Welcome to Christmas theme #2 for 2019—White Peppermint Chocolate! This theme will feature lots of deliciously fragrant cocoa butter and fresh peppermint essential oil, plus complimentary clays, micas, hydrosols, and other fun things. Our first foray into White Peppermint Chocolate-y goodness is this white and green swirly soap, positively sparkling with pepperminty freshness and a rich cocoa undertone. Yum!
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The fat blend is mostly olive oil, with coconut oil for big bubbles, castor oil for creamy goodness, and a blend of cocoa butter and beef tallow for hardening. You could use all cocoa butter for the hardening, replacing the tallow one-to-one. The hardness rating when calculated is virtually the same, and that’s an easy way to make these bars vegan. It’s also an easy way to make them quite a lot more expensive, which is why I didn’t do it that way (I also have a massive box of tallow that I’ve been working my way through for what feels like an eternity, and I hate to pass up a chance to chip away at it!). Depending on your supplier, you’d be looking at about $10 of cocoa butter for a 1500g batch if you skip the tallow. More cocoa butter will also make for a stronger cocoa-y note; I notice some warm chocolatey undertones at 10%, so if you bump that up to 25% it makes sense that you’d get a much stronger chocolate scent!
I’ve kept the colourants simple; titanium dioxide for a white half, and French green clay for the green half. The contrast is fairly soft when done that way—if you wanted to amp it up I’d recommend adding some green mica to the green portion. Because of the ample dose of titanium dioxide I’ve also incorporated a fairly steep water discount to avoid glycerin rivers—a strategy I learned from Auntie Clara.
I opted for a simple in-the-pot swirl, mostly letting the pouring do the swirling. I poured the green into the white, and then dumped that whole lot into the mould. A bit of a toothpick swirl on the surface was the finishing touch, and then the bars were left to saponify.
Thanks to the water discount these bars are ready to unmould after 24 hours, despite the pretty soft fat blend. They slice up beautifully, with a wonderful firm, glossy finish—something I’ve noticed in other bars made with cocoa butter.
The swirls are intricate and very clearly show the impact of being poured into the mould—you can see which corner of the mould the batter hit first, and you can even see wiggle marks from the sloshing of the batter as it pours. Less is definitely more with this batter and this sort of swirl—it was thin enough that it would’ve been easy to over-mix the soap and end up with indistinct, murky swirls. On slicing, I was pretty dang happy to find district, delicate swirly bits dancing throughout the loaf.
I’d give these bars a good 3–4 weeks to age up before gifting or using. I’ll be sharing plenty of partner projects to go with them, so you can assemble gift sets of white chocolate pepperminty goodness for your friends and family, too!
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White Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Soap
50% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
20% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
15% beef tallow (wondering why?)
10% cocoa butter (USA / Canada)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
Calculate to 5% superfat with water at 22% of the oil weight
Per 500g fats:
To colour (all as needed—I used 15g each for a 1500g batch):
- French green clay
- Titanium dioxide, pre-dispersed in extra olive oil
Kick things off by calculating out your recipe for the amount of soap you’re making to get the finite amounts of the fats, lye, and water. Unsure about how to use SoapCalc? I made a video to walk you through it! Please ensure you’re familiar with standard soap making procedures before diving in (click that link if you aren’t!).
Prepare your mould—you’ll want a loaf mould for this soap. Melt your oils together in your soaping pot, and have one extra container handy; it’ll need to hold about half of your batter. Let your oils cool to slightly warmer than room temperature. Mix up your lye water and let that cool to about room temperature (you can use ice for part of your water to speed up the cooling process).
Arrange your work area so you can easily grab your essential oil and colourants. Prepare your mould by lining it, if required.
Now you’re ready to get started! Add the lye water to the fats and bring the batter to a thin trace. Blend in the essential oil. Divide the batter roughly in half. Colour one part white with the titanium dioxide, and the other part green with the French green clay.
