“How can I get the best results from isomalt?”
Isomalt has a big draw for sugar-free hard candies and beautiful sugar glass. Whether you’ve worked with sugar before or not, it can be deceptively easy to work with – and we often get questions from home cooks and culinary professionals for how to get the best results.
One of the primary advantages of isomalt over sugar is that it can be heated and melted in a pan without water.
Simply heat in a heavy-bottomed pot until all the granules melt. At this point, the isomalt is free to use however the recipe calls for. There’s no need to add water that would just be boiled off later.
Compared to regular sugar, isomalt’s lower melting temperature allows for a crystal-clear, crackable ‘glass.’ While sugar can also be turned into a glass, the high temperatures mean the sugar will also start to brown.
Isomalt has a different taste than traditional sugar, at only 45% to 65% relative sweetness compared to granulated sugar. It’s best used when the end product needs that glass appearance and enjoyable ‘crack.’ For sugar-free sweetness in other recipes, such as gummy candies, consider a different sugar-free alternative such as sorbitol.
Thanks for your question!
Chef Scott Guerin
Modernist Pantry is here to help professional and home chefs transform food. We’re honored so many of you reach out to our test kitchen for problem solving and inspiration. Have a question? Ask a chef!