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Posted by Robyn French on

So today I've been working on the website a little, creating more pages like an "About" section. I really need to work on the SEO stuff as well, but to be honest, computers annoy the $h!t out of me. I wish my 15 year old would just take over :p

Also, I've been working on my entries for the June Soap Challenge Club. So far I used a rice puree and coconut milk for the first batch. It was a little concerning for me, because I wanted to make sure that the rice puree was fine enough to not be scratchy or leave food chunks (eww) in the soap. That soap though... woah! It went through the most intense gel phase I have ever seen. Once it was cut it was weepy and gross and definately had the rubbery texture of cooked soap.

An interesting outcome

The coconut milk I used was from the Hong Kong City Mall in Houston and is the first canned coconut milk I've seen that listed only "coconut milk, water" as it's ingredients. I usually use Goya Coconut Milk because it has the least amount of additives I've found. Since I used two new ingredients I didn't know whether to blame the rice, or the coconut milk for the intense heat. Technically rice only has 0.1 gram of sugar/cup, so I was leaning toward coconut milk as the culprit. On the other hand, perhaps the amount of starch (which is a in essence a polysaccharides i.e. a long chain complex sugar molecule...) present in rice had caused the amazing heat. I wasn't sure.

There was only one way to find out. I made another batch, this time using a divider down the middle of the mold. On one side I used the same recipe as before, but with only the coconut milk, and on the other side I used rice puree. The answer was obvious pretty quickly. Within about 15 minutes the side with the rice puree had once again gone into a full gel state that was literally see-through, while the coconut milk side, while hitting an obvious gel phase, was more like what I'm used to seeing.  

So there you have it. It's totally the rice... Which brings up all kinds of other questions for me. Like, would rice flour have the same effect? Would quinoa do this as well? What about buckwheat? So, these are all areas I plan on exploring over the next month!

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