Note to self: cool cocoa butter in fridge instead of room temp

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Anstarx

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I usually don't use cocoa butter in my soap but recently got some for my lotion bar adventure.
I bought it from a chocolate supplier and it came in large chunks. Since I only need a small amount at a time, I decided to melt it down into smaller pieces. I melted it in a double boiler, pour into a silicone mold, and realized the mold was too soft to be lifted into my fridge. That's fine, I thought, I wil just let it cool over night. It had sat for hours in my living room and by the time I went to bed, they still look liquid.
And came morning, I woke up to find my cocoa butter pieces looked like this.
1.jpg

Not very a-peeling isn't it;)?
The surface also oozed liquid oils. At first I thought there was somnething wrong with the cocoa, but when I tried to lift one piece up, the rest of the piece was solid like normal cocoa butter.
2.jpg

Now looking back, the peeling is likely from the surface and underneath solidifying at different rates. I remelted everything and this time remember to put a baking tray under the mold so I can lift it into the fridge. No peeling or cracking this time, only smooth cocoa goodness:D
 
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Sounds like someone will soon learn about tempering cocoa butter.

Too quickly/uneven cooled cocoa butter, even when it comes out of the fridge, will tend to get grainy and/or greasy-slippery, maybe even ooze some liquid once at room temperature again. The good news is that tempering really helps. The bad news is that you need patience and a good thermometer for that. But you will be rewarded with cocoa butter with just the perfect chocolatey snap, perfectly solid and homogeneous texture, and incredible precision of surface reproduction.
 

Johnez

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Sounds like someone will soon learn about tempering cocoa butter.

Too quickly/uneven cooled cocoa butter, even when it comes out of the fridge, will tend to get grainy and/or greasy-slippery, maybe even ooze some liquid once at room temperature again. The good news is that tempering really helps. The bad news is that you need patience and a good thermometer for that. But you will be rewarded with cocoa butter with just the perfect chocolatey snap, perfectly solid and homogeneous texture, and incredible precision of surface reproduction.

"...so I happened to have this nickel plating machine in my garage..." 🤣

Fascinating video RO.
 

TheGecko

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Cocoa butter shouldn't 'peel' like that. I work with CB all the time...soap, lotion bars and whipped body butter. I've used blocks, chunks, wafers and pastilles...natural and deodorized. I have accidently overheated it. I have left it at various room temps, put it in the frig and even in the freezer...never has it peeled on top.

I'm guessing that your CB became contaminated or wasn't 100% CB. I used two dedicated vessels...one for my soaping Hard Oils and another for Butters/Wax for Bars/Butter. While both are washed, rinsed and dried after use, I take extra care with the pan I use for my Bars/Butters and rinse the pan with boiling water to make sure there is no soap residue from washing or contaminates.
 

Anstarx

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Cocoa butter shouldn't 'peel' like that. I work with CB all the time...soap, lotion bars and whipped body butter. I've used blocks, chunks, wafers and pastilles...natural and deodorized. I have accidently overheated it. I have left it at various room temps, put it in the frig and even in the freezer...never has it peeled on top.

I'm guessing that your CB became contaminated or wasn't 100% CB. I used two dedicated vessels...one for my soaping Hard Oils and another for Butters/Wax for Bars/Butter. While both are washed, rinsed and dried after use, I take extra care with the pan I use for my Bars/Butters and rinse the pan with boiling water to make sure there is no soap residue from washing or contaminates.
Hmm didn't know that was a possibility. The butter was fresh out of its delivery box and I bought from a pretty reputable chocolate supplier. The heating container and mold I used were cleaned before use since I want to use this batch for baking as well.
One possibility I can think of is perhaps the supplier added some additive so it will work better for chocolate making or smth like that?
 

TheGecko

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One possibility I can think of is perhaps the supplier added some additive so it will work better for chocolate making or smth like that?

Whether is it cocoa butter purchased to make soap or cocoa butter purchased to make chocolate, it should be exactly the same. But I did a quick search and found a blub that noted that some food manufacturers substitute less expensive materials in place of cocoa butter. One way to tell is that an adulterated cocoa butter is lighter in color (should no be confused with CB that had been deodorized and thus lighter) and doesn't florescence the same under ultraviolent light.
 
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ultraviolent
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Autocorrect-mishaps aside, of course I have to test this for myself ASAP!

uv_cocoabutter+palmstearin.jpg

Left: unrefined cocoa butter
Right: Palm stearin
Top: normal light (white LED)
Bottom: UV light (Wood's lamp)

Cocoa butter indeed has a weak greenish yellow fluorescence. Not nearly nearly as intense as palm oil – so adulteration with palm oil would be easily detectable. Certain palm oil fractions are a popular “cocoa butter equivalent”. But even then, from the soapmaking perspective (and chocolate making, that's the whole point of CBE), it doesn't make much of a difference (similar FA profiles), it'd only be deceit.

Without special equipment (spectrometer), it's hard to tell though. I had murumuru butter at hand, and it looks quite the same as the CB under UV (dirty yellowish-green).

Trust the Germans - they know about such things ;-)
Will only say so much: I know enough Germans to tell that it's not a good idea to believe them everything. 😉
 
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