I've been at the Old Kennels in Dunkeswell, Devon again, this time making cold process natural soaps with Ishbel of Puro soaps. I did both the beginner and intermediate classes over three days.
On the first day, which was the beginner class, we made a kilo of bar soap. With a bewildering array of natural scents and colours to choose from, mine is scented with peppermint and orange essential oils, coloured with paprika and turmeric and decorated with calendula petals. Cold process soap is a bit like magic- you mix oils with sodium hydroxide, a potentially nasty chemical, and the end product is deliciously scented soap! Ok, so it is really science, but there is something just a bit magic about mixing perfectly everyday ingredients such as sunflower oil, coconut oil and the hydroxide and it turning into ivory soap as you whisk.
You all know what you're getting for Christmas.
The second course was an intermediate level class entitled ‘Time for Tea’. On the first day we made silicone molds of popular biscuits- the level of detail you can get with everyday silicone is astonishing. And we learned how to create soap shapes- in my case tiny raspberries, strawberries and walnuts- coloured and scented appropriately. The second day we made a soap ‘cake’ and cupcakes, decorated them with soap ‘whipped cream’ and ‘frosting’ and adorned them with our earlier creations. As ‘easy as decorating cake’ I was told- though I’d never iced a cake before so that wasn’t very reassuring. But the results were brilliant, ‘chocolate and whipped cream cream raspberry tart’ and cupcakes, with some ‘whipped ice cream with fruit’ from the leftover soap. They look amazing, and smell of chocolate truffles and raspberry.
The finished biscuits came out quite well as well. Can you believe they’re soap?
The Old Kennels was amazing as always, lunch was brilliant every day, and I like hanging out with the cats.