ISOMALT TUTORIAL: HOW TO MAKE A SAIL
- Melted Isomalt is very hot and can cause severe burns. Always use a cotton gloves covered with silicone gloves.
- Always wear long sleeves, pants and eye protection to shield from splashes
Step by Step How to Make a Isomalt Sail
1) Place isomalt crystals in a nonstick or steel saucepan.
2/3 cup isomalt crystals
2) Heat a medium heat until the crystals melt. Gently stir with a silicone spatula or spoon. Always touching the bottom of the pan while you stir (this decreases bubble formation)
3) Let it come to a boil then time it for 1 minute. (If you want to use a thermometer the temperature should reach 180C or 300F.)
4) Let cool for 1 minute then add the food dye. Be very careful of your eyes and hands. The dye may spatter when it touches the hot liquid.
5) Pour onto a silicone mat. Let cool for 30 minutes. (You can also pour it into silicone molds at this stage to let harden and use at a later date.)
You have just tempered* the isomalt.
6) Break up the hardened isomalt on the mat and put into a saucepan or in a airtight bag to use at a later date. You can use the saucepan you just used without cleaning it or a new saucepan.
7) Let the isomalt melt on a medium heat without stirring it. This will help decrease bubble formation. If there are a lot of visible bubbles then let the saucepan sit for a minute. Many of the bubbles will come to the top.
8) Pour the isomalt once again onto a silicone mat.
9) Tilt the mat to let the isomalt start forming a shape and to judge when to put the mat on the bottle. The isomalt should not be running like water but more like corn syrup.
10) Place a bottle on another mat or cookie sheet. Then place the silicone sheet with the melted isomalt on top over the bottle. Then gently crimp the silicone mat with clothespins to form a shape the isomalt will harden upon. Its OK if some of the isomalt drips onto the mat below. It will still look great.
11) Let harden for 15-20 minutes. Do not disturb the sail at this stage. Then gently take the isomalt sail off the bottle and pull the silicone mat off.
Finished Isomalt Sail
- If by chance you break your sail you can recycle the isomalt by starting at step 6.
- You can let the isomalt “rest” in an oven at 275F for 5 minutes to get rid of unwanted bubbles. It can be in the over up to 3 hours before it starts to discolor.
- Use melted isomalt to glue pieces together.
- Make a small puddle of isomalt with your leftovers on a silicone mat, let it harden then use it as a stand for your sculpture.
- You do not have to use water to temper it. Some recipes will call for that but it is incorrect.
- Never use plastic with isomalt. Do not stir it with plastic or store it in plastic.
- Do not use a wooden spoon to stir it may cause discoloration.
- When storing your tempered isomalt put a food safe packet of silica gel in the air tight container. Isomalt has a shelf life of 2 years.
- Do not store your isomalt in the freezer or refrigerator. It will be exposed to too much humidity.
- You can microwave the tempered isomalt to remelt it. Place it in a microwavable glass container and microwave in 15-20 second intervals until it is melted.
Decorating Your Isomalt Sail
- Americolor Food Color or Americolor Airbrush Colors give a beautiful transparent color
- Sprinkle Edible gold in the hot isomalt or as it is cooling. Edible gold leaf will stick beautifully on the hardened product.
Edible Gold in Isomalt
- Use Edible Metallic Paints in the hot isomalt or paint the edges for an expensive look.
Edible Metallic Paint on an isomalt sail
- Use Lustre Dust in the hot isomalt or dab it on with a Food Safe Paintbrush.
- If you add Americolor “ Bright White” to any of the Americolors you will get a lovely opaque color.
- Instead of adding the food dye in the saucepan you can add it with a toothpick after pouring it onto the mat. If you use multiple colors then swirl it will give a spectacular marbled effect.
-Use your isomalt sail as a vase for fresh or Readymade Icing Flowers.
An Isomalt sail with Readymade Icing flowers
- Isomalt is made from sucrose made from beets and is used as a sugar substitute.
- It is a mix of two disaccharide alcohols which are gluco-mannitol and gluco-sorbital.
- If you consume too much it can cause GI upset.
- It functions better than sugar for decorations because it is not as susceptible to moisture problems and it is not as prone to crystallization. (You might have seen this if you have ever made candy and it just suddenly becomes full of crystals.)
- It can be combined with Splenda and oil flavourings to produce a low sugar candy.
- It does not have any impact on blood glucose levels.
*The reason it must be tempered is that when it is heated then cooled a certain type of crystal is formed. When it is heated a second time a slightly different type of crystal is formed that is stronger and less susceptible to breaking. If you don't temper the isomalt it will be so brittle that you will not be able to get the silicone mat off the sail.