What Causes This?

Sugar Work By Crimsicle Updated 5 Jun 2006 , 3:08am by sherik

Crimsicle Posted 18 May 2006 , 8:08pm
post #1 of 20

I poured my first hard candy molds last night. I used silicone molds from First Impressions molds - with isomalt. I love the clarity of the isomalt. But...I'm getting all this teeny tiny pitting on the surface of the candy. On the surface that doesn't touch the mold, - the back of the "jewel" - it is smooth and looks like crystal. But, the surface that touches the mold is just covered with this stuff. I've looked closely at the molds using a 7 power magnifier, and I can't see that the mold cavities are faulty. But, maybe it's smaller than 7 power can see...and it causes problems in the final product. ????

Is it that I'm doing something wrong that causes this? I boiled to 330 and let it sit a few minutes for the bubbles to subside. It poured beautifully.

I just now tried again, but using sugar this time. I got a much cloudier mixture...and still got the surface pits. So....I don't know what to think.

Any ideas?

19 replies
SugarCreations Posted 18 May 2006 , 8:43pm
post #2 of 20

OK, couple questions here.

First, what kind of pan are you using? Second, are you wiping down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush and warm water while cooking? The pits could be caused by any number of things. Have never had pitting problems. My guess is the pits are being caused by sugar recrystallization in your mixture. Tell me exactly how you cooked it. I will check back later.

Best Regards Sugarcreations...

Crimsicle Posted 18 May 2006 , 9:04pm
post #3 of 20

I cooked it in a stainless steel pan - narrow with high sides. I didn't stir it or wipe it down at all. Brought it up to 330 (added coloring at 280). Then took it off the heat and let it sit while the bubbles subsided. That's it.

Oh, and I used 5 ounces isomalt and 1/2 ounce water.

SugarCreations Posted 18 May 2006 , 9:25pm
post #4 of 20

I stand corrected. Since you are using Isomalt crystallization should not be a problem. Heres my only suggestion and I cannot guarantee you it will work.The pits are most likely being caused by air bubbles trapped in your mixture and your molds could have moisture in them even though you cannot see it. Lightly brush the inside of the molds with vegetable oil then after you pour your sugar pick up the molds and lightly tap them on the counter kind of like you do cake batter to get the air bubbles out. Please re-post and let me know what happens weather you use my idea or not you have me curious now.

Best Regards Sugarcreations...

Crimsicle Posted 18 May 2006 , 10:00pm
post #5 of 20

Thanks. I'm kind of disgusted with this. Probably won't try it again tonight. Maybe over the weekend. I'll let you know.

Crimsicle Posted 19 May 2006 , 2:20am
post #6 of 20


I emailed First Impressions, and they suggested putting the dry isomalt right into the cavities and microwaving. Well...that won't work for this particular situation, because they have to look like amethysts.

So, I put the completed jewel back into the cavity and microwaved that. It helped.

Then, I did what you suggested...oiled the caviity...and then put another jewel back in the cavity and nuked it. It looks better yet. Not great, mind you...but I will be able to go ahead with this project now.

Out of curiosity, I poured some white chocolate into the same molds, and it came out non-glossy as well. Even though they don't LOOK rough, these molds are not shiny. Bummer!

Is that just characteristic of silicone molds? Am I hoping for the impossible?

SugarCreations Posted 19 May 2006 , 8:53pm
post #7 of 20

Bubbles in isomalt is kind of charastic I found out. One other way is to take a propane or butane torch and go lightly over the surface while it is still soft and not set up yet. As far as the chocolate goes did you temper it before you put it in the molds? Cannot tell you much about chocolate. You can go here www.pastryscoop.com they have some chocolate molds and might have some advice for you.

Best Regards Sugarcreations....

A word of warning here. If you let the isomalt setup and then use a torch be careful not to appy to much heat as you will crack your piece.

Crimsicle Posted 20 May 2006 , 10:47pm
post #8 of 20

Bubbles in isomalt is kind of charastic I found out. One other way is to take a propane or butane torch and go lightly over the surface while it is still soft and not set up yet.

I'm a step ahead of you. Tried that. By the time it got hot enough to smooth the pits....the thing lost its shape. Turned into a blob.

First Impressions now says I'm getting "humidity" bubbles. So, I guess they're telling me that anybody who lives in the Southeastern part of the United States can't pour hard candy. I find that hard to accept.

They REALLY wanted me to try the dry isomalt in the cavities thing. I did that. I just made a holy mess! I also gound up the previously poured candies and piled THOSE in the cavities. A slightly LESS holy mess.

The best results I"ve gotten have been to pour the candies. Let them cool. Replace the candies in the mold and heat them again. I've been nuking them, but that's hard to control. I think next time I'm going to try baking them. What a pain this has been. I just need three darn "amethysts" for a very special cake. And I will NEVER do this again!!!!

