasses is made from cane syrup that hasn't had any of the sugar extracted, so it's probably the most expensive to make.
I would think that it is the cheapest to make! After all, they just package it up as is, before they start boiling it down, to make the sugar. To make the others, they boil it down, while extracting the sugar, which takes heat, thus the darker, the more energy it has taken to get to that level, and the sugar is the cheapest thing they get out of it, when you consider price per pound.
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
I would think that it is the cheapest to make! After all, they just package it up as is, before they start boiling it down, to make the sugar. To make the others, they boil it down, while extracting the sugar, which takes heat, thus the darker, the more energy it has taken to get to that level, and the sugar is the cheapest thing they get out of it, when you consider price per pound.
I'm pretty sure they do something to that cane syrup to make it into molasses. Otherwise, it would just be cane syrup.
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
If you mix the blackstrap molasses with castor sugar, or brown sugar, you can approximate the flavor and intensity of a lighter, nut less sweet molasses. Also, substituting dark chilli powder, with a little cocoa powder mixed in gives a rich flavor, without being too sweet. The trick is to balance the salt, onion, garlic, sugar, and bitter to produce a balanced flavor. Pineapple and brown sugar make a great rub, and glaze for ribs, with the acidic pineapple complimenting the brown sugar. Tart apples, peaches, plumbs, apricots, cherries, blueberries, and others will also go great with the ribs, especially if they are barbecued all day in a slow fire with wook smoke. You could even make a teriyaki basting liquid. And don't forger the classic honey and mustard sauces.

Here's a homemade bbq sauce that always gets em rave revies: cup Dark-Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp. Mesquite or Hickory Liquid Smoke Flavoring
1 cup tomato Sauce
2 tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp. Mustard Powder
 tsp. Granulated Onion Powder
1/4 tsp. Granulated Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
green Bell Pepper, chopped
4 tbs. dark chili powder
2 tbs. coarse-ground mustard.
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat while stirring until the Peppers are soft. Pour the cooked contents into a blender and liquefy for 15 seconds. Pour into a suitable container and refrigerate.

This sauce can be put on the ribs for the last half hour of cooking, to create a glaze, or can be watered down to make a mop, which is used to baste the pork evey 20 minutes or so.

Hope this helps.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Chief: The quantities for the brown sugar and onion powder didn't come through right. All I see is this square box - .
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I'm pretty sure they do something to that cane syrup to make it into molasses. Otherwise, it would just be cane syrup.
Exactly what I was saying! As they extract the sugar, the molasses gets darker and darker, with less and less of it, with blackstrap the last of the dregs, STS. Seems that BS would be the most expensive.

I have tried to approximate the lighter molasses by mixing some BS with light corn syrup, but it's not the same - there is still more of that bitterness from the BS, but not as much of the molasses flavor. So I keep some of the light molasses for the sweets that call for it, but I use mostly BS, in all that rye bread that I bake!
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
Exactly what I was saying! As they extract the sugar, the molasses gets darker and darker, with less and less of it, with blackstrap the last of the dregs, STS. Seems that BS would be the most expensive.
That's not how molasses is made.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
Exactly what I was saying! As they extract the sugar, the molasses gets darker and darker, with less and less of it, with blackstrap the last of the dregs, STS. Seems that BS would be the most expensive.

...
By that logic, extra virgin olive oil should be the cheapest olive oil.
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