SMF April 2021 Challenge - Lollipop Swirl

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glendam

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Made a second attempt today, with an oval column silicone container. I was not getting the design of the lollipop until the very end. First I thought it was because of the oval shape, but eventually realized my pours were too short, I was getting something closer to the pinwheels. But If I let my pour reach at least the center of the mold, then it worked.
Hopefully I can get a couple of good bars, we’ll see.
 

ResolvableOwl

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Introducing World's First Lollipop Swirl Margarine

lollipop_margarine.jpg

How to explore sweet spots of batter viscosity, pouring speed, quantities and rotation angles – BUT ideally in a “soap depot neutral” way?

I came up with margarine as a good “practice” medium: warm semi-molten margarine resembles soap batter, the fluidity can be regulated easily by temperature (thickening is reversible by heating up), and eventually I can use up the test batches for whatever margarine is good for.

Once molten up, I dyed half of the batch with 15% pumpkin seed oil, and added 15% sunflower oil to the other half (to match density and fluidity).

My design goals: find out if my mould has a viable diameter for a lollipop swirl; practice speed and size of pours, and turning angles; try pour doses that are asymmetrical between colours, particularly in this rather low-contrast, low-opacity situation. And bake some yummy biscuits afterwards.🤭

My findings:
  • Pour quickly and courageously! Too slow pours make the batter more likely to sink, and form “bubbles” (see the top discs in my photo) instead of rings. I needed a few attempts to estimate the amount of batter I need per pour, and could quicken up afterwards.
  • Appreciable fluidity is good. Too viscous, and the batter will more likely displace the previous pours: the swirl tends to “pinwheel” instead of forming rings. My margarine was still too thick at body temperature, so I “CPOPed” it for a short time, and it turned out just right. Unfortunately it is not that easy and repeatable to liquefy soap batter once it decided to escalate trace.
  • Look through the videos to get a grasp which pour sizes finally produce which patterns. I tried at each step to cover about half of the surface area. After two or three steps, it will cover most of the surface. Whatever you do, be consistent with pour sizes, otherwise it will look off and random (see the two discs at the bottom left).
  • Small rotation angles (>10 pours per circumference) produce nearly concentric, gently swirling “evil eye” or “Newton's rings” like patterns. Large rotation angles (<8 pours per circumference) favour pinwheels.
  • I can confirm @Peachy Clean Soap's observation that towards the top, the lollipop swirls somehow become unreliable, and the pours tends to “sink” in a less pretty way than in the layers below. I don't expect for the upper third of a pour to be on the same level of geometric beauty as the lower parts.
  • Asymmetric pours work well. Just don't rotate after the drop for the separation line, and pour the majority batter at exactly the same place (I don't know in which of the videos I've seen this trick). Even at my low contrast, both dark and light rings look decent, quite to the taste of my design idea!
  • Margarine really is impressively fine-tuned between hard and soft fats, emulsifiers and aqueous phase. Add a bit more liquid oils, and it won't turn properly solid even if kept in the freezer over night. You see the overly greasy cut surfaces, and the mess I've left behind everywhere. Cutting up really was a race against time. But at least unmoulding was super easy: holding the cylinder in my hand until the outermost layer had melted, and then it glided out by itself! I let it come out just at the thickness of one slice, cut it, and somehow try to transfer the disc to the chopping board.
  • My camera refused to recognise the colour of the pumpkin oil as a green hue, it was reddish-brown instead (Daylight illumination!). I had to fine-tune colour reproduction quite a bit until the photo somehow resembled the visual impression. Users of chlorophyll colouration, do you know/are you aware of this phenomenon?
 

Corsara

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Introducing World's First Lollipop Swirl Margarine

View attachment 56152

How to explore sweet spots of batter viscosity, pouring speed, quantities and rotation angles – BUT ideally in a “soap depot neutral” way?

