You may have seen that isomalt has become a big trend recently, lending itself to easily-made cake toppers and decorations with real impact. But do you know what isomalt actually is, and what you can do with it?
What is it?!
Isomalt is made from sucrose from beets. (If you want the science-y words, it is made from two sugar alcohols: gluco-mannitol and gluco-sorbitol!) It is extremely stable and although a little less sweet than traditional sugar, it can be mixed with other ingredients to sweeten it making it an ideal sugar replacement. Used not only in the cake decorating world, it is also found in many sugar-free foodstuffs as it has little effect on blood sugar levels and doesn’t cause your teeth to rot, which traditional sugar does quite well!
What can I do with it?
Because isomalt doesn’t take on the yellowish colour that occurs during the caramelisation process it is ideal for creating designs for cakes that require a clear or see-through element. Isomalt can be used for sugar art instead of sugar and lends itself wonderfully to things like blown or pulled sugar work, faux geodes, gems and glass effect pieces, which can be achieved using isomalt and a silicone mould. Isomalt can be moulded easily, either by hand or by pouring into moulds. It is worth noting when working with isomalt that you need to use moulds and equipment that can tolerate high heat and not plastic that may melt when exposed to the heat of the melted isomalt. And when we say heat, we mean some serious heat! Isomalt will burn your skin - do ensure you are wearing heatproof gloves - this won’t be an ordinary burn; isomalt is extremely hot and sticky, so this will take the first few layers of your skin with it if you try to wipe it off. Safety first, always pop those gloves on!
Isomalt can be used as a sugar substitute for all sugar art work, meaning the world really is your oyster when it comes to decorating with isomalt! Not only is it incredibly versatile, it also won’t crystallise unlike traditional sugar, meaning you can melt and re-use your isomalt as much as you need to until the desired effect is achieved. It can also be left out in the open air for up to a month without any ill-effects.
How do I use it?
The isomalt sold at A Piece of Cake comes ready-tempered, meaning all you need to do is melt it, either in a microwave for intervals of 30 seconds, or over a medium heat on the hob. Simply melt, leave to stand for a minute or two for the bubbles to pop and pour onto a silicone mat to form, or pour into a suitable mould. Why not check out our tutorial on an isomalt Cake Topper to see just how easy it is to create a stunning decoration. You can also add things like glitter and colouring to your isomalt for even more fun effects. A perfect opportunity to let that creativity flow!
Isomalt is a wonderfully easy, quick way to make some simply stunning elements for your cake. Come on down (now that you can!) to grab some for yourself and give it a go! Don’t forget to upload your creations on social media and tag us @apieceofcakethame for a chance to be featured.