Pure Soapmaking offers an insight into how to create your own nourishing soaps using natural ingredients such as honey and coconut oil. Author, Anne-Marie, has created more than 30 recipes for you to pamper yourself, while learning a new hobby at the same time, with step-by-step instructions and images. Anne-Marie’s buttermilk honeycombs creates not only attractive bars of soap but also natural skin care products for a glowing complexion, why not try this recipe for yourself?
Makes 12 bars
This adorable honeycomb soap contains a trifecta of skin goodness, as buttermilk is rich in lactic acid, and some say it can reduce the appearance of pores. While honey and silk combine to make a silky-smooth lather and leave skin glowing. If you put the mould in the freezer immediately after pouring this prevents gel phase, which is where the soap rises in temperature to solidify. Soaps that go through the gel phase have a slightly different look to them, and if the sugars in the honey and the buttermilk scorch (become too hot), it not only smells bad but will discolour the final product.
Mould and special tools
12-bar round silicone mould
1 (2ft by 2ft) sheet of small bubble wrap
3 inch round cookie cutter or other template
3.4 ounces lye (5% superfat)
4.1 ounces distilled water
1 pinch tussah silk fibres
2 tsp sodium lactate (optional)
10 ounces olive oil pomace (40%)
1.3 ounces avocado oil (5%)
5 ounces canola oil (20%)
2.5 ounces sunflower oil (10%)
6.3 ounces coconut oil (25%)
3 tbsp honey
4.1 ounces buttermilk warmed to about 29°C/85°F
Essential oil blend
0.5 ounce Karma essential oil blend
1 ounce orange 10x essential oil
Wear proper safety gear the whole time. Work in a well-ventilated space. No distractions (keep kids and pets away).
Prepare the moulds
1 Trace the outline of a circle about 3 inches in diameter on the back of the bubble wrap. Cut out the circle and use it as a template to trace and cut 11 more circles. Next, cut 12 strips that are each 1 ½ inches wide and 9 ¼ inches long.
Place the round pieces in the bottom of each cavity, bumpy side up. Wrap one strip around the outside of each cavity, with the bumpy side to the middle. Place the entire mould on top of a cutting board so it is easy to transport once the soap is made.
Make the soap mixture
2 Measure out the water. Take a small pinch of tussah silk and pull it into individual strands. Spread the silk over the surface of the water (it will float). Add the lye to the water (never the other way around), directly over the silk fibres. The heat is an essential component to melting the silk fibres. Stir gently until all of the lye and most of the fibres dissolve. If using sodium lactate, add it to the lye-water and stir to combine. Set the mixture aside to cool until it becomes clear. It is normal to have very small strands of silk floating in the lye-water.
In a bowl large enough to hold all the oils and the lye-water solution, measure out the olive oil pomace, avocado oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil. Place the coconut oil in the microwave in its original container, and heat until clear and liquid. Once it is completely melted, combine with the other oils. When the oils and the lye-water are both below 43°C/110°F, pour the lye-water into the oils through the powder sifter to catch any undissolved silk fibres. Tap the stick blender a couple of times against the bottom of the bowl to release any air that may be trapped in the blades. Do not turn on the stick blender until it is fully immersed. Stick blend to a thin trace, about 60 seconds.
Mix and pour
3 Add the honey, and stick-blend for 15 seconds to incorporate. Slowly pour in the slightly warmed buttermilk, then the essential oils, and whisk them into the soap until completely combined. Pour the soap to fill each cavity, being careful not to disrupt the bubble wrap. Once all of the cavities are filled, gently lift the cutting board with the mould, and tap it on the counter to release any bubbles.
4 Immediately put the entire mould on the cutting board into the freezer for about 4 hours. Remove, and allow the soap to set at room temperature for at least 48 hours before unmoulding. To remove the bubble wrap from the surface of the bars, gently grasp one corner of the plastic, and pull back first the rectangular edge, then the round bottom. Place the soaps on a drying rack for 4 to 6 weeks before using, turning them every few days to ensure that they cure evenly.
Pure Soapmaking by Anne-Marie Faiola, published by Storey Publishing, is available to buy from all good book shops and www.storey.com, RRP £14.99.
LandLove readers can purchase Pure Soapmaking for the special price of £12.99 including free p&p to UK mainland. To redeem, simply call 01872 562 327 or visit www.efcbookshop.com, quoting ‘LL05’. Valid while stocks last.