All right I finally got a notice that somwone posted on this topic. I'm in Montreal writting a beginers book for pulled and blown sugar pieces. a CHEAP begineers book that I'm going to use as a manual for my classes from now on it will be done by late january early february.
Anyway, and yes Montreal is amazing, anyone who has not been needs to go; Isomalt can be used on it's own, you want to melt it not boil it. The longer you boil it the harder it is to work and the more water you add to make it soft. You jsut need to melt it until it stops bubbling. In regards to all sugar you should take ATLEAST 20 minutes to melt / boil it. The longer melt creates a better molecular structure. Nothing hurts more than creating a masterpiece and having it crack or collapse because of poor preparation.
Water in isomalt ratio should be 5-10% of the isomalt weight in water. melt the isomalt take it off the heat and add the water. watch out it's going to spit and add it slow or it could explode hot sugar all over you and scar your face forever.
not a joke, add it slow.
if you add colouring you have to use a NON gelatine based PURE powdered colour. any impurities in the sugar will cause it to go opaque and crystalize. when adding the colour you add it to the water, than STRAIN the liquid to get out any tiny tiny impurities. Than you add it to the isomalt and stand back, also the steam from the sugar / water will stain anything it touches, walls, stove tops, clothes...
If you are doing this somewhere with snow, take the pot outside, and the colour / water and see the amount of splatter and mess the steam makes.
If you want a softer easier sugar for pulling add 10% water if you want a harder sugar for blowing add 5%. the more water you add the longer it takes to harden and that may effect the shape of your bubbles etc.
wow can you tell i've been writting a book....LOL
that's it for now,
oops p.s. if you make sugar bubbles use a METAL tube on the pump, wood or plastic is real sign of poor sugar knowledge. There's lots of "professionals" that say to use wood, but when you need to heat it up and take the bubble off wood burns, also it doesn't last long and the splinters of wood from an old wooden pipette will help cause crystalization of the sugar piece.