What is Invert Sugar? I had NO idea. The Callebaut recipe for Marzipan suggested it and I was left a bit dazed.
But - as with most things that sound excotic and magical... it is a basic mixture of some very basic ingredients!!
WHAT: Using only sugar, water and a little cream of tartar (or citric acid) which, when cooked, splits table sugar (Sucrose) into it's individual components, Glucose and Fructose. (Wikipedia)
HOW: Mixed and cooked together and sometimes reduced to a thicker consistency
WHY: According to a variety of websites -
- Invert sugar crystals are tinier than sugar so it provides a smoother result than sugar.
- It reduces crystalisation, longer shelf life, retains moisture
- The smaller crystals also dissolve faster than sucrose crystals.
- utilized in certain baked goods like Madeleine’s and brioche, invert sugar is used to increase tenderness and moistness.
- Invert sugar retains moisture better and improves shelf life.
- As little as 10-15% of invert sugar mixed with sucrose markedly reduces crystallization in the final product, resulting in longer shelf life as well.
USES: Beer making (aparently helps the yeast work better/quicker because it aborbs this form of sugar easier), chocolate making, sorbets, marzipans,
RECIPE: Well that's the thing. There are many different ones, but this is the one I found first and used and then converted..
- 1000g of sugar
- 480g of filtered water
- 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar or citric acid
Put all in the Thermomix carefully, make sure there is no sugar on the walls of the bowl. and hold at 70oC for 4-5 minutes, speed 1, until all the sugar is melted.
Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush down the sides of the thermomix to make sure that there are no sugar crystals left unmelted.
Set the tempreture to Varoma and start cooking again at speed 1. Once it reaches the Varoma temperature, let it cook AT varoma for 1 minute.
Now.. that is where I stopped. just said to bring it to 112oC and bang... you have invert sugar. Admittedly it would BE invert sugar and it certainly is a BEAUTIFUL clear, sweet liquid but the more I looked into invert sugar, the more it seems like Invert Sugar should be thick and viscous - like honey. Even looking back at that website (above) it is showing a thicker consistency than what I have.
MOST recipes I have found since, call for simmering the invert sugar recipe at 90oC then for another 20-30 minutes to reduce it down and get that lovely thick texture. It is kept at 90oC so it doesn't caramalise, and merely reduces. If you end up doing this, let me know how it turned out!! I used my somewhat runny invert sugar with my Marzipan and it worked great. The Marzipan which had the invert sugar is still malleable whereas the one without is a little drier.