Friday, October 05, 2007
Nettle & Whey Soap
I’m going to sing the praises of milk powder slurries yet again. The soap in the photo is a gelled milk soap with only the tiniest bit of discolouration. I’ve tried making cold process milk soaps in the past, but I’ve always had to leave them ungelled. Otherwise, they’d turn a sort of dark beige colour, which is fine, but sometimes I’d like a white (or near white) soap. It was especially important with this soap as I wanted a clean background to show off the little specks of nettle throughout the soap.
This is a cold process recipe.
Nettle & Whey Soap
55% Olive oil
20% Coconut oil
25% Avocado oil
Nettle Tea – made by adding ¼ cup dried nettle leaf for every 250g boiling water. Once the tea has cooled, strain the tea to remove the nettle leaves*
To determine how much whey powder you’ll need, measure the finished nettle tea that has been calculated for use in the batch. For every 250g of tea, set aside 50g of whey powder. Mix the whey powder with a few tablespoons of oil held back from your batch and stir it into a thin slurry. Make sure it’s fluid and that there are no lumps.
Add the whey and oil slurry to your batch at thin trace and stir or stick blend to fully incorporate. I add my fragrance just after this step. Pour the soap into the mould and wrap well to insulate. Alternatively, you can do what I do and set it on top of a heated radiator for about two hours and cover it with a tea towel.
To get the little specks of nettle through the soap, add a pinch of dried nettle leaves to your oils and stick blend until the nettle is pulverised and evenly distributed. Do this before adding your caustic soda solution.
You can use any milk powder for this recipe, but I like the silky high-protein feel of the whey. Buttermilk or goat’s milk powder would also be lovely.
If you would like to make this recipe using the hot process method, save the slurry and add it after the cook. You can find details on how to do this here.
*make sure your nettle tea is completely cooled before adding the caustic soda!
Posted by gracefruit at 10:00 AM