Terri_A Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 5:23pm
post #1 of

I have a cake customer who wants a bubble cake so I decided to bite the bullet and see if I could make sugar bubbles. The first recipe was a failure, but I found another and tried it and here is a photo of one of the 3 bubbles I was able to get -


Image


When I try again - I need a HEAT LAMP! I didn't get very many bubbles I think because the sugar hardened so quickly. Am I right?

Also, my pump does just has a rubber hose end, do I need a stick or metal needle to get better results???

Thanks for help and feedback on this. I'm going to need to make at least 20-30 bubbles of differing sizes for the cake I'm planning. I'm making it for the last weekend in January.

Would isomalt be better to use than the sugar/cornsyrup/etc recipe that I used?

To color them, should I just dust with luster or put coloring in the sugar as it heats?

Thanks for any and ALL help on this from a sugar newbie!!!

40 replies
Puglady Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 5:26pm
post #2 of

I can't see the picture. icon_sad.gif

ShirleyW Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 5:30pm
post #3 of

Your picture is not showing for me and one of them in your gallery is not viewable as well. I would love to see these too. My sugar pump doesn't have a needle, just the rubber tube and the bulb on the end. I have a heat lamp but I also saw Jacques Torres do something clever and inexpensive. He used a metal bakers rack, bought a small space heater, turned it upside down on the top of the rack and put a Silpat mat under the rack. Worked perfectly too.

Sugar bubbles can be frustrating, make one, break two, etc. I like working with Isomalt, I think it is a bit more pliable when blowing. Or you can add Tartaric acid to your cooked sugar syrup to give it more stretch.

nichi Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 5:35pm
post #4 of

You can also nuke it in the microwave. Not during the actual blowing process but to warm it back up to make the next bubble....

Terri_A Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 5:38pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShirleyW

Your picture is not showing for me and one of them in your gallery is not viewable as well. I would love to see these too. My sugar pump doesn't have a needle, just the rubber tube and the bulb on the end. I have a heat lamp but I also saw Jacques Torres do something clever and inexpensive. He used a metal bakers rack, bought a small space heater, turned it upside down on the top of the rack and put a Silpat mat under the rack. Worked perfectly too.

Sugar bubbles can be frustrating, make one, break two, etc. I like working with Isomalt, I think it is a bit more pliable when blowing. Or you can add Tartaric acid to your cooked sugar syrup to give it more stretch.




Well...I don't know why my photo is not showing up...I will upload it to my photos here and try that approach.

I had read about Isomalt some, but could not locate it locally. I used a recipe that uses sugar, corn syrup and cream of tartar and when the sugar was still quite warm it was very flexible and pliable. The only reason I could only get 3 bubbles was that the sugar cooled so quickly. I think I will try a heat lamp for this next go round and hopefully in 2 batches get enough bubbles!!!

Terri_A Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 5:42pm
post #6 of

Okay - if you look at my photos there's a bubble there!

Kate714 Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 5:49pm
post #7 of

I have no experience with blown sugar, but I think MoyDear has done them a lot. You could try PMing her. Great job!

ShirleyW Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 6:13pm
post #8 of

Here are some I did for our community centers annual Chocolate and Champagne fundraiser.
http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=coppermine&file=displayimage&meta=allby&uname=ShirleyW&cat=0&pos=132

If you want some expert advise about sugar work we have a member here who does beautiful displays. Here is a link to his website.
kincaellan (Jeff) Click on the gallery at the top of his page to see some of them.
http://www.jeff-the-chef.com/

kincaellan Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 8:19pm
post #9 of

I heard my name....

Isomalt is easier to use but it is far more fragile than the sugar cooking method you are using.

I suggest getting a cheap flexible long neck lamp from home depot and a heat lamp bulb (make sure you get a lamp that will take the wide bulb) that is a cheap $30.00 answer. Use a silpat or non stick silicone sheet under the lamp to sit your sugar on.

when it gets too cold than you can nuke it for 20 seconds or so. I use a half silicone sheet inside a microwave safe bowl.

I'm shooting pictures for a bubble tutorial right now.
Part of Risquebusiness's idea of severla tutorials.
I'll post it tomorrow.

I would make a bunch of clear ones then lustre dust them. That is easiest.

while your at home depot you can get the metal tube for the pump. i'm not sure what the pump and rubber tube you are using looks like but you need a metal tube end. Copper works fine and it's easy to cut.


hope that helps

Now I have to rebuild a figurine because it got cold and than warm too fast and exploded. Isomalt does not handle temperature change well at all, like from near a cold window to some where else in a warm room only 2 feet away.

Ah well..

www.kincaellan.com

SugarCreations Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 9:56pm

A lot harder to pull and blow than regular granulated and for the cost it is really not worth it.

Terri_A Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 11:00pm

Thanks so much for the tip on the heat lamp. Can I get a heat lamp bulb at Home Depot as well??? I'll take my pump when I go and see if the guys can get copper tubing to fit it well. The one I am using is like a blood pressure pump with a long black tubing with nothing at all on the end, just an opening in the plastic tubing.

