The Shea Butter Order
Recently, I ordered a container of refined shea butter (among a few other things) from one of my suppliers. Upon arrival, I checked all the contents and labels against my order. Everything was A-OK. The shea butter (which was in a sealed, opaque container) was placed in the cool storage unit (sounds more professional than fridge, doesn't it?). Three weeks passed before I needed it.
I broke the seal and opened it up. This is what I saw. Hmmm. Even though this is the first time I've ordered shea from these folks, I was pretty darn sure I wasn't looking at shea – not even close. It was hard – like cocoa butter. It had the same color as cocoa butter. I sniffed it. It really smelled like cocoa butter. I tasted a little piece. Guess what it tasted like – cocoa butter! Conclusion: somebody must have messed up a label at the suppliers warehouse. I contacted them and they were totally apologetic, sent a replacement immediately, and even said I could keep the cocoa butter. That was both professional and incredibly nice.
What To Do With Freebie Butter
So, here I am with a whole free container of cocoa butter. Let's play!! For the longest time, I've been thinking about making a real simple, back-to-the-barest-basics whipped body butter that would also be good for dry patches (elbows, hands, feet). It would have to be light and airy, yet rich and creamy – something that would melt into the skin upon contact. Cocoa butter is an ideal base for a product like this because it really has a lot to offer in the way of skin care.
Easy Peasy – Theoretically
Now, a simple whipped butter is – in theory – real quick and easy to do. In reality however, butters are more demanding to work with than I ever would have imagined possible. They will behave in all sorts of different unexpected ways if they aren't treated 'just so' during the entire production process. They also have a serious tendency to change their behavior with every new partner in a mix. They can even change their behavior from delivery to delivery. So, having an entire free container to experiment with is the perfect start for an all out exploration of how cocoa butter lends itself to different partners and textures.
For the first batch, I mixed the cocoa butter with hempseed oil. Everything started off well – the mixture whipped up nicely and was transferred to a jar. So far, so good, but the true test is after the mixture has stiffened – which is best to check...
The Next Day
Sigh. The mixture had stiffened up so hard it had to be dug out of the container with a spoon – and then only after softening time in the microwave. Also, the hemp and cocoa butter combo just wasn't the most appealing scent. Note to self: remember at all times how incredibly demanding butters are to work with.
More to come when the next batch is done...