Help With Sugar Jewels

Sugar Work By KSMill Updated 10 Aug 2010 , 11:29pm by Sophdobe

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KSMill Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 6:19pm
post #1 of 13

I've tried two batches of cooked Isomalt to make clear jewels. The first batch, I tried to get to 340 degrees as the instructions said in the book, but they started to carmelize and I want clear. They hardened nicely, but not clear. I took the second batch off the stove just when it started to look like it was turning...don't remember the temp, but they aren't hardening.

If anyone can give me a tip to make clear jewels, I would really appreciate it.


12 replies
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mandymakescakes Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 6:48pm
post #2 of 13

I'm having similar challenges, so don't have an answer for you, hope we get some direction?!?!? icon_rolleyes.gif

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leah_s Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 6:58pm
post #3 of 13

hard crack is 320. They should still be clear and also set up.

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MYOM-Dominic Posted 22 Mar 2010 , 2:47am
post #4 of 13

I'd like to offer these guidelines which you can find at:

1. Use distilled water - many parts of the country have hard water. The minerals in tap water can turn brown when exposed to elevated temperatures but because there is so little of these minerals you perceive it as a yellowing effect. 

2. Add distilled water until the isomalt looks like wet sand.

3. Use stainless steel pots and stainless steel utensils for stirring. Do not use a wooden spoon. Foreign materials in the wood leach out into the isomalt, which can turn the mixture yellow. 

4. Once isomalt comes to a boil, use a nylon pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pot. Do not use a natural bristle brush. There are a host of chemicals and conditioning agents in the natural bristles that can turn your isomalt yellow. 

5. Stop stirring isomalt water mixture when it comes to a boil.

6. Test your candy thermometer, many of them read inaccurately. Test by bringing water to a boil and inserting thermometer and observe the temperature is shows. It should read 212 degrees F at sea level.

7. Cook isomalt to 338 degrees F. Take off heat at about 334 and place bottom of pot in water to stop the cooking process. Allow the pot to stay in water only until the hissing stops. About 5 seconds. 

8. To color isomalt, use paste or powered food colors. Liquid food colors introduce too much moisture in the isomalt, which will make it sticky. Allow the Isomalt to cool to 300 degrees before adding color.

9. Place isomalt in a 275 F degree oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. You will have no bubbles and pure, clear liquid crystal to pour all day.

Some people will claim that Isomalt does not caramelize, but as KSMill has found out -- it sure can. I suspect that impurities from hard water and the wrong utensils might be contributing. Another important note when cooking Isomalt - Don't cook a real small amount - cook at least two pounds at a time. Small batches quickly overheat because there is not enough mass to insulate against the heat and you get temperature spikes. Also - never cook on an over sized burner and never allow flame to curl up the sides of the pot. Bottom heat only - super heated sides of the pot create temperature spikes also. If you continue to have problems - post at my Forum; - I'm always checking it.

Hope This Helps,
Dominic icon_smile.gif

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leslie2748 Posted 22 Mar 2010 , 2:53am
post #5 of 13

I just did this last weekend!
At 340 degrees...yellow/amber jewels (still pretty)

MAGIC at 320 degrees..crystal clear...perfect.

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KSMill Posted 22 Mar 2010 , 5:13am
post #6 of 13

Thank you MYOM for your help! Reading your instructions, I see two possible causes: I used tap water and I only cooked a small amount. I tested the candy thermometer and it read 8 degrees to high so I accounted for that, and have a nylon pastry brush. I can't wait to try it again! Thank you so much

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c8kdreemz Posted 22 Mar 2010 , 5:26am
post #7 of 13

My first batch I used tap water, a wooden spoon and a nylon brush. Isomalt color turned yellow. Once I READ and believed his directions and tried it, clear isomalt for my sugar bottles. Do whatever Dominic says. You won't go wrong... icon_smile.gif

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DelusionsOfGrandeur Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 4:54am
post #8 of 13

Dominic - please forgive my ignorance, but are gel colors considered paste colors? And can you "save" the prepared isomalt and remelt it? If so, are there any special instructions for that?

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MYOM-Dominic Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 3:01pm
post #9 of 13

Hi DelusionsOfGrandeur,

There is a difference between gel and paste colors. Gel colors are usually a combination of water and gums or other thickening agents to create a thicker consistency. Less water is used to produce these colors and therefore it is better for adding to your sugar.

Paste colors are similar and can be made for water based foods and oil based foods. Paste colors usually have less water content than gel colors so they are good for sugar mixtures too. What you want to avoid are the liquid food colors since they have the highest water content which you do not want to re-introduce into your sugar mixture after you have cooked it in order to remove as much water as is possible.

Bottom Line - Use either gel or paste - they should work well for you.

Dominic icon_smile.gif

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lyndim Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 8:39pm
post #10 of 13


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Sophdobe Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 9:26pm
post #11 of 13

I'm having a problem with this....

My isomalt melt starts turning brown at around 248 degress.

I followed the clearcut isomalt instruction exactly (but i used Evian... does that count as distilled water???)

I used stainless steel pot & nylon pastry brush like it said but it's just turning brown way too early!!!


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DelusionsOfGrandeur Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 10:37pm
post #12 of 13

Evian is spring water. It is not the same as distilled.

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Sophdobe Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 11:29pm
post #13 of 13

hmmm - so I guess it does make a difference with mineral water huh!

Just wasted a whole can of isomalt~~~~ icon_cry.gif

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