Paying homage to the hot craze for gourmand, sinfully rich desert-type bath products, here is a recipe for a heavenly scented, gentle on the skin soap.
To the left is a picture of the finished bar. This soap is made with an easy melt and pour base with the addition of either cocoa powder or, cocoa nibs, which is the raw cocoa bean dried and chopped into pieces. This is cocoa before it becomes processed into dried powder and before the cocoa butter is extracted from it. Nibs contain at least 50% cocoa butter, giving it a fragrant chocolaty aroma that is heavenly!
• 1 ½ pounds melt and pour base (preferably cold process type)
• 1-2 tsp cocoa beans, ground or 1 tsp cocoa powder - Cocoa beans are sold as cocoa nibs. Nibs maybe used in this recipe OR, dried cocoa powder (diluted in 1 tsp of almond oil). If using dried cocoa powder, add 1-2 tsps more cocoa butter to formulation. In order to use the raw nibs, they will have to be roasted in the oven for 10-20 minutes, until fragrant at 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit, then chopped into small pieces. It is easy to puree them in a spice mill or food processor.
• 1-2 oz fragrance oil blend - Blend vanilla and chocolate fragrance oil at ratio of 1:2
• 1-2 tsp ground allspice or ground almond meal (for body ,texture)
Melt soap base in a double boiler or, in the microwave. When base is melted and is warm, add cocoa beans or powdered cocoa mixed with oil, cocoa butter, fragrance oil and ground allspice or almond meal. Stir to incorporate bean flakes or powdered cocoa. Pour into loaf mold or single molds. Sprinkle with cocoa to decorate top of loaf or bar.
Unmolded this soap has a simply delicious scent. However be forewarned, this tasty bit of heaven looks scrumptious enough to eat!
This makes a lovely part of a gourmand gift set or by itself. I chose to package this with just a label and a cigar band. The label is made from cardstock black paper and the name of the soap is written in with a silver gel pen. The band is in light pink with silk strands, which contrasts nicely with the dark brown of the soap.
I would love to hear your comments about this formulation.
Chocolate Alchemy is a good source for cocoa nibs. I have not bought from them yet, but they seem to have a very deep interest in chocolate making from scratch and the owner is a seasoned chemist.