Pour the green part into the white part, and then pour the whole lot into your mold. Sharply knock the mould on the countertop to knock out any air bubbles, and then use a toothpick or other fairly thin implement to draw several lines down the length of the mold, and then across the width of the mold, inter-mixing the splotches of batter a bit and creating a subtle swirling effect. Watch the video to see this in action!
Leave the soap to saponify and set up for about 24 hours before slicing (it hardens up quite quickly thanks to the sharp water discount). Leave the soap to age for 3–4 weeks before using or gifting. Enjoy!
Just read Auntie Clara’s experiment—she uses glycerin to liquify her titanium dioxide, and you don’t seem to. So, do glycerin rivers only occur when using glycerin? Or do you find you get them adding any clays/colourants/TD/etc.
Is using a water discount going to improve my soap in any other good ways?
The tallow you personally use is what is found through the link or do you purchase locally? I’m curious because I have an excellent supplier of the most beautiful grass fed hormone free tallow(it’s proved impossible to purchase organic and this is the cleanest talliw I’ve used. It’s creamy and odorless. The person that sells it is a master 🙂
I have purchased locally in the past, but at the moment I’m working my way through a big box from Voyageur Soap & Candle 🙂 It’s huge. It’s gonna take a while LOL.
Glycerin is a naturally occurring result of the saponification reaction, so if you’re making soap, glycerin is unavoidable 🙂 I find the rivers only appear if using dry pigments, with TD being the biggest offender.
A water discount also makes for soap that ages much faster!
Aaah, this is gorgeous and I imagine smells amazing! I don’t have time while I’m in school to make such lovely things, but it’s going on my list for meeting during Christmas break.
Thank you so much! I hope you have tons of fun on your break & happy making!
I have never made a formulation so quickly….same day it came out! Made two versions, in fact: as written, except for lard in place of tallow and more cocoa butter instead of castor oil. Both with green oxide and titanium dioxide; one with just peppermint EO and one with peppermint EO and chocolate FO. So far, so yummy!
Woohoo! I always get extra excited when someone makes something the day it comes out, ha. I hope you’re continuing to love these bars and are having fun deciding who gets one under the tree this year 🙂 Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making!
Hi, I’m from India. We don’t get beef tallow here so can I use mutton tallow instead?
That should work as long as you can get the SAP value for it to run it through SoapCalc 🙂
I just made a 3lb batch of your White Chocolate Peppermint soap last night. I came home from work today and my kitchen smelled so yummy from the choco minty aroma!! I was very excited to try slicing them after dinner, just 2 hrs shy of 24 hrs since pouring, and the loaf was already so hard that I had trouble slicing them. I dipped my knife in very hot water between slices to see if that would made slicing go easier but the loaf was already so brittle that it didn’t help very much. Is there anything else I could’ve tried or done differently? I’m new to soaping, this is my 5th batch so I’m still learning. I loved this recipe, it all came together very nicely and the entire process went smoothly until I tried slicing the loaf. It was my first time trying the in the pot swirl technique and was very happy with how the bars look, it’s just so unfortunate they’re crumbling a bit from my hack job slicing them.
I followed your recipe as written however I was running a little low on beef tallow so I bumped up the percent of cocoa butter to 15% and lowered the beef tallow to 10% and ran it through the soap calc . Your blog post suggested it was ok to play with those percentages so I don’t think that was the problem. I’m just curious if you have any suggestions on what to do if that situation happens again where the loaf hardens faster that anticipated.
I like the soap, but I don’t understand the recipe. I don’t know how I can put all of these ingedients together without a good recipe and instructions.
Hi Susan! You’ll need to review the first paragraph of the instructions for resources on how to calculate the formulation for the batch size you’re making 🙂 This is an essential soap making skill and isn’t hard to do—and I walk you through it step by step in the Soap Calc video linked in the instructions 🙂
After that, you can watch the full video tutorial—also linked in this post—to see how I do everything to supplement the written instructions.
Hi, sorry i agreee with Susan Vang – I know we are learning but it is also helpful just to put the amount in units so that we can make sure its plugged in to soapcals
That would be amazing of you. I really wanna make it but am timid to becasue you talk in percentages.