I have always found things that are dressed up as other things extremely adorable. Whether it’s babies dressed as animals, or animals dressed as other animals, or soap dressed up as dessert food, there’s something appealing about the ability to morph our concept of reality into something surreal. For me, this has been soap cupcakes!
Making soap has incredible challenges, but trying to make soap look like cupcakes comes with an even greater challenge…especially because I consider myself piping-disabled. “Piping” is the jovial term given to the extraordinarily difficult task of forming the the whirls and swirls with batter that you find on cupcakes. The main difference between cupcakes and soap = if I get soap batter on me, I can burn my skin off. This challenge, added to the quick-dry factor, makes the need to work simultaneously quickly and meticulously extra complicated.
*First piece of advice. If you have NEVER made cold process soap, you MUST go to Soapqueen.com and watch ALL of the videos. This is an advanced recipe for advanced soap-makers.
Set up your work space so that is clear of any debris and you have access to all of your tools. Make sure all of your utensils and bowls have been disinfected with a 5% bleach to water solution. Put on all of your safety equipment, including long sleeves, long pants, and closed shoes.
Measure 5.7 ounces of sodium hydroxide into a mason jar and then add to 16 ounces of distilled water. Make sure this is done in a plastic jug. Stir thoroughly in a ventilated space. Let cool.
Mix .2 ounces of water with titanium dioxide in a mason jar.
Mix .2 ounces of sunflower oil to with purple mica powder in another mason jar.
Measure out lavender fragrance in last mason jar.
Set up piping bag with Wilson D2 piping attachment.
Add all remaining oils to one bowl and heat in a double boiler. Once all oils have been completely melted, set aside to cool.
Once oils and lye water have been cooled to approximately 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit, slowly mix lye water into oils.
Hand blend batter until you have a light trace, then add fragrance while continuing to pulse hand blender until you reach medium trace.
Separate about 4 cups of batter into Pyrex and add titanum dioxide solution. Whisk until color becomes white.
Slowly pour the white batter into the silicone mold, filling almost to the top of each mold. Set aside. (If you have any extra batter, just add it to the main bowl. If not enough, add more and repeat the step.)
Mix purple mica solution with a whisk into the remaining batter. Use hand blender to mix until you have a very thick trace. If color is not purple enough, make more purple/sunflower oil solution.Set aside to cool for about 3-5 minutes.
Once purple batter has become thick like pudding, start adding to piping bag. Don’t overfill!
Pipe in the center of each cupcake until you have about an inch of height for your “flower”. Repeat for all 12.
Add more batter to piping bag, and pipe around the “flower” to create a foundation layer.
Add more batter, and pipe quickly around the “flower,” on top of your foundation, until you come to a natural center for all cupcakes.
For those of you who may not know, I am also a high school English teacher. This past summer our department asked rising seniors to read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I’ve read and taught the book before, many years ago, so I saddled up my sunscreen, flip flops, and my trusted copy of Siddhartha not expecting to … Continue reading What it Means to Live a Life of Abundance
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