As far as the chocolate goes did you temper it before you put it in the molds? Cannot tell you much about chocolate. You can go here www.pastryscoop.com they have some chocolate molds and might have some advice for you.

Actually, it was Candy Melts, which you don't temper. I was using "chocolate" as a generic term. I mold chocolate/candy melts all the time with no problem. It's definitely the mold in that case. It's just not smooth enough to give a gloss finish. First Impressions doesn't want to hear that.

They have some lovely molds...but if I can't get high quality from them, they're not much good. Too bad.

I have hope that the baking of the semi- finished pieces will do the trick. Sure hope so! I really need these little jewels!

Thanks for all your support.

SugarCreations Posted 21 May 2006 , 12:07am
post #9 of 20

Being in the Southeastern US should not affect the isomalt. I have used it and I am about as far Southeast as you can get. The last Sugar competiton they had in Las Vegas they used isomalt simple for that reason low hygroscopity.Isomalt is not sucrose as granulated sugar is, it is made from maltose hence the name. Normal mixture is generally 3 to 1 three parts isomalt to 1 part water. Sorry I could not be more help...

Best Regards Sugarcreations...

Crimsicle Posted 22 May 2006 , 12:51am
post #10 of 20

I know. First Impressions is grasping at straws. ANYTHING to avoid admitting there might be something wrong with the material these molds are made of. If every mold they sold produced results like this, they would quickly be out of business. I know they won't get any more of MY business...and I spend a ridiculous amount on cake junque. Their loss.

fearlessbaker Posted 22 May 2006 , 1:05am
post #11 of 20

Crimsicle, If you are using the candy melts or buttons like Merkens then you don't need to temper. Having only used the clear plastic molds for chocolate molding and Merkens buttons I haven't had the problem of the choc not being shiny. Where is Clay?

Crimsicle Posted 22 May 2006 , 1:10am
post #12 of 20

icon_smile.gif He's taking a little vacation.

My problem is really about boiled isomalt. I was using the term "chocolate" generically. It's way too much trouble. I always use candy melts instead. I'm not a purist. icon_smile.gif

Crimsicle Posted 24 May 2006 , 12:16am
post #13 of 20

Final update, iI hope!

First Impressions kept arguing that I was dealing with moisture somehow. Their guess was humidity. I felt that there might be moisture in the mold material itself because of the pattern of the flaws I was seeing.

SugarCreations suggested oiling the molds. Oiling had helped some previously, so I repeated that technique.

But, I also BAKED the molds for a good two hours at 175 degrees. If there was any moisture retained in those puppies, I was determined ti get it out. So, when I took them from the oven, I oiled the cavities and then poured the isomalt. THEN, I put the molds back in the oven and baked for 30 minutes at 275 degrees. I let one set of molds cool without the additional baking, and while they weren't pitted...they also weren't glossy.

Finally! Acceptable jewels. They aren't perfect, and some of them had a few really big pits instead of a myriad of tiny ones. (They're in the oven re-baking as I type.) But, I got enough to do my cake with. They are clear, smooth ENOUGH (although still not perfect) and have a nice "flash" to them.

So...if you're ever in this spot...bake the molds to ensure they're dry...then oil...then bake the poured candies.

Whew! What a pain. It'll be a cold day in hades before I do THIS again!

Ursula40 Posted 24 May 2006 , 3:41am
post #14 of 20

Oh boy, I can't wait to see the cake these jewls are destined for, I love amethysts

Ursula40 Posted 24 May 2006 , 3:42am
post #15 of 20

Oh boy, I can't wait to see the cake these jewels are destined for, I love amethysts

boring Posted 24 May 2006 , 12:43pm
post #16 of 20

Why the cold day in Hades before you try again. You've got it down pat now and the next time will be easy. I love your determination its a bit like me never give in. For what its worth I think they look great.

Jenn123 Posted 24 May 2006 , 12:59pm
post #17 of 20

If it is humidity, you might consider buying a dehumidifier and running it before you make this kind of thing. I have to do this when I make royal icing & gingerbread houses.

Crimsicle Posted 24 May 2006 , 1:30pm
post #18 of 20
Originally Posted by Ursula40

Oh boy, I can't wait to see the cake these jewels are destined for, I love amethysts

Actually, it's such a small part of the cake, you'll be disappointed. They will be the "top-knot" on a Faberge-type egg. I'm planning to use just 3 of them. Might have to go to 4, depending on how well the design holds together. icon_smile.gif

I just got OBSESSED with making this work!

adven68 Posted 24 May 2006 , 1:44pm
post #19 of 20

Very interesting....and I love the jewels...and I also can't wait to see your cake!

sherik Posted 5 Jun 2006 , 3:08am
post #20 of 20

Your jewels are great! I'm glad you finally fixed the problem. Those moldes should serve you fine after all your hard work. icon_wink.gif

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