Although I’m not really an accomplished cook in the kitchen, I do enjoy experimenting with different soap recipes. I love the different scents and textures and tones that are created using different additives and oils. This recipe and layered technique that I’m going to show you today is especially beautiful and yummy! I have created 2 layers in this beautiful soap, one peppermint and one chocolate. It smells almost good enough to eat!
For this particular cold-process soap, I’m going to share with you a recipe that uses the humble pig lard as one of the main ingredients. I usually have quite a bit of lard in the freezer after we process our home grown pigs, and if I don’t have some, the local butcher shop or sometimes the Amish bulk food stores will have some at a very reasonable price. As always, my recipes are my own and I have developed them using my favorite lye calculator: http://www.soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp
As I have mentioned before, special attention must be made when measuring all ingredients and care must be taken when mixing them together. Don’t make any changes to the oil types or amounts unless you specifically run the numbers through a lye calculator. You will need soap specific bowls 2 bowls for mixing for this specific recipe) and utensils. Tools such as a kitchen scale, soap mold, and hand blender are a must.
For this recipe, I used:
11.2 oz. Lard (manteca)
11.2 oz. Coconut Oil
2.8 oz. Avocado Oil
2.8 oz. Castor Oil
10.6 oz. frozen goat milk
4.1 oz. lye
peppermint essential oil
chocolate mousse fragrance oil
Technique for making the soap
Before mixing our ingredients, line your soap mold with parchment paper, leaving enough on the edges to create handles to lift the soap out. Cut out a divider out of poster board and line it also with parchment paper. I usually staple the paper to the top of the board.
Carefully measure the oils into a double boiler, I like to use a glass measuring cup in a couple inches of boiling water. Place the frozen goat milk in a batter bowl in your sink. Allow it to start to thaw as you melt your oils.
Once the oils are melted, remove them from the heat. Very carefully measure the lye and add slowly to the mostly frozen/slushy goat milk. Make sure to stir constantly to keep the milk from burning from the heat of the lye. Your goal is to keep the soap mixture as cool as possible. This is why we use frozen milk and heat the oils to just melting.
Add your melted oils to your lye/milk mixture as soon as the milk is no longer frozen. Stir with a spoon, then start pulsing with your hand blender.
Your goal with the hand blender is to create a thickened mixture that will “trace” back upon itself – almost like a pudding but not quite that thick. In this particular recipe, we will be separating out half of the batter before adding our scents.
Separate out about half of the mixture into another bowl. Add the peppermint essential oil to one bowl, the chocolate mousse fragrance oil to the other. Mix both very thoroughly. Now for the tricky part!
Creating the diagonal layers
Place your divider into one edge of the mold. Pour one of the soap mixtures into the bottom of the mold, using the divider to keep it to one side. Press the divider down into the soap, then push it down to create a diagonal line. Carefully pour the other soap onto the opposite of the divider. In this photo, you can see the arrows pointing at both layers after being poured into the mold.
Now, very carefully start removing your divider. I use a spatula to scrape the soap down from both sides as I go. The divider is disposable so carefully throw it away. Give your soap mold a good settling drop on the counter to make sure there is no air pockets.
I place my soap mold in the freezer for a couple hours to keep it cool, not allowing any gelling or burning of the soap. It is then left on the counter for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours, lift the soap out of the mold by the parchment paper. If it is still very soft, allow it to sit out up to another 12 hours before slicing.
Carefully slice your soap and allow to cure in a cool, dry place for 4-6 weeks. You can see by the photo that the soap layers are slightly different colors when first made, but the chocolate layer will end up darkening to look like chocolate. I love this fragrance oil because it smells and looks luscious enough to eat!
I would love to see your completed soap! If you are not yet ready to try your hand at soap making, i have some for sale in my shop so head on over and get some!