I'll keep you posted on my sugar adventure! It's been fun so far!

SugarCreations Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 11:38pm

Terri there are cheaper alternatives to the heat lamp. Go to any pet supply store that sells the brooding lamps for baby chickens $11 all you have to do is remove the dome shield and you have your heat lamp socket. You have to be careful with heat lamps because you cannot just plug them into any socket fire danger you know. The Jacque Torres method mentioned by Shirley I think is a good alternative. Key thing is you do not have to spend a fortune on this stuff its just common sense. Your pump, you can get a small piece of copper or something to put in it. I used that rig for a while. You can get heat lamps at Home Depot as well as Lowes. There will be two types red and clear the choice is yours. Most use red because its easier on the eyes but clear serves the same purpose, the red is a little more expensive.

RisqueBusiness Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 11:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCreations

Terri there are cheaper alternatives to the heat lamp. Go to any pet supply store that sells the brooding lamps for baby chickens $11 all you have to do is remove the dome shield and you have your heat lamp socket. You have to be careful with heat lamps because you cannot just plug them into any socket fire danger you know. The Jacque Torres method mentioned by Shirley I think is a good alternative. Key thing is you do not have to spend a fortune on this stuff its just common sense. Your pump, you can get a small piece of copper or something to put in it. I used that rig for a while. You can get heat lamps at Home Depot as well as Lowes. There will be two types red and clear the choice is yours. Most use red because its easier on the eyes but clear serves the same purpose, the red is a little more expensive.




Yes, sugar creations ...as I suggested ages ago and you kept on arguing that those lamps were not made for sugar..

Durrrrrrrrrrrrr! icon_lol.gif

ShirleyW Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 11:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kincaellan

I heard my name....

Isomalt is easier to use but it is far more fragile than the sugar cooking method you are using.

I suggest getting a cheap flexible long neck lamp from home depot and a heat lamp bulb (make sure you get a lamp that will take the wide bulb) that is a cheap $30.00 answer. Use a silpat or non stick silicone sheet under the lamp to sit your sugar on.

when it gets too cold than you can nuke it for 20 seconds or so. I use a half silicone sheet inside a microwave safe bowl.

I'm shooting pictures for a bubble tutorial right now.
Part of Risquebusiness's idea of severla tutorials.
I'll post it tomorrow.

I would make a bunch of clear ones then them. That is easiest.

while your at home depot you can get the metal tube for the pump. i'm not sure what the pump and rubber tube you are using looks like but you need a metal tube end. Copper works fine and it's easy to cut.


hope that helps

Now I have to rebuild a figurine because it got cold and than warm too fast and exploded. Isomalt does not handle temperature change well at all, like from near a cold window to some where else in a warm room only 2 feet away.

Ah well..

www.kincaellan.com




Thank you Jeff. I knew you would have good advise. You do wonderful sugar work and I appreciate you sharing your knowldge on this forum as well as Sugar Buzz.

moydear77 Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 11:50pm

Bubbles!! Oh do I love bubbles!! The needles question in regards to the pump I use--what I can find!! That is chesp!
I love Isomalt. I get two pounds for $15.00 and change.
I like it because it is not affected by humidity.
Where is the bubble cake you saw??

The bubble pic of yours looks great!!

SugarCreations Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 11:55pm

[quote="RisqueBusiness"][quote="SugarCreations"]Terri there are cheaper alternatives to the heat lamp. Go to any pet supply store that sells the brooding lamps for baby chickens $11 all you have to do is remove the dome shield and you have your heat lamp socket. You have to be careful with heat lamps because you cannot just plug them into any socket fire danger you know. The Jacque Torres method mentioned by Shirley I think is a good alternative. Key thing is you do not have to spend a fortune on this stuff its just common sense. Your pump, you can get a small piece of copper or something to put in it. I used that rig for a while. You can get heat lamps at Home Depot as well as Lowes. There will be two types red and clear the choice is yours. Most use red because its easier on the eyes but clear serves the same purpose, the red is a little more expensive.[/quote]

Yes, sugar creations ...as I suggested ages ago and you kept on arguing that those lamps were not made for sugar..

Durrrrrrrrrrrrr! icon_lol.gif[/quote]


There are 250 watt lamps not reptile lamps. You put a 250 watt lamp in a reptile cage and your going to have a cooked reptile. Are you????? Yes I believe you are. That tells me why things are???? Hmmmmmmmm.

playingwithsugar Posted 12 Jan 2007 , 11:55pm

Moydear,

Please reveal your source for isomalt at that price? I am paying way more than that right now.

Thanks!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

moydear77 Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 12:17am
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmriga

Moydear,

Please reveal your source for isomalt at that price? I am paying way more than that right now.

Thanks!