I came up with margarine as a good “practice” medium: warm semi-molten margarine resembles soap batter, the fluidity can be regulated easily by temperature (thickening is reversible by heating up), and eventually I can use up the test batches for whatever margarine is good for.

Once molten up, I dyed half of the batch with 15% pumpkin seed oil, and added 15% sunflower oil to the other half (to match density and fluidity).

My design goals: find out if my mould has a viable diameter for a lollipop swirl; practice speed and size of pours, and turning angles; try pour doses that are asymmetrical between colours, particularly in this rather low-contrast, low-opacity situation. And bake some yummy biscuits afterwards.🤭

My findings:
  • Pour quickly and courageously! Too slow pours make the batter more likely to sink, and form “bubbles” (see the top discs in my photo) instead of rings. I needed a few attempts to estimate the amount of batter I need per pour, and could quicken up afterwards.
  • Appreciable fluidity is good. Too viscous, and the batter will more likely displace the previous pours: the swirl tends to “pinwheel” instead of forming rings. My margarine was still too thick at body temperature, so I “CPOPed” it for a short time, and it turned out just right. Unfortunately it is not that easy and repeatable to liquefy soap batter once it decided to escalate trace.
  • Look through the videos to get a grasp which pour sizes finally produce which patterns. I tried at each step to cover about half of the surface area. After two or three steps, it will cover most of the surface. Whatever you do, be consistent with pour sizes, otherwise it will look off and random (see the two discs at the bottom left).
  • Small rotation angles (>10 pours per circumference) produce nearly concentric, gently swirling “evil eye” or “Newton's rings” like patterns. Large rotation angles (<8 pours per circumference) favour pinwheels.
  • I can confirm @Peachy Clean Soap's observation that towards the top, the lollipop swirls somehow become unreliable, and the pours tends to “sink” in a less pretty way than in the layers below. I don't expect for the upper third of a pour to be on the same level of geometric beauty as the lower parts.
  • Asymmetric pours work well. Just don't rotate after the drop for the separation line, and pour the majority batter at exactly the same place (I don't know in which of the videos I've seen this trick). Even at my low contrast, both dark and light rings look decent, quite to the taste of my design idea!
  • Margarine really is impressively fine-tuned between hard and soft fats, emulsifiers and aqueous phase. Add a bit more liquid oils, and it won't turn properly solid even if kept in the freezer over night. You see the overly greasy cut surfaces, and the mess I've left behind everywhere. Cutting up really was a race against time. But at least unmoulding was super easy: holding the cylinder in my hand until the outermost layer had melted, and then it glided out by itself! I let it come out just at the thickness of one slice, cut it, and somehow try to transfer the disc to the chopping board.
  • My camera refused to recognise the colour of the pumpkin oil as a green hue, it was reddish-brown instead (Daylight illumination!). I had to fine-tune colour reproduction quite a bit until the photo somehow resembled the visual impression. Users of chlorophyll colouration, do you know/are you aware of this phenomenon?
🤣 This is great!!
 

Ladka

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I also tried lollipop swirl pouring, just in case I decide to enter the challenge. I used mascarpone, milk, and egg yolk and white whipped separately with sugar (and gelatin) for a nice cream. I poured it in glass jars, alternating white and yellow cream. Unfortunately I can't show any pictures (eaten all with my grandsons and daughter).
 

ResolvableOwl

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@Ladka I'd really have loved to have viewed this. Everyone cuts lollipop rods straight, I already wondered how it would look like if you cut in an oblique angle instead, or uneven, like scooped out with a spoon?

I wonder if this justifies baking another portion of allegedly delicious oat-pumpkin-anise shortbread biscuits? – just for science, self-evidently!

(Btw, the pumpkin seed oil is from Sveti Jurij ob Ščavnici, not far from Maribor)
 

Mobjack Bay

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Up until this point I had only ever heard of using cake batter to practice pours. Cake is a finished product faster than soap, but doesn’t sound as decadently delicious as eating the soap cream or as flat out ingenious as using margarine.

