Hi everybody. Tonight was my first attempt at hard candy making, I'm trying to make some jewels for my cake I'm bringing to the Austin Cake Show. I have a silicon jewel mold I got from Cakes By Sam. I used the following recipe:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
3/8 cup sugar
2 drops food coloring
I brought the sugar to 260 degrees, added the color, then let it come to 300 degrees. I poured it from a saucepan into a pyrex measuring cup for better control. I poured the syrup into my jewel molds, but when I unmolded them, I found each one covered with tiny bubbles that give it a bumpy, opaque look, instead of the gleaming jewel look that I wanted (the "open" side on the back is smooth the way I hoped the jewel side would look). Anybody have any advice how to avoid this problem?
I'm attaching a picture, I hope you can see what I'm talking about!
This is a tough problem to eliminate. Sometimes allowing the sugar mixture to cool down until it's a bit thicker and then poured very slowly can help.
Another issue can be the surface of the mold. Sometimes they have fine, virtually invisible pitting. You can try rubbing the tiniest bit of vegetable oil into each cavity and then wiping it out with a lint free cloth.
If all of the above fails, or if you just want to go with what you have, the simplest way to clear up the surface of the jewels is to gently "torch" the surface of each one. I have a small, butane torch used to caramelize sugar on top of creme brulee, but you can also use a stick butane lighter like you use to ignite the bb-q.
Thanks, Rae, I'll give those things a shot.
Hi! new to this posting stuff so please have some patience. I did 2 batches of poured sugar using the silicone jewel molds and had the same issue with both batches that you did. Little tiny bubbles on the mold side. To get rid of them I torched them with my creme brulle torch. It worked.
On my next batch i'm going to preheat my molds in the oven. Maybe pouring the sugar onto a warm surface will make a difference.
I also had another problem - my sugar turned yellow. Not sure is I heated it to fast, heated it to slow or if my thermometer is off. Any ideas, suggestions.
Generally Micro Pitting like this is because of the substance used to make the mould. We just did a huge trial and error batch of several jewel silicone, urethane, and plastic moulds in our classes and found VERY different results from them all. Most of the moulds are great for gumpaste or fondant, but the molten sugar is far less forgiving and shows every little bubble. Oil is one option but can leave the jewels cloudy later, heating the mould etc won't make a difference as it's a physical problem with the moulding material.
Chef Kincaellan, which were the best moulds you found.
I was told you have to use Isomalt instead of table sugar for the best results with these molds. I have the same mold as you have and found it very difficult to use with table sugar and gave up.
So glad that I found this...I wanted to purchase some moulds to make gems for a Mardi Gras cake...
Hmmm, I just finished another batch, and had decided to give up! After reading this, I think I'll give it another try! Although every candy thermometer I use is garbage! LOL!! I just bought a new one, and it was broken when I opened it! I'm having the worst luck...I did read somewhere to use toothpicks to drop the candy into the mold, for better control, and that did work well. Aside from the bubbles, it went ok. I tried spraying the mold with "Pam" before putting the candy in, but it didn't seem to do much... I guess I'm off to buy a butane lighter! Thanks for the help!
I'm curious to know which molds fared the best too!!
I may be the mold. I use a less flimsy molding material and don't have any trouble with bubbling. I make the molds myself. I also sell them on ebay because they work really well. I use the venuance pearls that are pre-processed isomalt. It may be just that the sugar is still "boiling" a bit too when you are pouring in. I am not sure, but when I use venuance, I heat it in the microwave to melt it and stir well after it is melted if it has bubbles to release those nasty things. Then I get much better results. This may also be that it cools slightly while I am stirring.
You may be able to stir them with a toothpick while they are in the mold to help release the trapped air. Not sure, but my molds work great.
Sorry about the slow response, i'm in Australia at the moment and have been for the last 3 mths.
I've researched pouring boiling hot sugar, coolish sugar, isomalt with water in it, str8 isomalt, and sugar into the moulds to see the effects and honestly the only difference is on the top of the jewel and the formation of little bubbles not the faceted bottom of the jewel. If you have a quality mould you should have a smooth jewel when they are popped out. That being said I make my own moulds as well. if you want to try and make on e yourself use a food grade urethane if you can source on out.
Hope that helps,
That does help! Thanks for the reply, perfect timing too! I was about to start back into the jewels this week!