Your Christmas gift & tree decoration for 2023, beautifully crafted in my beauty kitchen in Dublin
This simple, handcrafted soap recipe was inspired by my 2017 trip to Bordeaux, France, where I first discovered canelés. I envisioned it as a gentle caress for both your skin and senses, aiming to recreate the warmth of Christmas with family. To achieve this, I formulated a nourishing, buttery blend with almond milk and the enchanting scent of star anise.
For this year's Christmas gift 2023, I yearn for the unforgettable canelés I once savored in the charming streets of Bordeaux. Canelé (pronounced French: [kan.le]) is a petite French pastry imbued with the essence of rum and vanilla, offering a velvety custard core cocooned by a rich, caramelized crust.
I can still recall the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked canelés that enveloped me upon stepping into the quaint shop, La Toque Cuivrée, nestled at 41 Place Gambetta in Bordeaux's historic heart. Could you kindly pay a visit to that very square and procure some canelés for my beloved family and friends?
This, Santa, is my fervent Christmas wish.
p.s. On your expedition, do indulge in tasting one yourself. I'd understand if my box had one missing! <3
With love, Claudia
The Recipe for Approximately Four 50g White Chocolate Christmas Canelés:
Oils & Butters:
12% Cocoa Butter (the same I use for pastries) - 20g
88% Olive Oil - 140g
Lye - 22g
Unsweetened Almond milk - 52g
5 drops of Star Anise Essential Oil
Here's how to create these enchanting soap bars:
Step 1: To prepare the lye solution, freeze the almond milk and gently sprinkle the lye over it. This prevents the solution from getting too hot and minimizes the risk of scorching. Allow it to cool until it reaches around 30°C.
Step 2: While the lye solution cools, measure the oils and melt them in a double boiler. Let them cool to approximately the same temperature as the lye solution. Use a kitchen thermometer to ensure this.
Step 3: Pour the lye solution into the oils and mix using a plastic tool (never use aluminum or steel, as they may react with the lye). Stainless steel is safe to use.
Step 4: Blend the ingredients with a hand blender until the solution becomes cloudy. Be cautious with the blender to avoid splashing. Blend for at least 60 seconds in circular, not vertical, motions to prevent the formation of unsightly bubbles in your final soap.
Step 5: Gently add the star anise essential oil and mix with a plastic spoon.
Step 6: Pour the soap into a canelés silicone mold. I recommend avoiding rigid molds, as unmolding could be challenging and may cause your soap to crack.
Step 7 (optional): If you intend to hang them on the Christmas tree, create 5 cm ropes and gently insert them into the soap using a stick (I used a toothpick and later placed it horizontally to keep the rope stable).
Step 8: Allow your soap to cure for a minimum of 48 hours. This is the time required for the lye solution to completely react with the oils.
After 48 hours, you can demold your canelés and let them cure in a dry place, shielded from light and heat. I recommend a curing period of at least 4 weeks to enhance lathering and ensure your bars become firm and durable.
With warm Christmas wishes, <3