I like to cut the soap when it's still soft enough to mush into patties; I usually make 2 or 3 per batch. A lot of people like to make soap balls. But I find balls hard to use in the shower. You know how you twirl a bar of soap around in your hands to work up a good lather? It's hard to do that with a ball of soap--it's to slippery and too round. But a patty is flatter and easier to twirl. I also like to press a design into them with a cookie press.
As you can see by looking at the side of the loaf after I took it out of the mold, I'm still getting lots of air pockets. It's because the soap is so thick when I get it into the mold. The good news is that the top was thick enough that it didn't flatten out when the soap gelled.
Air pockets aren't as noticeable in the cut bars. The bottom brown and white layers are still not as deep as I'd like, but they aren't bad. A little more work on them and they'll be perfect!
I really like how the white top is piled up in the middle on this slice. That didn't happen on all of them, depending on where I cut compared to the swirled top.
I like how the cocoa looks on the top of the bars. But you can only barely see the cocoa line, and only in places. I obviously didn't get it thick enough. But at least the bars won't break in half because the line was too thick!
Ruth likes the Vanilla Hazelnut fragrance I used; he can't stop sniffing them. Yes, I know "Ruth" is a strange name for a male dragon. I named him "Snowball". But after I read The White Dragon to the dragons, he wouldn't answer to anything but "Ruth". So, "Ruth" it is!
I really need better lighting. I've seen instructions for making a light box. Guess I'd better make one.
You can see that not all the tops are as nice as the one earlier. I really like how the swirled tops look in the mold, but I like the more "mounded in the middle" look once the soap is sliced. So next time I'll try that approach. Maybe I can swirl it up into mounds, or something.
Heliotrope really likes to ham it up for the camera! He's always trying to climb on the soap when I'm taking pictures. So I just snapped his picture. I think Heliotrope would make a cave out of the soap if he could!