Information about treacle plus treacle recipes
Ingredient of the
down for Treacle Recipes
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is another one of those “minefield” ingredients. Strictly speaking, Treacle
is the British generic name for any syrup made during the refining of sugar
cane. Therefore, theoretically, Treacle,
Black Treacle, Molasses, Golden Syrup and Blackstrap are all treacles.
practice however, there is a technical difference between
“treacle” and “Molasses” in that molasses is obtained from the
drainings of raw sugar during the refining process and treacle is made from the
syrup obtained from the sugar.
an effort to simplify matters, rather than start with the history of treacle, as
with most of the Ingredient of the Month features, we are going to start with
how the various treacles are obtained. The various types of treacle and Molasses
are, in culinary terms, completely substitutable. Only the type of
treacle/molasses used is of any importance when cooking.
How Treacle is Made - Production/Processing
mentioned above, treacle is a by product of sugar refining.
During the refining process, raw sugar cane is first crushed then boiled
in stages until it has thickened sufficiently to facilitate the growing of sugar
crystals which will eventually become refined sugar. There are two main types of
better known as Golden Syrup (equivalent = Light Molasses), is made from the
syrup obtained during the first boiling of the sugar cane/beets. About 65%
sucrose, it is the lightest in colour and the sweetest of all the treacles and
is usually unsulphered.
Treacle, (equivalent = dark
made from the syrup obtained from later boilings and is about 55% sucrose.
and History of Treacle
was originally the name of a medicinal mixture which was most likely used as an
antidote against poisons, in particular venomous bites.
The name is derived from Old French triacle,
in turn from Latin theriaca meaning
“antidote to poison”. This medicine originally had honey as its base, but at some point the
honey was replaced with treacle.
Over time the pharmacological
meaning died out, and around the 17th century in Britain the word ‘treacle’
took on its present day meaning, and was used chiefly as a cheap form of
sweetener. Interestingly enough, name ‘molasses’ comes from the Portuguese
word melaço which is derived from the Latin mel, meaning honey.
increase in free man power (i.e. slavery) in the British colonies in the
mid/late 1600s enabled cane to be gathered and processed more economically and
by the late 1700s, refined sugar became affordable to the masses in Britain and
overtook treacle as a general sweetener. By the mid 1800s
treacle was used more as an ingredient in recipes, giving certain added
qualities (colour, taste, moisture etc) to dishes.
to cook with Treacle
measuring out treacle, lightly coat the measuring utensil with a bland
vegetable oil so it slips off the spoon or out of the measuring cup more
easily. Alternatively, dip the measuring utensil in hot water before
goods using Black Treacle tend to darken more quickly
most recipes, do not substitute Black Treacle for Golden Syrup as the
flavour will be too overpowering.