(Download the SassieShot QuickStart Guide)
Q. When I try to pull the trigger it won’t move and nothing happens. What should I do?
A. Wait a few seconds. The Sugar Melting Gun has been designed to melt isomalt at the optimal temperature for sugar work - due to this, it is sometime required to let the Sugar Melting Gun sit a few seconds while it returns to full temperature. This prevents the isomalt from overheating, or burning. If the trigger doesn’t advance the stick, it is because the isomalt inside the heating chamber hasn’t been melted yet.
Q. When I pull the trigger, the trigger moves easily, but it doesn’t advance the Isomalt Stick into the Sugar Melting Gun.
A. 1. Make sure you have an Isomalt Stick that is extending out the back of the gun (past the pink ring of the Loading Guide). It is inside the Loading Guide that the trigger makes contact with the Isomalt Stick. If no stick is loaded, the trigger can not advance the isomalt that is inside the heating chamber.
2. If there is an Isomalt Stick in the Loading Guide, remove the stick and replace it with another stick, then try again. Sometimes, an Isomalt Stick may get sticky or gummy and will jam in the Loading Guide (making it impossible to use). To prevent this, do not store your Sugar Melting Gun with an Isomalt Stick in the Loading Guide - remove the Isomalt Stick, or push it into the heating chamber with a wooden cake dowel before storing.
3. Make sure you are applying slow, steady pressure to the trigger. Pulling it too fast, or jerking the trigger will not allow it to grab the Isomalt Stick and advance it.
Q. How long will it take for my isomalt decorations to harden?
A. It depends on the size of the piece. If you’re making small, quarter-sized isomalt decorations they will harden in minutes (less than 10). If your isomalt is very thick (inches thick), or if it is a large piece (the size of an orange or larger), expect to leave it for an hour or more. As you work with isomalt, you will begin to learn the cooling times for different pieces. Most decorations for cakes or cupcakes are small. If you’re making buttons, small flowers, leaves, bows/ribbons, fish, medallions, paisley, beads, gems, etc, you can expect the pieces to harden in under 10 minutes.
Q. I made my isomalt decorations and let them harden, but now they’re very sticky. What went wrong?
A. Nothing went wrong. This is due to humidity. If you’re working with isomalt on a rainy day, or in a hot/humid environment, you will need to “dry” the decorations before using them. Make sure you have Silica Gel packs (the little packets of granulated stuff that comes in a box of shoes, or a new purse). You can buy food-safe silica gel packs online. Or you can buy a plastic tub of Desiccant at a hardware store, and divide it into little ramekins. Place your isomalt pieces (in the mold is fine) and the silica gel in a zip bag, or snap-top plastic food box. Leave it overnight so the silica can absorb the moisture from the isomalt.
Q. I need to make hundreds of isomalt gems for a cake next month. Can I make them now and keep them?
A. Yes! Once you’ve made your finished gems, put them into a zip bag and toss in a couple Silica Gel packets (food-grade ones only!), force out the excess air and zip the bag. Then put the bag into another zip bag and seal that one. Your gems will hold for several months this way. The key is to keep them away from moisture/humidity. The silica packs will keep them dry. When you’re ready to use the gems, if they look a little dull, you can spray a bit of Original PAM on a paper towel and quickly gloss up each gem. I find this isn’t usually necessary in a low-humidity areas.
Q. What kind of a mold do should I use with isomalt?
A. Silicone molds are recommended. They are very easy to use. You don’t need to grease them, and once the isomalt is completely hardened, you can just flex the mold to pop out the finished pieces. Silicone molds are more expensive (ranging from $12-$80) but they will last you a lifetime if cared for properly. You can also use plastic sugar molds. These can be purchased in craft and candy making stores for a couple dollars each. These molds are solid white sheets of plastic with the mold cavities embossed in the plastic. If you use one of these molds, it is best to spray the mold with Original PAM (or wipe with Vegetable Oil on a paper towel) first. Wipe off the excess oil before pouring your isomalt. Chocolate molds which are clear (see-through) plastic can NOT be used for isomalt. They are not intended for high temperatures and they will melt.
Q. I used a Black Cloud Isomalt Stick in the Sugar Melting Gun, and now I want to use Clear Jewel. How do I clean the gun between colors?
A. When switching between colors, it is normal to get some color swirling. Try to plan projects from light colors to dark colors to minimize noticeable color swirling. When switching from a very dark color, like black, red or navy to a light color, like clear, pink or lime, it may be necessary to run a Clear Jewel Isomalt Stick through the Sugar Melting Gun to clean out any leftover darker isomalt. This “swirled” isomalt can be very pretty! Try to use it, instead of discarding it.