If you’ve heard of isomalt but you’re not sure what it is or how to work with it, you’ve come to the right place! This handy ingredient can create some truly unique elements to add to your cake, turning it into a showstopper. In this post we’ll explore how to use isomalt in your next baking project.
What is Isomalt?
First things first – what is isomalt?
Isomalt is a really stable substitute for sugar. It is sugar-alcohol derived from sugar beets, and has a similar structure to sugar itself. However, it is actually sugar-free, making it a much lower calorie option. How many times can we say “sugar” in one paragraph – we know! But it’s important to know exactly what you’re working with.
Isomalt is odourless and has a pleasant but less sweet taste than actual sugar. It’s a naturally sourced sweetener, perfect for creating sugar art and decorations.
How to use Isomalt in baking
Before we get in to the “how”, an important safety note. Isomalt must be melted for use, and it becomes extremely hot, so keep it away from children. This is an incredible product, but not one for a cosy family baking session! Be very careful when working with it as the hot isomalt will stick to skin and can cause severe burns. You should always wear ovenproof gloves and protective equipment, and aim to melt in small amounts.
To use isomalt in your next baking project, we’d advise starting with a ready-tempered pack (available in a range of colours!). Work through the following steps to prepare the product:
1. Melt in 30-second increments until the isomalt becomes fluid. Make sure to check the isomalt after each increment and do not heat for longer than 30 seconds at a time.
2. Carefully remove the isomalt from the microwave using ovenproof gloves – the isomalt will be extremely hot.
3. Stir and wait for the bubbling to stop then slowly pour into the desired container or mould. Silicone moulds are great here as they are heat resistant, and easy to remove your creations from. Alternatively, you can pour onto a heatproof flat surface and work it with kitchen utensils or, when eventually cool enough, your hands.
4. To make the surface smoother or to smooth any rough edges, sweep a crème brûlée torch over any isomalt that has touched the mould.
Generally it is advised that you should avoid using or storing your isomalt creations in hot, humid climates. This weather can turn your creations cloudy and sticky.
Is isomalt safe to eat?
Absolutely. Isomalt is a naturally sourced sugar alternative, and perfectly safe to consume in moderation. It should be noted that the body does not actually digest isomalt, so it will just pass straight through the body.
Easy projects for beginners
Like any other type of sugar art, start small and simple. Creating circles for lollipops, or little round gems to add to your cakes or cupcakes is a great jumping off point. These items have no intricate designs; therefore, they allow you to get used to working with the hot isomalt with less pressure!
And once you’re comfortable with that? The world is your oyster! We love the cool Isomalt topper the amazing @bubbasbakes added to this celebratory cake – what an eye catching finishing touch!
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