You’re never going to believe how often I get wide eyes and looks of confusion when I tell people that from time to time, I have been known to swap out all my liquids… for a fruit puree. Oh yeah. A full 100% swap! No water! Your liquids are actually all fruit!
For this recipe, I swapped out my water for strained strawberry puree.
It’s strawberry season here in China! Actually it begins in February with glorious milk strawberries as they are called from Dandong, Liaoning. That’s when the first strawberries begin to make their ways to shops and street corners near you. They are lush. They are massive, and boy do they smell amazing! But boy oh boy… they really have no taste. The tasty ones begin to pop up in March. And those are the strawberries you want.
I’d strongly suggest using a sieve. The smoother your puree, the better the end results!
How to make soap using fruit puree. The method I use, is I take the fruit and puree it. If it is something like strawberries, I’ll put it through a large mesh sieve to filter out the seeds. If you leave the seeds in your soap to provide you with some exfoliation action, be warned that strawberry seeds can tear at the skin! I learnt that one the hard way. Then put it into a shallow plastic container from say sushi and shove it in the freezer. When it is all frozen, I spoon the lye onto the puree, coating it. I watch this part like a hawk! The biggest part is to make sure that you never let one part get too hot. Once the lye is all mixed in, use your immersion blender to make everything smooth. Your puree will turn funny colours! But that’s ok!
Once this is done, it’s just the same as making regular soap! But, because of the extra sugar from the fruit, you do run the chance of overheating and accelerating, so it is imperative you soap under room temperature conditions.
Some notes on using fresh fruit in soap making. Make sure that your fruit is not chunky. If it is chunky, you run the risk of mould growing. So it is important to make sure that if you use say blueberries, there are no chunky blueberry skins. It’s one of the reasons I like to put my fruit puree through a sieve.
Because there is the chance of acceleration due to the sugar content, when I make fruit soap, I generally up my liquid oils, and reduce my oils that could possible accelerate trace. I had oodles of rice bran oil so decided that rice bran oil would be the bulk of my recipe. Followed closely by cocoa butter, lard, and some olive oil and of course some castor oil. I decided to scent this in Dark Chocolate fragrance oil of course. I mean strawberries AND chocolate just go don’t they? Alas, the strawberry scent from the puree does not survive the lye process!
And because this soap has the added oomph of strawberries, and scented in a dark and rich chocolate, why not add in some cocoa powder just to give it some of that yummy looking chocolately goodness?
I really wanted to use the last little bit of my strawberry fragrance oil, but I learnt the hard way that the strawberry fragrance oil accelerates trace! In this recipe I decided to try to see what it would be like to add my fragrance oils to my oils before trace. Many people suggest it, but in this recipe, I really didn’t notice any sort of difference to anything. But, the Dark Chocolate fragrance oil is a well behaved fragrance oil, so that might be something to take into consideration. I’ll be playing with this method a fair bit in the months to come, so I will comment more on when I add in the fragrance oils.
What I found surprising about this recipe was that this soap may have come to a slightly thick trace somewhat quickly, it did not harden up in the mould quickly at all! I waited three days before unmoulding. So if you plan on making this recipe, patience will be your virtue! It took about seven full weeks for this recipe to get that hardness factor where I felt it hard enough to use. You can always swap out the rice bran oil for olive oil, which will make the soap harden up quickly in the mould.
But the bubbles! Oh boy! The bubbles were huge!!!
Just to recap if you are new to soap making:
Ingredients needed for beginner soap making
- Wash and clean your strawberries, and puree them. Once you’ve put your puree through your sieve, weigh out your puree into a shallow plastic container and place into the freezer till frozen solid.
- Prepare your work space by wiping everything down with 70% ISP, including your blender, scales, spoons and other tools. Get your safety gear on!
- Weigh out your coconut oil, cocoa butter and lard into a heat resistant container and place in your double boiler on a barely there simmer and allow to melt.
- Weigh out your liquid oils: rice bran oil, castor oil, and fragrance oil into your soaping container.
- Weigh out your lye and spoonful by spoonful, sprinkle on top of your frozen puree. As the exothermic reaction occurs, sprinkle in more lye and mix. Once all the lye has been incorporated into your puree, use your immersion blender and mix throughly to ensure a smoother bar of soap.
- Once your solid oils/fats are melted, add to them your liquid oils.
- Weigh out your colours into two containers and use some oils/fat to mix them.
- Weigh out your fragrance oils and mix them into your oils/fat. Blend.
- Slowly pour your lye solution down the shaft of your immersion blender, and blitz at short intervals.
- When your soap have reached emulsion or a very thin trace, decant 1/3 into a container and add in your pink colourant. Add the cocoa powder and bronze into the remaining 2/3’s. Blend.
- Pour some brown into the bottom of your mould, layering pink on top then the last of the brown. Garnish the top with pink.
- Let cure for about 12-24 hours before unmoulding and cutting. Let age for about five weeks before first use and enjoy the bubbles!!!!!