Time for making some Thanksgiving & Christmas soaps.
I had a really busy day of it making 3 different soaps with frosting: Pumpkin Pie, Orange Gingerbread, and Mocha Latte Goat’s Milk.
I used my 9-bar horizontal mold and had some Red Palm oil which I like for this soap, as I thought that the red palm didn’t discolor as much from the FO. I did 3 layers: red, brown & orange (pumpkin color) with FO in the first two. (See last year’s Pumpkin Pie soap on my Sept 16th Blog).
What I learned from researching my previous Red Palm endeavors to write this blog is that I didn’t put any of the FO in the red, like I thought I did!! No wonder it didn’t discolor last year!! (Memory is a funny thing!)
Still, it has taken several tries to perfect the percentage of Red Palm oil to use, as it seems to really accelerate trace in large amounts. I first tried it in an Oatmeal Stout Beer soap with 15% Red and 15% White Palm oil. The oils immediately clumped up when I added the lye at about 110 degrees. I hadn’t even started to mix the oils & lye liquid and this was before adding the FO (which does it’s own accelerating).
In last year’s Pumpkin Pie soap I used a straight 22% of Red Palm oil and no white. Again, that was too much, as it set up fast. I tried it in yet another recipe, this time about 12% of each red & white palm, and it seemed to behave better. However, all I had left of Red Palm for this batch amounted to 7%.
I’m not sure if I will use Red Palm Oil again. It seems expensive to me, at $22 for 4 lbs, or $5.50/lb, which is the best price I have found (at Amazon.com).
I was attracted to the Red Palm for the health benefits. Here’s some of the info I found on it from a variety of sources:
Considered as a sacred healing food by many civilizations, including the ancient Egyptians, virgin red palm fruit oil should be regarded as one of the most nutritious oils in the world. It is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) and is referred to as “red palm oil” because of its rich dark red color in its unprocessed natural state. Palm fruit oil contains mainly palmitic and oleic acids and is about 50% saturated. The health benefits are only achieved due to the red color of the palm fruit oil that is attributed to its high content of carotenes, which include beta-carotene and lycopene. These powerhouse antioxidant nutrients are more that tomatoes or carrots have. Red palm fruit oil is also densely packed with numerous tocotrienols – a powerful form of vitamin E.
Since my oils are dark due to the Red Palm, I also used Hemp seed oil & Pumpkin oil. (I don’t think I will buy these oils again either, as they are so dark, I find a limited use for them).
This is my recipe:
5% Apricot Kernel Oil
10% Avocado Oil
5% Castor Oil
5% Cocoa Butter
25% Coconut Oil
5% Hemp Seed Oil
10% Olive Oil
5% Palm Kernel Flakes
20% White & Red Palm Oil
5% Pumpkin Seed oil
5% Organic Shea Butter
5% disc Lye
10% disc Distilled Water
Sodium Lactate 1 tsp/lb oils
The FO (which has since been discontinued) was a Pumpkin Pie Cybilla from BB (Brambleberry). My description notes I have on it says: More spicy than sweet; butter, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg.4.5% vanilla.
I also used a SQ (Soap Queen) frosting recipe to frost the top. I’m not sure if it’s the recipe or me, as it came out very brittle and little bits have been breaking & falling off, as well as cracking. I may have over whipped it or added too much sodium lactate, as I just eye-balled it instead of measuring it out. I know better, but I had so much going on I skipped this step. I have found that only a tiny bit of sodium lactate goes a long way – if I use too much, my soaps are crumbly on the bottom.
Here’s the SQ blog with the frosting recipe, which I doubled:
The pumpkins on top are MP LSDF (low sweat, detergent free) soaps dusted with BB Gold sparkle mica. And I sprinkled the soap top with a little nutmeg.
To prevent the MP soaps from melting and the frosting from wilting during gel, I popped this in the freezer for a day. (I’m not actually sure if the frosting would oose it’s shape during gel, but it got really soft in the frosting bag from my hands, so I didn’t want to take any chances.)
Next Blog: Part 2 – Orange Gingerbread soap.