Isomalt Sugar – Pure Isomalt for Chefs & Sugar Artists
Isomalt is the popular name for Isomaltitol which is a sugar substitute made from beet sugar. Over the past twenty years chefs, sugar artists and confectioners have found that Isomalt has many advantages over sugar especially when making showpieces, cake decorations, dessert garnishes and candy. Unlike conventional sugar, Isomalt is much more resistant to humidity and crystallization so decorative elements made with it have a longer shelf life and structural integrity. Because of its superior workability, Isomalt is used almost exclusively in televised food competitions and culinary art salons where professionals create dramatic showpieces and decorative cake ornaments to the delight of audiences world wide.
ClearCut™ Isomalt is a high grade, chemically pure Isomaltitol that has “not” been blended with other sugar substitutes which cheapens the product and diminishes its superior workability . ClearCut™ Isomalt can be purchased in as small or as large a quantity as needed. Orders are custom packed for our customers eliminating the aggravation of opening numerous small packages or having to order more than is required. Price per pound decreases as quantity increases insuring that our customers receive the highest quality at the lowest price.
Buy More & Save! ClearCut™ Isomalt is sold by the pound. As your order increases, the total cost decreases. In other words, if you purchase anywhere from 1 to 4 pounds, your cost per pound is $5.00. If you purchase anywhere from 5 to 9 pounds, your cost per pound is reduced to $4.50, and so on.
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Benefits of Isomalt
Isomalt is a substitute sugar made from beet sugar and used in the weight loss and diabetic food industries. Isomalt is unique among replacement sugars because it retains almost all of the physical properties of real sugar with added benefits for sugar artists, cake decorators and pastry chefs. These benefits include:
- Increased resistance to humidity
- Better resistance to crystallization (clouding)
- Use distilled water. The minerals in tap water can turn brown when exposed to elevated temperatures but because there is so little of these minerals it is perceived as a yellowing effect.
- Add only enough water to make the Isomalt look like wet sand. Approximately six ounces by weight for every three pounds of Isomalt.
- Use stainless steel pots and stainless steel utensils for stirring. Do not use a wooden spoon. Foreign materials in the wood leach out into the Isomalt which can turn the mixture yellow.
- Do not cook less than three pounds of Isomalt at a time. Cooking small amounts of Isomalt creates too shallow a depth of material which can cause hot spots in your mixture and lead to premature yellowing.
- Cook Isomalt on an appropriately sized burner. Electric burner should be slightly smaller than bottom of pot. When cooking with gas, flame should not creep up the side of the pot and remain on the bottom of the pot only. These precautions prevent overheating of the sides of the cooking pot which can cause premature yellowing. Using an induction range is the best way to cook Isomalt because it delivers heat only to the bottom of the pot.
- Do not use a natural bristle brush to wash down the sides of the pot once Isomalt comes to a boil. Use a nylon pastry brush. There are a host of chemicals and conditioning agents in the natural bristles that can turn your Isomalt yellow.
- Test your candy thermometer. Many of them read inaccurately. Test by bringing water to a boil and inserting thermometer and observe the temperature is shows. It should read 212 degrees F. at sea level.
- Cook Isomalt to 338 degrees F. Take off heat at about 333 degrees and place bottom of pot in water to stop the cooking process. Allow the pot to stay in water only until the hissing stops. About 5 seconds.
- Place Isomalt in a 275 – 300 degree oven and let rest for 15 minutes. You will have no bubbles and pure, clear liquid sugar to pour all day.
- Allow unused Isomalt to cool and store in a microwave safe container with a tight fitting lid or multiple layers of plastic wrap. Place a silica gel packet on top of Isomalt before closing container. You can store cooked Isomalt in this manner for months and perhaps as long as a year.
- Never store cooked or uncooked Isomalt in a refrigerator or freezer. The high humidity will ruin and even dissolve finished sugar pieces.
How to Cook Isomalt
- Add distilled water to Isomalt and stir until it is evenly distributed and resembles wet sand.
- Place pot of Isomalt on a burner set at high (see step 5 above) and stir to help the crystalline Isomalt melt and turn into a liquid.
- When Isomalt mixture comes to a boil, wash down sides of pot with a damp pastry brush and then insert thermometer.
