Sunday, May 17, 2015

2015 May Soap Challenge Club -- Mini Dessert Soaps !

This month's Soap Challenge requires us to make MINI dessert soaps. I usually make my dessert and food soaps with Melt & Pour soap bases and they are often similar in size to the actual food or dessert item. So this is the first time I am making dessert soaps using CP method and in much smaller dimensions.

We were also required to include one food item in all our soaps. I chose food-grade rose water (distilled water and rose extract) recommended by a well-known Indian chef. 

I made mini soapy Charlotte Cake, Buttercream Chocolate Cake, Meringue Chevron Cake and Apam Ice Cream Cornetto.

Mini Dessert Soaps

I piped the "sponge fingers" and "meringue" a day ahead.

Hand-piped soapy "sponge fingers" for Charlotte Cake

Hand-piped soapy chevron "meringue" layers

WHAT A MESS!! I had a really hard time putting the charlotte cake together. Everything was falling a part.
Charlotte cake assembly gone quite wrong!

 I almost gave up ... walked away for 10mins to calm myself down and tried again.
Work-In-Progress -- Mini Charlotte Cake Soap

Mini Charlotte Cake Soap

Mini Charlotte Cake Soap

 My Meringue Chevron Cake soap is inspired by Haniela's Raspberry Meringue Chevron Cake.
Meringue Chevron Cake

Mini Meringue Chevron Cake Soap

Mini Buttercream Chocolate Cake Soap

Mini Buttercream Chocolate Cake Soap

I am a big fan of Azlita of Sweet & Sour blog. This soapy Apam Ice Cream Cornetto  is inspired by her pancakes that resemble mini ice cream cones!

Mini Apam Ice Cream Cornetto Soaps

Mini Apam Ice Cream Cornetto Soap

Mini Dessert Soaps

This is definitely my favourite soap challenge! I had loads of fun! Now off to submit my entry before the link-up closes in 20 minutes! YIKES!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Soap Like Food -- Jajan Pasar !

We are in Week 17 of 2015. Some of you may have noticed that I am not quite up-to-date with my blog posts on Soap Like Food. Last checked, I am at Week 11. *yikes*

I was all excited about this lil project when I first started. I drew up lists of soapy ideas, one for each week of the year and more. What happened? Well, to be honest, I got B-O-R-E-D. It felt like I had an endless list of homework! Ha! It was starting to become a chore. And because I am making these soaps as samples and in teeny weeny quantities, I always had to say 'no' to all the enquiries to purchase my creations. That wasn't very nice either. 

So I have been pondering for the last few weeks. Should I continue with this project? How can I make myself feel better? I needed a little motivation, something for me to look forward to.

And this happened...

Jajan Pasar Kueh Soaps 

A week ago, a friend and regular customer requested for some food soaps as a present for her colleague overseas. To be specific, she wanted Indonesian kueh soaps...and fast. *gulp* My heart was racing, I could feel the adrenaline rush as I pottered in my lil workshop. I loved it! The best part was seeing the sparkle in V's eyes when I placed the box in her hands. I have not felt this good in a long time!

That was the Aha! moment. No more struggling with the weekly blog posts. No more whining. 52 food-like soaps, one for each week of 2015 as envisioned. More importantly, I will be able to make my soapy creations available to you!

I decided to shake things up a little in Soap Like Food. I am going to put aside that 'homework' list and go with the flow. Each month I will present a soapalicious set of food soaps like the one above ... and I will handcraft them in limited quantities.

My Jajan Pasar Kueh Soap set is made up of different traditional kuehs categorised under jajan pasar ( "market buys" or "market munchies" )  in Java. Although jajan pasar are of Indonesian origin, they are very much a part of our lives in Singapore due to our multi-ethnic culture and heritage. These are the 5 kueh (kue) soaps that I handcrafted for V: 

Jajan Pasar Soaps

Kue Ku  is derived from the Chinese Ang Ku Kueh (紅龜粿; Red Tortoise Cake). Made of sticky glutinous rice flour skin with a sweet filling in the centre and moulded to resemble a tortoise shell; it is presented on a piece of banana leaf. The Chinese believed that eating tortoises would bring good fortune and longevity. This kueh was traditionally coloured red and considered a auspicious item during important Chinese festivals, baby's first month celebrations and birthdays in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and in other countries in South East Asia.

Kue Ku Soaps

Kue Lapis Sagu , also popularly known as the 9-layered kueh ( 九层糕 ) in Singapore. It is a layered colourful cake made of glutinous rice, tapioca or sago flour, coconut and sugar. I loved this kueh as a kid and it is still one of my favourite kuehs today. Best way to eat this kueh? Peel off the different coloured layers one at a time and slowly savour the 9 sweet soft chewy layers!

