The New Bakers Dozen
Looking for pulled sugar recipe using isomalt

The The Bakers Dozen: Looking for pulled sugar recipe using isomalt
By Melanie Mc. on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 09:11 am: Edit

I've looked around and have not been able to find a recipe specifying ratios. Does anyone have one? I appreciate any input!
Also, out of curiousity, I have a friend who was taught that the best way to test the pulled sugar syrup was by numbing her hand with ice, taking out a bit of sugar syrup and placing it in a glass of water to see if it forms a hard ball. She was taught this in culinary school. Does anyone else use this method or perhaps was taught it? She swears it turns out perfectly each time and has never been burned. I think I'll still stick to the thermometer method, though. That bubbling cauldron of hot sugar doesn't tempt me to stick my hand in it iced down or not. Wouldn't an accurate thermometer accomplish the same thing? (Plus I was taught to boil it to 317...past the hardball stage so I think I'm missing some point with her method. Anyone care to enlighten?)

By Yankee on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 02:00 pm: Edit

I have the directions for our isomalt at work. I'll send it later tonight.

I think it's 1 part water to 3 or 4 parts isomalt. All you really need to do is wet down the product as the water just boils off in the process just like with sugar. They also provide cooking temps. As I remember though, you don't need to heat isomalt much past hardball, yet the directions say to cook it higher. More to follow.

Why stick your frozen hand into a pot of boiling sugar when a thermometer will do the same thing? In a pinch you can just dip your fingers in cold water then pick up a bit of the hot syrup to see how far the sugar has cooked. If you are careful it is no big deal. But really, sugar burns suck. The key word here is careful. I have watched people burn themselves with the drippings from the thermometer.

By Melanie Mc. on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 06:16 pm: Edit

Dear Yankee:
Thank you so much for your reply. I'm looking forward to getting your directions. I've been playing w/ the basic sugar recipe....I have at least 4 different ones which ask for different amts of tartaric acid, etc. Guess I need to play around to find the best one. Also have been getting different temperature directions. One says to boil to 294F and the highest says to 317F. I tried Peter Boyle's recipe...I have already found it to be a bit brittle.
I will definitely stick to thermometer readings:-)

By Yankee on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 01:33 am: Edit

Here you are:

"For Pulling, and blowing: 4 parts isomalt and 1 part water. Boil to 170C/340F."

"For Casting, Spinning and Piping: Melt directly, or with a small amount of water. Boil to 380F. The less water you use, and the higher temp you boil it to, will increase the lifespan of your product."

I never take it above 150C or so since I prefer the clear color at that temp. There is also no need to add any acid. You can also re-melt any leftovers. It's a great product, it just doesn't taste very good.

Good luck.

By Melanie Mc. on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 02:13 pm: Edit

Thank you so much for taking time to help me out. I really appreciate it!

By Dominique (Dominique) on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 02:23 pm: Edit

A really neat trick I recently learned was to bake isomalt between two silpats. spread it on one, cover with another, and bake for a few minutes at about 350 degrees. Let cool before lifting off the top mat. How sparingly you spread the isomalt will make a difference in how it turns out.
(I was told that if you lift the top mat and replace several times while it's still hot you get a neat effect too but haven't tried that one yet.)

By Yankee on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 02:35 pm: Edit

Yes, the back side of a silt pad makes a great pattern. Just make sure it's really clean, otherwise you pull out all the crud that's stuck to it.

You can also grind pralines to a super fine powder, then sift over the back of a super clean and lightly oiled flat sheet pan. Pop it in the oven for a few minutes until it melts, let cool a bit, then break or cut into pieces. It's a great effect, just a bit sweet.

Have fun.

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