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My first isomalt expereince - any tips for next time?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I had isomalt crystals that I'd bought a few years ago, otherwise, I'd have bought the nibs. But it wasn't hard at all and I kind of like the idea of trying sugar and corn syrup even. However, my "ice cubes" came out just slightly yellow.

 

I used a cooling bath and cooked to the exact temp.   I'm thinking my thermometer may be a bit off? I didn't calibrate my thermometer.

 

Could the age of the crystals have been a factor?

post #2 of 29

No, it was probably tap water. Did you use that, or distilled water? Tap water has impuritites in it that can make the cooked isomalt turn yellow. It can also do that if you get it too hot when you're cooking it, but even if you keep it at the the-right temp it can be yellowish if you use water from the tap.

post #3 of 29

Isomalt sugar doesn't turn out as clear as using regular sugar when doing that work but it is suppose to be stronger and easier to work with.  Turning yellow I would agree with the other poster.... what's in the water will affect clear sugarwork.  Ewald Notter has a book out on working with sugar and isomalt.  Yes it is expensive but if you really want to work with the stuff it is a great book.  The guy is a real genius with sugarwork.  Taking a class from him is on my " if I win the lotto wish list". 

 

Did you use straight isomalt ( looks sort of like white sugar) or did you use those sticks that look like a candy stick?  I'm not thrilled with the coloured candy stick isomalt but maybe I havn't worked with them enough. 

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post #4 of 29

The crystals are clear and the only reason they wouldn't be is what costumeczar said. I use both nibs and crystals.

1. No tap water the minerals make it change yellow

2. Too hot burns the sugar making it yellow
 

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks, y'all. I did use distilled water, so it must have gotten too hot, right?  I found this link for calibrating your thermometer if any one is interested.

I'll do that before trying this again.

 

Sugar Queen, I used  bag of the stuff that looks like granulated white sugar. I figured the nibs would be easiest, don't you just melt them? It would have been ok if they weren't so clear, but I was sad about the yellowness.

 

How long do you leave it in the water bath? Maybe that was where I went wrong. I sat it in the water for maybe 20 seconds, if that.

post #6 of 29

That should have been okay for the time in the water. It probably just did get too hot, so try it again when you recalibrate the thermometer.

 

I haven't used the cake play colroed sticks, but I cook isomalt from the powdery form too, and it behaves a little differently when it's cooked the first time and when it's been sitting and remelted. Maybe the sticks just aren't going to act exactly the same as "fresh"  because of that.

post #7 of 29

Another possible contaminant would be some sort of residue in the pot or on the thermometer [or any other utensil inserted into the hot isomalt.

post #8 of 29

good point, it could be from a wooden spoon or something like that too.

post #9 of 29

What is the water used for? I am going to try isomalt soon....

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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes View Post

What is the water used for? I am going to try isomalt soon....

You dissolve the isomalt int he water before heating it, It's just a way to slow it down some so that you don't burn it right away. You could theoretically do it without water but only if you were super experienced in heating sugar without it, and I wouldn't try.

post #11 of 29

I've only cooked sugar or used the isomalt sticks.  Didn't want to use isomalt cause I was told by professionals the burns from it are even worse than sugar.  Will have to read up on the isomalt and water bath info...learned something new.  Are you shaping or forming your product or pouring molds?

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post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes View Post

What is the water used for? I am going to try isomalt soon....

You dissolve the isomalt int he water before heating it, It's just a way to slow it down some so that you don't burn it right away. You could theoretically do it without water but only if you were super experienced in heating sugar without it, and I wouldn't try.

Ah...I thought it was just heated as is! Shows what I know! I did buy some silicone cupcake liners to melt it in, (they were on sale!) But I haven't even bought the nibs yet. 

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post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 

That what I thought for the nibs, that you just crumble them and put them in the molds in the oven for a few min, but i haven't tried that yet. I've done that many times with hard candy like butterscotch for things like making windows. Or the stained glass effect for cookies. But I didn't have the nibs, I had those white granulated crystals.

I bought some rock candy today, going to see how that melts.
 

post #14 of 29

I'm stalking your thread for future reference. icon_biggrin.gif

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post #15 of 29

The nibs and sticks are pre-cooked, so you do just reheat those in the microwave, no water involved. The isomalt powder itself is mixed with water then cooked to 350, so don't mix the pre-cooked stuff with water!

 

The benefit of using isomalt is its ease of use compared with regular sugar. It doesn't crystallize as easily, it can be cooked then cooled then reheated, and it's less temperamental than regular sugar, which needs to be handled carefully so that it doesn't crystallise.

 

The downside is that isomalt is made from beet sugar, which can result in "intestinal distress" if you eat too much of it. So if you make hard candy out of isomalt, only give it to your enemies. Do not eat an isomalt lollipop unless you're a serious masochist.

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