To me, macadamia nuts will forever evoke memories of Hawaii. I was last there with my family when I was seventeen, and I remember picking up a bag of some chocolate covered macadamia nuts in the airport on our way home. Those nuggets of chocolatey goodness were unbelievably delicious. To this day I’m certain there was some sort of covert layer of butterscotch or caramel in there that made them full-on addictive and memorable, even years later. So, when I finally got around to buying a wee bottle of macadamia nut oil (I’ve learned not to buy new oils in large quantities!), I knew what I’d have to turn it into: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Lotion. Yum.
In keeping with the buttery richness of macadamia nuts, I opted to make this a thicker lotion—something a bit reminiscent of a body butter, but much lighter. If you’re familiar with macadamia nuts, you’ll find macadamia nut oil to be shockingly light. It sinks into the skin in a flash, leaving it hydrated, but not at all greasy. It also has a lovely golden yellow hue and smells ever-so-slightly nutty. If you have the food grade variety you can use that and the final lotion will be even darker and nuttier. I paired lightweight macadamia nut oil with beautiful, fragrant cocoa butter (USA / Canada) for an incredible scent combination and a lotion that’ll thicken up nicely when it fully sets.
For a neat twist I added caramel instead of honey of glycerin as a humectant. I made a simple caramel by boiling sugar until it was a beautiful, dark caramel, poured it onto a sheet of greased aluminum foil to set up, and then added a few bits of caramel to the water part—just 3g (0.1oz), so you’ll have plenty of leftovers (yum!). The caramel gives the lotion a lovely cream colour and adds to how amazing it smells. Mmm.
The final lotion is delightful. It smells incredible. It hydrates beautifully, sinking in quickly and leaving your skin feeling soft and smelling utterly decadent. It’s rich and creamy, but not at all greasy (it feels almost dry, even!). In short, it’s lovely. You should make it.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Lotion
62g | 2.2oz distilled water
3g | 0.1oz hard caramel bits (how to make it)
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer (aim for steaming, no bubbling) in a wide, shallow pan. I used a sauté pan (something like this, with a flat bottom and short sides), but a frying pan would work as well. You want the pan to be large enough to hold two measuring cups or small bowls so you can heat the two parts of the lotion at the same time.
Weigh the emulsifying wax, cocoa butter (USA / Canada), and macadamia nut oil into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup, and place that measuring cup into the water bath to melt everything together.
Up next, combine the just-boiled water and caramel bits in another small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place that measuring cup in the water bath along with the emulsifying wax mixture to heat it up, stirring to blend everything together.
Heat the two parts in the water bath for twenty minutes, keeping an eye on the water bath so it doesn’t simmer dry. After twenty minutes the oil part will be thoroughly melted, the water part will be completely heated through, and the caramel bits will be completely dissolved so you’ve got a lovely caramel scented liquid. Pour the water part into the oil part. Leave that measuring cup in the water bath for another three minutes to ensure everything is melted before removing the measuring cup from the heat.
Whisk the mixture as it cools (or use an immersion blender, which will help lotions made with Polawax or E-wax NF thicken up faster)—it will thicken into a nice white cream (the thickening may take a few days if you are using a different emulsifying wax than emulsimulse/ritamulse and no immersion blender).
Blend in your preservative (though do check the instructions for your specific preservative—some have special instructions for adding to concoctions) and decant the mixture to a 120ml/4 fl oz pump-top bottle or wide-mouthed jar. Enjoy!