The New Bakers Dozen
Using isomalt.

The The Bakers Dozen: Using isomalt.
By d. on Thursday, July 13, 2000 - 04:21 pm: Edit

I've always liked the look of spun sugar disks and nests as garnishes but have been put off about incorporating it into our plated desserts because of the humidity and transportation factors involved and the holding time(off-premise catering). I've been looking into using isomalt and recently ordered a couple of pounds so I could test it out.
Is it used just like regular sugar? When caramelizing, is it better to do it dry or if with water at what ratio? Anyone who has experience with this product is very welcome in offering me tips/techniques on how to best use this. Thanks.

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Thursday, July 13, 2000 - 06:50 pm: Edit

I'm not sure if it is possible to caramelize Isomalt. When we use it for pulled sugar we cook it to 340degF and it doesn't even take on a hint of color. It is an expensive godsend that works wonders in the moisture of foggy San Francisco. However, it doesn't have the mouthfeel of real sugar because it isn't hygroscopic and doesn't melt in the mouth easily and it isn't nearly as sweet as natural sucrose.

There is another product called Micro-Magic that is essentially a pre-boiled microwaveable sugar that is suitable for spinning. Also, it can be remelt without crystalization.

By momoreg on Thursday, July 13, 2000 - 08:08 pm: Edit

I have had isomalt get sticky in humid weather, but not nearly as fast as sugar would have. I would think twice about using it as an edible garnish for the same reasons as Mikeh explained regarding flavor. Mikeh, how is Micro-Magic different from Isomalt?

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Thursday, July 13, 2000 - 08:20 pm: Edit

I have to confess that I haven't used or tasted Micro-Magic yet. Someone just showed me a bag of it last week and told me about it. I will have to check the ingredients to see if it too is dextrose. Usually, I boil Isomalt in a 4:1 ratio with water, but today I used it to fake bubble sugar by pouring three different colors of undissolved Isomalt between two silpats on a sheetpan and sticking it in the oven. So, it might also be microwaveable.

By Yankee on Friday, July 14, 2000 - 11:27 pm: Edit

We don't take Isomalt up so high, only to hard crack. I like the way it looks when it is almost clear. Past 340 f, it will take on some color. It also holds quiet well in tupperware.

I don't really like the way it tastes. So, we use it very sparingly, if at all. We also keep the garnishes thin and easy to break/eat.

I also have not seen Mico-Magic. Guess I should spend more time hanging out with my vendors...

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