I can’t wait to see the soaps!
 

violets2217

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Sooo.... I couldn’t help myself. I tried one more time! But it will probably be my last try because I got these from Wild Platanica today! And I’m gonna be playing around with them for a bit!
BF9A7257-EB17-4766-AF54-C40D457597F3.jpeg
I keep saying it... but I think I’m just going to enter whatever I cut tomorrow. I poured faster and with determination. I made sure my pours reached the middle of the mold. I also poured a little wider apart. My batter did start thickening up a bit midway through the pour, but we will see what we get tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for the tips!
 

Vicki C

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Introducing World's First Lollipop Swirl Margarine

View attachment 56152

How to explore sweet spots of batter viscosity, pouring speed, quantities and rotation angles – BUT ideally in a “soap depot neutral” way?

I came up with margarine as a good “practice” medium: warm semi-molten margarine resembles soap batter, the fluidity can be regulated easily by temperature (thickening is reversible by heating up), and eventually I can use up the test batches for whatever margarine is good for.

Once molten up, I dyed half of the batch with 15% pumpkin seed oil, and added 15% sunflower oil to the other half (to match density and fluidity).

My design goals: find out if my mould has a viable diameter for a lollipop swirl; practice speed and size of pours, and turning angles; try pour doses that are asymmetrical between colours, particularly in this rather low-contrast, low-opacity situation. And bake some yummy biscuits afterwards.🤭

My findings:
  • Pour quickly and courageously! Too slow pours make the batter more likely to sink, and form “bubbles” (see the top discs in my photo) instead of rings. I needed a few attempts to estimate the amount of batter I need per pour, and could quicken up afterwards.
  • Appreciable fluidity is good. Too viscous, and the batter will more likely displace the previous pours: the swirl tends to “pinwheel” instead of forming rings. My margarine was still too thick at body temperature, so I “CPOPed” it for a short time, and it turned out just right. Unfortunately it is not that easy and repeatable to liquefy soap batter once it decided to escalate trace.
  • Look through the videos to get a grasp which pour sizes finally produce which patterns. I tried at each step to cover about half of the surface area. After two or three steps, it will cover most of the surface. Whatever you do, be consistent with pour sizes, otherwise it will look off and random (see the two discs at the bottom left).
  • Small rotation angles (>10 pours per circumference) produce nearly concentric, gently swirling “evil eye” or “Newton's rings” like patterns. Large rotation angles (<8 pours per circumference) favour pinwheels.
  • I can confirm @Peachy Clean Soap's observation that towards the top, the lollipop swirls somehow become unreliable, and the pours tends to “sink” in a less pretty way than in the layers below. I don't expect for the upper third of a pour to be on the same level of geometric beauty as the lower parts.
  • Asymmetric pours work well. Just don't rotate after the drop for the separation line, and pour the majority batter at exactly the same place (I don't know in which of the videos I've seen this trick). Even at my low contrast, both dark and light rings look decent, quite to the taste of my design idea!
  • Margarine really is impressively fine-tuned between hard and soft fats, emulsifiers and aqueous phase. Add a bit more liquid oils, and it won't turn properly solid even if kept in the freezer over night. You see the overly greasy cut surfaces, and the mess I've left behind everywhere. Cutting up really was a race against time. But at least unmoulding was super easy: holding the cylinder in my hand until the outermost layer had melted, and then it glided out by itself! I let it come out just at the thickness of one slice, cut it, and somehow try to transfer the disc to the chopping board.
  • My camera refused to recognise the colour of the pumpkin oil as a green hue, it was reddish-brown instead (Daylight illumination!). I had to fine-tune colour reproduction quite a bit until the photo somehow resembled the visual impression. Users of chlorophyll colouration, do you know/are you aware of this phenomenon?
This is amazing, and genuinely helpful. (Thinks to self “can I do one more round?”)
 

Ladka

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@Ladka I'd really have loved to have viewed this. Everyone cuts lollipop rods straight, I already wondered how it would look like if you cut in an oblique angle instead, or uneven, like scooped out with a spoon?

