A little over a week ago my lye finally arrived and I was itching to get soaping. I love baking, but since my oldest son was diagnosed with celiac disease the fun of baking has kind of disappeared. Baking is either expensive or a real frustration when things don't turn out as planned. I think that's one of the reasons I have grown to love making soap. It involves all of your senses like baking ( except taste of course) and you don't get the extra calories ;). I also love the scientific side of soap making! I love learning about the properties of different oils and how to combine them to form the perfect bar of soap. I guess it uses parts of my brain that hasn't been used much since high school chemistry :).
With that said, I had formulated a recipe using soapcalc.net that I thought sounded good. I measured out my oils and butters ahead of time and decided at the last minute to add yogurt to my recipe. I had some homemade yogurt sitting in my fridge that no one was eating. Instead of letting it go bad, I had the bright idea of experimenting. Up to this point, the only liquid I had used for my soap was water. I decided to use yogurt for half of the water in the recipe. I read that instead of freezing the yogurt and putting it with the lye and water, I could add it to the oils, so that's what I decided to try. Everything went fairly smoothly from what I could tell. I colored the soap with rose clay and activated charcoal and scented it with black raspberry vanilla. I heard rave reviews about that particular fragrance and was excited to try it. I am so sad to say, I really don't care for it. To me it seems very perfumey and heavy. It's not terrible, and thakfully I went for a light scent, so I don't think I will mind too much using it. I think when guests come over to our house I'll have them sniff it to get their opinions :).
From my reading, I seemed to remember something about not letting soap with milks in it gel and to keep them cool, so I decided to play it safe and pop the finished soap in the freezer. The next day, I pulled it out and unmolded it. I let is sit the rest of the day and cut it the next day. Let me tell you, getting nice straight layers is harder than it looks, and apparently I need lots more practice as this was not the look I was going for at all! I think next time I may need to let the bottom layers set up for a little bit before adding more on top??? I don't know. Oh well! I'll have to show you the most interesting thing I saw when I cut into the soap.
Do you see it?? There is a circle in the middle. I had read about power circles and it was neat in a strange way to see one in person. I don't care for the look, but it was neat none-the-less. A power circle is when the middle of the soap heats up and gels, but the rest does not. So not my most successful soap, but interesting anyway, and at least it's still a usable soap if not very pretty. And hopefully the clay, charcoal, and yogurt will be nice on the skin :).