- Target cooking temperature is 338 degrees F. Remove pot from heat when thermometer reads 333 degrees F. allowing five degrees to compensate for the continuing rise in temperature as a result of carry over heat within the mixture itself.
- Place bottom of pot in water just until the hissing sounds stops and return pot to burner set in the off position or rest pot on a folded side towel.
- Add color when Isomalt cools to about 310 degrees. Higher temperatures can denature the color and make it less bright and vivid. Use paste, powdered or gel food coloring. If using a paste or gel color, apply color on top of Isomalt and stir the food coloring shallowly so it remains on top of the Isomalt. It will bubble profusely, which indicates that the moisture in the food color is evaporating.
- Keep stirring color on top of Isomalt until the bubbling stops and all moisture has evaporated. This prevents water from being reintroduced into the Isomalt. Once the moisture has evaporated, it is safe to stir the food coloring deeply and incorporate it throughout the entire Isomalt mixture. Stir until an even color is achieved.
How to Hold Isomalt
- Place Isomalt in a 275 – 300 degree oven and let rest for a minimum of 15 minutes. Allowing Isomalt to rest in a hot oven enables the air to rise to the surface of your mixture and will result in a de-aired mixture that is absolutely free of bubbles.
- Isomalt can be held in an oven up to three hours before it starts to slightly turn from clear to an ever increasing yellow shade. The lower the holding temperature, the longer it can be held without discoloration.
- Once Isomalt starts to discolor, use it for your colored Isomalt creations.
How to Store Raw (Uncooked) Isomalt:
Isomalt, in its uncooked form, will absorb moisture from the air and should be kept in a tightly sealed container or a thick, tightly closed bag. Uncooked Isomalt has a shelf life of two years or more if stored correctly. The addition of food safe silica gel packets prolongs the shelf life of Isomalt by removing any moisture that may find its way into the storage container or bag.
How to Store Cooked Isomalt:
Cooked Isomalt, if exposed to humid conditions, will absorb moisture from the air and become sticky. The sticky surface will eventually dry out as humidity conditions change and this sticky layer will re-solidify. Once this happens, the Isomalt will first lose its shine, then become cloudy and eventually re-crystallize – which makes it unusable. The key to storing cooked Isomalt is to protect it from humidity. One of the most effective methods to achieve this is to use Food Safe Silica Gel Packets. Silica Gel is a powerful de-humidifying chemical that absorbs moisture out of the air. Placing the correct amount of silica gel packets in an air tight container with your cooked Isomalt is the very best way to keep your sugar projects bright and shiny for months.
How to Re-Melt Isomalt:
The best way to re-melt cooked Isomalt is with a microwave oven. Place container of Isomalt in the center of oven cavity and microwave for five – 10 minute intervals on the MEDIUM setting. Do not melt Isomalt on a high setting. Pockets of liquefied Isomalt overheat and will turn yellow. Periodically stir the Isomalt to distribute heat evenly throughout the container. When you see bubbles rising in the Isomalt mixture from two thirds of the way down to the top, you are close to 300 degrees F. Remove, stir and place in an oven set at 275 – 300 degrees.
Induction ranges cook by creating a strong magnetic field that passes through the cooking vessel and directly heats the metal very efficiently. Induction cooking is the very best way to prepare Isomalt because it only heats at the point of contact with the bottom of the pot. This ensures that the sides of your cooking pot do not over heat and you will also be able to cook Isomalt faster since induction is much more efficient than gas or electric burners. Cooking vessels used on induction ranges must be made of a “ferrous” metal like iron and steel. Non-ferrous materials like aluminum, copper and pyrex are not usable on an induction cooker. Dominic’s Tip: If a magnets sticks to the bottom of a pot, it can be used on an induction cooker.
Pure Isomalt is Better than a Blend:
The large manufacturers of Isomalt make their products for the confectionary, baking and weight loss industries. Many Isomalt products are blended with other polyols in order to create mixtures that work better in large mechanized operations. Many retailers of Isomalt buy and distribute these mixtures assuming that they are selling 100% Isomalt products. A blended Isomalt mixture can yellow prematurely and can also be less resistant to humidity. For the sugar artist and pastry chef, pure Isomalt is by far a better product to use when making artistic sugar displays, gems and sculpture. ClearCut™ brand Isomalt is 100% Pure Isomalt with no other polyols added.
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