Hints from Heloise: Figuring out types of molasses.

Dear Heloise >> Is blackstrap molasses the same as regular molasses?

— Carolyn A., Pine Hill, New Jersey

Dear Carolyn >> No, it’s not. Molasses comes from the juice of sugar cane or sugar beets. Once it’s gathered, the juice is boiled down to extract the sugar crystals. The number of times the juice is boiled determines the type of molasses.

Light, or what we call “regular,” molasses comes from the first boiling. The dark molasses comes from second boiling. Blackstrap molasses is what remains after the third boiling, and it has a very bitter taste. It’s used in recipes that call for slow cooking such as baked beans or barbecue.

Dear Heloise >> I know people write in all the time about recipes that they should have cutout of the newspaper or recipes that they lost. I also know that War Cake is a very popular recipe you’ve printed before, but would you repeat that recipe for people like me who forgot to save it the last time it was printed? I’ll cut it out and save it when I see it again — I promise!

— Josie P., Ponca City, Oklahoma

Dear Josie >> It’s true that War Cake is very popular, but it’s been a little while since I last printed that recipe. So here it is, just for you:

Using a medium to large-sized cooking pot or pan, mix together 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups hot water and 2 teaspoons of shortening. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of raisins and 1 teaspoon each of salt, cinnamon and cloves. Boil for five minutes after the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat, and after the mixture is cold (and it must be cold), add 3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda that has been dissolved in a couple of teaspoons of water. Mix well.

Pour mixture into a greased tube pan and bake for about 1 hour at 350 to 375 F.

Now, isn’t that a simple recipe? If you like simple recipes, especially for dessert, you’ll enjoy my pamphlet “Heloise’s Cake Recipes.” It’s so easy to get a copy; just go to Heloise.com or send $3, along with a stamped, self-addressed, long envelope to: Heloise/Cakes, P.O. Box795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.

Dear Heloise >> Due to various health issues, I’m limited in the use of certain spices. So much of my food became tasteless. Then I started using fat-free flavored bouillon with vegetables cooking in water, and the taste is wonderful!

Sometimes I add some bouillon to things like pasta or soups and stews. It definitely improves the taste.

— Joseph R., Lincoln, Nebraska

Dear Heloise >> I tried to get a cake out of a fluted pan, and it was so stubborn it refused to come out.

My neighbor suggested that I set the cake (still in the pan) in a kitchen sink that had about three or four inches of hot water.

So I left the cake pan in hot water for about five minutes. Then I removed it and inverted the pan onto a plate, and it came loose without a problem!

— Hannah L., Colby, Kansas

Write to Heloise

P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

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