Isomalt is a healthier alternative to sugar. It has the taste, texture, as well as physical properties of real sugar, but half its calories. Made from beet sugar, this is perfect for people who need to watch their blood glucose and insulin levels closely, or for people who want to lower their calorie intake but still want to indulge their sweet tooth. The reduced sweetness of Isomalt is a major selling point for health buffs and sugar craft artisans alike, because sometimes desserts can become too sickeningly sweet if you add all of the sugar needed to provide moisture and body to a sugar showpiece.
Benefits of Isomalt
Isomalt is great for sugar crafting and creating showpieces, because as opposed to regular sugar, it is more resistant to humidity, more flexible, and will not crystallize unlike sugar, resulting in a more defined finished product that has longer shelf life and more structural integrity–making it the perfect sweetener for pulled sugar, blown sugar, or cast sugar work. This makes it the perfect weapon of choice for sugar artists, cake decorators, and pastry chefs. Also, Isomalt will not turn into a yellowish or brownish color once it has been cooked, unlike regular sugar, making it a great medium to work with when it comes to sugar art that needs to have a clear, transparent color.
Forms of Isomalt
Isomalt comes in crystals and sticks. A basic recipe will have a ratio of 4 parts Isomalt to 1 part water. When cooking Isomalt, it is important to have a candy thermometer around, because if it was not cooked using the correct temperature, you won’t achieve the perfect consistency to work with. Aside from the thermometer, you also need to have latex gloves for protection when working with a hot Isomalt. When replacing sugar in recipes, use a ratio of 1:1.
What You Will Need
2 cups of Isomalt
1/2 cup of water
What You Need to Do
Mix the Isomalt and water on a pot, making sure everything is evenly distributed.
Place it on a stove top, and using medium-high heat, bring it to a boil for about 5 minutes.
Continuously stir, and check that the crystals do not stick to the side of the pan, and that the foam has been skimmed.
Cook until it reaches 340 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the pot from the heat, and plunge the base of the pot in cool water to stop the Isomalt from cooking further.
Once the hissing sound stops, you may return the pot to the stove top, with the fire turned off.
Color the Isomalt using gel or powdered color. Stir the food coloring slowly into the Isomalt until an even color is achieved.
You may now begin with the sugar crafting.
If storing cooked Isomalt, put it in an airtight container. You may place silica gel packets that will suck the moisture out of the air. Don’t put it in a refrigerator because once it has been exposed to cold, it will become sticky and will lose its shine.