Oh man this is one product I have been so eager to try and I must say it did not disappoint. I did not go wild and crazy as my cake did not require that and before I try something to daring I really need to take a class or 6, lol to be able to achieve that, but just for what I needed to do it was a dream.
Back last year when we were doing the Poseidon piece for Cake masters Kim Simons made sugar coral made by pouring Simi's Isomalt over ice, then just a few weeks later I made Coral by baking isomalt in the oven both times perfection. So when I needed to make gems for an upcoming piece (yes I know, I am behind the times if I have never made gems before but that is the truth) then I knew it was Simi Isomalt I wanted to use.
I used the pre-tempered ready to use Simi Isomalt for my gems and they came out perfect every time. New to Isomalt I did not know some things like that confectioners glaze/laquer is the answer to clouding, but thanks to Sidney Galpern of Simi Cakes she quickly responded to my question and had my piece back up and crystal clear in no time, I took pics so as I could show you the difference. You can see on my piece here that the center gem is not cloudy because I sealed it with confectioners glaze the other 2 gems, one on each side have now turned cloudy because they were not sealed. So if your piece is not going to your customer right away I would seal it just to be safe. Also gloves are best to handle your isomalt with otherwise you will get finger prints in it.
Simi Isomalt also provided me with the most amazing and realistic water droplets. I honestly don't know what the proper way to make them is but I just used a toothpick, dipped it in my isomalt and dropped drips onto my silicone mat, worked perfectly. The wonderful thing about isomalt no matter what brand you choose to work with is that there is next to no waste. What you don't use you just throw back into an airtight bag preferably with some silica gel packs to help with any moisture but not a necessity.
You can find many amazing tutorials now online to help you at home but better yet I would suggest a class if you wish to advance your skills with this fabulous sugar technique. Simi Cakes and Confections offers both classes and tutorials and now also has the most amazing mats and transfer sheets so as you can create your very own crystal slipper, Horse Carousel and many other wonderful things that could make your cake the talk of the town. I cannot wait to give those a go they look just incredible. So if you have not tried it yet I say buy a small bag of it and give a go, we all need to try different elements and this is a great one.
My new favorite thing is modeling chocolate, also known as candy clay. One of the things I most enjoy is making realistic human and animal figures. Because it does not dry out or harden rapidly, modeling chocolate allows me to add a lot more detail than I have ever been able to achieve using fondant or gum paste. I have also been able to get a much smoother finish, which is critical for faces. Many thanks to Shawna McGreevy for her detailed tutorial on making and trouble shooting modeling chocolate. It is a little tricky until you become familiar with its particular properties, which are very different than fondant, but so worth the effort if you enjoy sculpting in sugar. Not only is it a wonderful medium for sculpting, it tastes delicious, especially when used to cover Rice Krispy Treats! Yummy!