I wonder if this justifies baking another portion of allegedly delicious oat-pumpkin-anise shortbread biscuits? – just for science, self-evidently!

(Btw, the pumpkin seed oil is from Sveti Jurij ob Ščavnici, not far from Maribor)
Btw, I also buy pumpkin seed oil from that region of my country. And I love it!
I must admit the grandsons were completely disinterested in my design but my daughter opened her eyes widely when I started explaining that I made the cream because of - soap.
 

szaza

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My try for this challenge (and first soap in over 6 months!) is now in the mold. Somewhere halfway my pouring jug slipped off the rim of the mold and created a mess, so it'll be interesting to see what comes out 🤣
 

ResolvableOwl

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My try for this challenge (and first soap in over 6 months!) is now in the mold. Somewhere halfway my pouring jug slipped off the rim of the mold and created a mess, so it'll be interesting to see what comes out 🤣
Great to see you aboard! How did you survive half a year of not soaping? (Using up stockpile?)

Are you just generally interested in the technique, or have you just not yet added yourself to the sign-up list?
 

SoapLover1

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Sooo.... I couldn’t help myself. I tried one more time! But it will probably be my last try because I got these from Wild Platanica today! And I’m gonna be playing around with them for a bit!
View attachment 56212
I keep saying it... but I think I’m just going to enter whatever I cut tomorrow. I poured faster and with determination. I made sure my pours reached the middle of the mold. I also poured a little wider apart. My batter did start thickening up a bit midway through the pour, but we will see what we get tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for the tips!
I just got my Stencils from Wild Platanica, too! Hope to use them soon! I had ordered some from Amazon but the rod was in the middle and destroyed your design so I found these! Can’t wait to try them! Blessings on your Soap Entry!
 

peachymoon

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Just cut my second attempt today and it’s closer to a lollipop swirl than my first (re: accidental drop swirl)! It took me a bit to notice them, but I think I see the eyeballs some people have been getting. They’re not poured perfectly round, but do you guys see any that may qualify as lollipops?

In any case, it’s been fun trying to get this right, so I think I will give this just one more try this week before the entry deadline closes on the 27th.
 

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ResolvableOwl

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More margarine, more colours, more experiences! (more biscuits?)

pour_stripes.jpg skew_cuts.jpg vertical_cut.jpg

This time, I divided the margarine into three parts, added 8% cocoa powder to one, and the same 8% of corn starch to the other two (with the idea to match density and fluidity – which worked well). The green batter has pumpkin seed oil again (I didn't put that much effort into correcting the colours this time, it looks more grayish, which is a shame for the camera manufacturer).

  • It might be a good idea to decide beforehand how many pours per revolution you might want to do. I didn't, but in the end it turned out well with 12 pours (4 pours for each colour). Drawing markers can be helpful. When you divide the circumference into a number of segments that is a multiple of the number of your colours, after each revolution you end up pouring the same colour at the same place. This is super practical, and also helps keeping the colours clean. (left photo)
  • The original technique calls for “slice of sausage” cuts (perpendicular to the cylinder axis). But the patterns are just as beautiful when you cut in a skew angle (middle photo, bottom right), or even “scoop out” irregular shapes with a spoon (top left). My favourite, however, is how it looks like in a vertical cut (right photo): the 3D effect reminds me of a colourfully dressed caterpillar dancing in pirouettes! In any case, I'm super curious how patterns reveal themselves one after another in an actual bar of soap, when it got an ovoid shape after some time at the basin!
  • Once again, I'm amazed how fast the pour is. Yes, it needs a lot of preparation, putting everything at hand, adjusting/waiting for the ideal fluidity. But the pouring itself is done in a minute or two, and has something … umm, meditative … to it. Watching your shape grow upward, you are not the creator of the design, but a mere servant whose hands are just needed to help the idea materialise from the ethereal world of conceptions into the dirty world of reality.
 
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