Kue Lapis Sagu Soaps

Kue Dadar Gulung  -- think crepe roll with sugar and coconut filling. The soft thin crepe is made of flour, egg and coconut milk and the distinct green colour and light aromatic fragrance is derived from the pandan leaf. Freshly grated coconut is caramelised in gula melaka and this juicy mixture is rolled and sealed in the crepe. The flavours and texture of this kueh is heavenly. Must try!

Kue Dadar Gulung Soaps

Bolu Kukus  -- "bolu" means "cake" and "kukus" means "steamed". This Indonesian steamed cake is very soft, moist and fluffy with a fine texture. Delicious! It is also known as the "laughing cake" due to its unique shape formed during the rising and cracking of the cake top. Interestingly, this cake does not contain any butter or margarine - the perfect excuse for me to indulge myself!

Bolu Kukus Soaps

Kue Onde Onde  are small round balls made of sweet potato and glutinous rice flour to give it a soft and chewy texure, and beautifully flavoured and coloured green with pandan. Filled with melted gula melaka and rolled in freshly grated coconut, these sweet lil bombs 'explode' when you pop them in your mouth and bite down into them!

Kue Onde Onde Soaps

Handcrafting these kueh soaps brought back nostalgic memories of my childhood. It made me feel comforted. Happy. Hhmmm...I am in the mood to have some kueh for breakfast tomorrow!

Handcrafted Kueh Soaps

Jajan Pasar Kueh Soap Set will be available from  See you soon! :)

Jajan Pasar Kueh Soap Set

Sunday, April 19, 2015

2015 Soap Challenge Club -- Spinning Swirl Technique

I have been quite the scatterbrain recently. Totally forgot about this month's soap challenge until I checked my email and found out that the link up has been opened -- for the past 3 days! Yikes! I checked the timer on the link up and it yelled to me that I had 1 day and 7 hours before the link up closed. Good luck to me!

Crazy colourful saccharine art by Tanya Schultz of Pip & Pop.

These are the colours that I have chosen for this soap challenge: Bramble Berry's Fired Up Fuchsia colourant, Hydrated Chrome Green pigment, 1982 Blue mica, Ultramarine Lavender pigment and Fizzy Lemonade colourant; and Orange Heaven mica from The Conservertorie. I did not use a slow-tracing recipe as I wanted to be sure that I would be able to unmold and cut the soap in time. I used Blackraspberry Vanilla Fragrance Oil from Bramble Berry as I knew that this fragrance oil would help slow down trace in my soap batter and give me sufficient time to complete the swirl.

The fragrance oil was first mixed together with the oils so that I will not forget to do so later on. I gave the stick blender 2-3 short pulses to combine the oil and lye mixture to a slight emulsion. The emulsion was then divided equally into 6 pitchers with the prepared colour pigments. I used a whisk to gently incorporate the colour pigments into the soap batter.

The coloured soap batter was poured into the slab mold at 6 different points.  The colours were alternated randomly. I was pretty pleased that the soap batter remained fluid enough for me to complete the pour, although it did thicken to a medium trace towards the end. I then spun the mold clockwise, following Amy's slight jerking motion. I found that this really helped to push the soap batter around in the mold. By the time I was satisfied with the swirl, the soap batter had thickened significantly and I had difficulty removing the air bubbles. 

(Photo was taken at 3am with a camera phone. Apologies for the poor lighting)

I managed to unmold and cut the soap after 15 hours. Phew!

Candy Swirl Soaps

Candy Swirl Soaps

Candy Swirl Soaps
I really enjoyed the spinning swirl technique and will definately use it again, but with a slow moving recipe. It is a very fun soaping technique and produces amazing results. Thank you Amy! I am already looking forward to next month's soap challenge -- dessert soaps! My favourite! YUMMY!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Soap like Food -- #11 Chwee Kueh !

Chwee Kueh (水粿) is a uniquely Singapore culinary creation. The Chinese transliteration of 水粿 is "rice water cake". The steamed rice cakes are topped with fragrant and crunchy diced preserved radish --- DELISH! 

Chwee Kueh was first created by Teochew immigrants in Singapore and is a popular hawker breakfast dish. I have loved this simple economical dish since I was a little gal and have recently introduced it to my children. Meimei's favourite Chwee Kueh stall is located at the Ghim Moh food market and this is her soapy choice for Week #11's Soap like Food. 


Chwee Kueh Soap

Chwee Kueh Soap

Chwee Kueh Soap

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mama's Milk Soap

Breast milk soaps are a hot favourite with mothers who are breastfeeding their babies. I have made soaps using various types of milk but have never tried soaping with breast milk. Overwhelmed by curiosity, I decided to offer a free one-time service to make a personal batch of breast milk soap for 5 mothers residing in Singapore. 