Theresa icon_smile.gif




I buy mine from www.sweetc.com

Ok I found my catalog

2 pounds for $15.99
5 pounds for 36.75

playingwithsugar Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 12:18am

Thanks! I have a gift certificate I won at a Day of Sharing! Now I have a really good reason to use it!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

moydear77 Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 12:25am
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmriga

Thanks! I have a gift certificate I won at a Day of Sharing! Now I have a really good reason to use it!

Theresa icon_smile.gif




Are you around Minnesota??

playingwithsugar Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 12:27am

No, I'm in PA.

T. icon_smile.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 12:30am

No, I'm in PA.

T. icon_smile.gif

Puglady Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 2:04am

I still couldn't see the picture but right clicked, copied and pasted into a word doc. The ball looks really cool! I don't know if this is what you were going for but I REALLY like it. It looks kind of spindly and see through at the same time. GREAT JOB!

Terri_A Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 4:25am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puglady

I still couldn't see the picture but right clicked, copied and pasted into a word doc. The ball looks really cool! I don't know if this is what you were going for but I REALLY like it. It looks kind of spindly and see through at the same time. GREAT JOB!




Thanks! I don't know what I was going for other than bubbles! It was fun and I really enjoyed learning the process. I'm anxious to do it again with a heat lamp!

kincaellan Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 5:59am

Make Sure you get a 250 Watt heat lamp.
and be carefull. Always keep an eye on your sugar under the lamp, keep moving it and turning it so it doens't liquify but stays evenly soft.

I don't agree with Mr. Torres about using a space heater. I'm taking for granted it is a space heater with a fan and that is going to heat and evaporate any moisture in your sugar making it harder and harder to pull and blow. If its a ceramic radiant heater that would be better but it will be hard to find one that doesn't have an emergency off switch when they get tipped over. Mind you I'm in Canada safety regulations may be different in the states.

www. kincaellan.com

kincaellan Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 6:06am

Sugarcreations,
you commented earlier that Isomalt is harder to pull and blow than regular sugar. Try increasing your water content it can get real easy to work with but be carefull as it will take longer to set and will be more capable of sagging after it has set. It will take a few tries to find what works in your area but it really shouldn't be harder to work. How often are you reheating it? That can make it harder to work with too as you evaporate the water content. If you are using a radiant fan heater it will really give it a short working life span.

Let me know if any of that helps.

www.kincaellan.com

kincaellan Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 6:15am

Thanks Shirley W, I'm always glad to help when I can.

I do have to say It is a lot cheaper to use regular sugar for this and it is more stable as a finished product except for the shelf life. You can always seal it though with a food lacquer or a regular lacquer if no one is ever going to eat it.

if you are doing a project that is just for fun or a few days I suggest cooking the sugar, If you are doing something you want to keep that is not going to get moved a lot or you're in a hurry than isomalt is great. If you are doing a project in the winter use sugar the isomalt will crack when it goes from the hot house to the cold out doors.

www.kincaellan.com

RisqueBusiness Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 6:57am

for sure, for practice use the sugar..easier and cheaper to find! and if it cracks you can always add it to your hot beverages..lol

Since we were working with "showpieces" we learned to work with the ISOMAL...but it wasn't really yummy.

If you learn ONLY how to pull some pretty ribbons and or make loops for a bow, you will increase the market value of your cakes tremendously!

I remember seeing a cake that was "wrapped" around in a pretty sugar ribbon as you would use the chocolate wraps. The top of the ribbon was undulated..was a very nice effect!

Too bad I'm in Florida, because the mintute a cake like that hits the outside! Forget 'bout it!!!! lol

SugarCreations Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 11:52am

[quote="kincaellan"]Make Sure you get a 250 Watt heat lamp.
and be carefull. Always keep an eye on your sugar under the lamp, keep moving it and turning it so it doens't liquify but stays evenly soft.

I don't agree with Mr. Torres about using a space heater. I'm taking for granted it is a space heater with a fan and that is going to heat and evaporate any moisture in your sugar making it harder and harder to pull and blow. If its a ceramic radiant heater that would be better but it will be hard to find one that doesn't have an emergency off switch when they get tipped over. Mind you I'm in Canada safety regulations may be different in the states.

www. kincaellan.com[/quote]

Granted safety is always a concern so heres what you do. Go out to the local hardware or home supply store and get yourself a dimmer switch most are rated for 600 watts do not use anything less than that RISK OF FIRE. Cut and splice your heat lamp cord at a place where you want to put the switch and tie it in. You can use a switch box like they use for regular house switches to put the switch in. With this setup the dimmer switch allows you to adjust your intensity of the lamp while thus maintaining constant heat on your sugar. If your uneasy about electrical work get someone to do it for you. This also allows for you to turn the lamp off without unplugging it. I have this on my box and it works great.

RisqueBusiness Posted 13 Jan 2007 , 4:09pm

Sugar Creations, would love to see some more of your work...you must've gotten a lot better since you posted last year...

with all your practice and books that you've gotten.

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