Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Chocolate Mint Soap

Well my soapmaking experiments continue despite a few failed batches recently and unfortunately this batch also didn't turn out well at all either. The recipe was based on one in Jan Berry's latest book Simple Natural Soapmaking.



A friend had given me a number of fragrance oils including Dark Rich Chocolate Fragrance Oil which contains a lot of vanillin and I knew that would discolour the soap so I decided to add the FO to the bottom layer along with 1/2t cacao powder so that that layer would be nice and dark. Then the top layer would be left the natural colour which should make quite a nice contrast.



I had nettle infused olive oil which needed to be used up as well as some frozen goats milk and, as Jan Berry mentions in her book in some recipes that shea butter can be replaced with lard, I added lard to the mixture. However, when I rendered my last lot of pig fat I had a feeling that there was water in it from condensation on the lid of the crock pot as it didn't look as white as the first lot I rendered and also it had a smell to it as well. I had cooked this lot on high whereas the first batch was cooked on low so perhaps that was the problem. The next time I render pig fat I will use the method recommended in How to Render Lard the Right Way.

Added to that, I accidentally bumped a jug full of hot water which I was using to clean my stick blender after bringing the bottom layer to trace and it spilled into the batter in both jugs further compounding the problem of having too much water. Sigh! After that I was a bit doubtful that this batch would turn out well.





So I added the top layer and then sprinkled cacao powder on top. A number of soapmakers put their goats milk soap in the fridge so that it doesn't go through the gel stage but there wasn't room in ours so I put it in a cold esky overnight and, in the morning when I looked at the soap, it looked quite hard which was quite a surprise as I thought the soap would be extremely soft because of the extra water. I was about to learn another soapmaking lesson.

 

As the soap looked so hard I started cutting it into bars and guess what happened....it just crumbled! Later on one of the soapmakers on The Home Maker's Forum mentioned that they had done the same thing when they first made goats milk soap and that the soap needed to come to room temperature first. I did leave some of the batch until later and then had another go at cutting and managed to salvage a few bars but most were very crumbly.



So there was nothing for it but to rebatch half of it along with some other odds and ends from previous batches. Well, it is amazing how different it is when rebatching fresh soap. It became a lot softer than when rebatching the old dry soap and also there was no way that it could be pushed down into the mould. I had an idea that I could disguise the top of the individual soaps with calendula petals which worked a treat but I can never get a really smooth look with rebatching so it is not something I would want to do too often.

If you have never made soap you may wonder why rebatching is done and it is usually done when a batch hasn't turned out looking very good or is crumbly like mine was. You have to make sure it isn't crumbly because it is lye heavy and then it would need to be discarded but I knew that wasn't the case with mine. The soap is perfectly good to use though...just not nice looking enough to give as a gift.




The bottom layer of the soap is already starting to discolour from the fragrance oil. It doesn't look too good but smells like chocolate peppermint as I added peppermint essential oil to the top layer. I will write the recipe here for future reference. If anyone is interested I just found another recipe of Jan Berry's for Milk Chocolate Mint Soap if anyone is interested in making a batch. This is different to the one in her new book.


Chocolate Mint Soap

184g Coconut Oil
113g Lard
397g Olive Oil (I used nettle infused olive oil)
99g Sunflower Oil
109g Lye
262g Goats milk
16g Rich Dark Chocolate Fragrance Oil
13g Peppermint Essential Oil
1/2t Cacao powder for bottom layer

A big thank you to those who prayed for my friend's hubby who was rushed to hospital on Friday. He is improving and hopefully will be able to be transferred to their local hospital when a bed becomes available. Many thanks!

Have a great week everyone!












18 comments:

  1. Chel, your soaps look like desserts. Very pretty. Even the name makes me want to eat a piece of chocolate now. LOL

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    1. Ha ha Nil! I can assure you it doesn't taste like chocolate though :-)

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  2. I love chocolate mint everything! I bet this soap smells gorgeous even if it didn't turn out quite how you wanted. Meg:)

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    1. Meg, it does smell lovely which is why I didn't rebatch the whole lot as it then can lose its smell. I kept a few bars for us to use as it doesn't matter what it looks like.

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  3. It looks like one of those ice cream logs! I just mainly stick to the same recipe all the time so as to avoid it not working out. You must give a lot of soap away, I always have the urge to make soap but I'm the only one who uses it so don't need to make it more than a few times a year. My partner doesn't use it as it doesn't usually have any fragrance & he likes smelly soap, so he has the cheap bought stuff & I have the luxurious homemade.

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    1. Karen I do give some away to friends who are 'testers' and also take some as part of our simple living group swap. You do lose the volume of soap when you rebatch too I have noticed.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Chrissy. Good to hear from you.

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  5. Chel I admire your resilience! A lesser person would have given up long ago. The fact that you write about when things don't go as planned is great as others can learn from you as you try to sort out the problem and come up with solutions. It was good to read that Bluey had improved and can be moved closer to home. I think Annabel said Jane had had an hour and a half drive to visit him...that would get very tiring.

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    1. Yes Maria, that was such good news about Bluey. That will make it so much easier for Jane at such a stressful time.

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  6. The soap looks fine to me Chel. Just say it's meant to be that colour and no-one will know it is discoloured. Cheers Lyndie

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    1. Thanks Lyndie. It should end up dark brown I think. The smell is fantastic so that is one good thing about this batch :-)

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  7. PS I think all your soaps look great by the way!

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  8. That looks lovely Chel. Love your blog and your soaps! Kind regards, Wendy (aka Emeline)

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    1. Thanks Wendy. My soapmaking success is a bit hit and miss this year. LOL!

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  9. I love that you are always up for another soap experiment and slways learning!

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  10. I like how you post about your mishaps. Makes other soap makers feel better when a batch goes "pear shaped", or otherwise! As long as it achieves the purpose of making you clean then, to my thinking, it is a success :).

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