The response was amazing and I found my 5 lovely mothers within a week! Apologies to all the mothers that I had to turn away and I hope you enjoy the Carrot Buttermilk Bastille soaps that I have sent out to all of you. 

NOW...I can proudly declare that I LOVE breast milk soaps! Whilst each batch of soap appears slightly different due to the mothers' diet, the soaps have a fine delicate lather and cure to a lovely light tan colour. Each batch has its distinct slightly sweet natural scent and I find this a very beautiful and unique trait. 

My very first batch of Mama's Milk Soaps are well cured and ready to be delivered to Mummy J. Thank you so much for letting me share my passion with you! ....xoxo
Mama's Milk Soaps

Mama's Milk Soaps

Mama's Milk Soaps

Monday, March 16, 2015

Soap like Food -- #10 Iced Gem Biscuits !

Soap like Food! is my personal soapy project to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday. Whilst brainstorming for ideas, one nostalgic food item that kept popping up in my head was Iced Gem Biscuits a.k.a Biskut Ais Gem (Malay transliteration). 

My dear grandma used to affectionately refer to them in Cantonese as "Belly Button Biscuits". The biscuit bottoms resemble cute lil belly buttons and each biscuit has a brightly coloured icing piped on top. I loved them when I was a kid and still do! I would sort these lil gems by the colour of their icing and munch them according to colour preference - white, yellow, green & pink. Sometimes I would eat the biscuit bottoms and save all the icing (the best!) for the last.  

I had a soapy good time making these lil gems !

Iced Gem Biscuit Soaps

Iced Gem Biscuit Soaps

Iced Gem Biscuit Soaps

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Soap like Food -- #9 Gummy Bears !

Things got just a wee-bit tough on the home front last week and I was unable to soap as planned. To make up for week 9 of Soap like Food, I went into a soapy overdrive this week, making over 1000 pieces of these cute lil soapy Gummy Bears!

Handcrafted Gummy Bear Soaps

Handcrafted Gummy Bear Soaps

Have you seen the Soapy Gummy Yummies that I made way back in 2011? Take a peek here !

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Soap like Food -- #8 Waffle Ice Cream !

We are experiencing a dry spell in Singapore and I am perspiring buckets even as I fix myself this oh-so-soapalicious dessert ! There is nothing I like better than warm waffle served with a good dollop of strawberry ice cream ...  drizzled with bitter-sweet chocolate sauce and lots of sprinkles! Heavenly! 

Handmade Waffle Ice Cream Soap

Handmade Waffle Ice Cream Soap

Handmade Waffle Ice Cream Soap

Friday, February 20, 2015

Soap like Food -- #7 Fish Nian Gao !

Nian Gao (粘糕) which means "sticky cake" is a popular gift during Chinese New Year. It is considered good luck to eat Nian Gao as the Chinese words 粘糕 sound identical to 年高 which implies prosperity year after year. The tradition of eating Nian Gao, which dates back several thousand years, is believed to ensure that better times will come.

The traditional Nian Gao is round in shape (symbolising wholeness) with an auspicious decoration on top. Nian Gao fashioned into beautiful carps take this tradition to another level of abundance and wealth. Fish Nian Gao -- 年年有餘 symbolises surplus every year !

Fish Nian Gao Soap 

Wishing You a Happy & Prosperous Chinese New Year ! 
年年有餘 !

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Soap like Food -- #6 Rainbow Jelly !

Valentine's Day is just round the corner and I am so inspired by all the rainbows and hearts that I see everywhere. This week's Soap like Food is the oh-so-beautiful Rainbow Jelly Soap ... nothing quite as sexy as rainbow jelly shots for your Valentine ! Oh yeahhhh ....

Rainbow Jelly Soap

Rainbow Jelly Soap

Rainbow Jelly Soap

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Soap like Food -- #5 Mandarin Orange !

Yesterday was the first day of spring, also known as Li Chun, in the Chinese solar calendar. The Year of the Wood Goat has begun and Chinese New Year is just round the corner!

I have been soaping since 2009 and each year I would receive numerous requests to handmake mandarin orange soaps during Chinese New Year. I always turned down these orders as I was concerned that my mandarin orange soaps would not look realistic. 

When Meimei told me that her good friend Z had asked if I made mandarin orange soaps 2 days ago, I decided to challenge myself and just do it. Shopping for Mandarin oranges during this time of the year is super fun. Meimei and I sampled so many different types of mandarin orange before finally settling for the juicy sweet and tangy Pongkan.

Mandarin Orange Soap

Mandarin Orange Soap

Mandarin Orange Soaps

Ooohhh ... I love how my mandarin orange soaps turned out! Have a great Year of the Wood Goat everyone!