Thursday, March 14, 2013

handcrafted recipes - #2 Whipped Body Butter

 Years ago when this recipe was created, shea butter was pretty new on the market and there weren't a lot of options.  It was that or cocoa butter, and the two of them are vastly different in hardness.  Shea butter has an unfortunate characteristic to the home crafter in that it becomes grainy with the changes of temperature in creating this product and just in everyday life.  I tend to avoid it now because that aspect defeats the purpose in my opinion.
Here is how we made whipped body butter 10 years ago.

Whipped Body Butter - From The Essential Herbal Magazine
1 cup unrefined Shea Butter
1/8 cup Apricot Kernel oil
1/8 cup jojoba oil
20 drops essential oil (rose geranium is great)
Soften the butter in the microwave for 15 seconds. Using a mixer, begin whipping, while slowly adding the liquid oils. Add any fragrance while whipping.

If you've ever made whipped body butter, you'll know that the "using a mixer, begin whipping..." part there is actually pretty humorous.  A stand mixer is just about a necessity for this recipe and it may take upwards of 15 minutes or more before the liquid oils and the butter blend perfectly to a whipped confection.  
I would also add that the butter is heated only to soften.  If it is liquefied, the whipping will take forever.

How my thoughts on this recipe have changed...

There are a lot of new butters on the market.  Some of them include Aloe, Avocado, Coffee Bean, Hemp, Mango, Pistachio, and Almond.  One of my favorites is mango butter because it is much creamier and isn't prone to that grainy feeling.  Because it isn't quite as hard as shea butter, the liquid oils could be decreased by a tablespoon or so.
I haven't tried this yet, but I would like to use cocoa butter.  Cocoa butter is very hard at room temperature, so that means the liquid oils would be increased - perhaps by as much as 100%, so that the combined liquid oils would total 1/2 cup.  The cocoa butter would also need to be liquified, blended with the liquid oils, and allowed to cool thoroughly before whipping.

Although this is a very time consuming and somewhat messy project, it is well worth it.  A nice whipped butter is sheer luxury.

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Salem Witch Child said...

Perhaps since you say the shea butter becomes grainy it could be used as an exfolient?

Tina Sams said...

Maybe, although it isn't quite grainy enough. And the tiny lumps do melt, it's just an undesirable texture for a body butter.

Katherine Nobles said...

What size container do you usually use for this? It looks like there's 1.25 cups before you whip it, but what's the volume after?

Vicki said...

I so agree with you, "a nice whipped butter is sheer luxury".
It is indeed!

I prefer to buy home-made body butters at markets, made by people who take the time and care making what they love. It costs a little more to buy hand-made butters, but I can appreciate the time and effort put into them.
And, they always smell so divine with real essential oils.

I bought a hemp oil butter not too long ago - it is great for my dry hands after a day of working with clay.

I would love to try a mango body butter. Just the thought of it, mmm...

I know what you mean about the graininess of Shea butter. A couple of years ago, I bought a body butter which granulated upon cooling after a hot spell where it melted.
An unfortunate looking result, but it still rubbed in OK. What I loved most about it was that it smelled like orange jaffas - yum :)

Vicki said...

...and, I voted. The Essential Herbal is at 76%, woo hoo!

Tina Sams said...

It's been a while, but it more than doubles in volume. We used 4 ounce jars that were about 1.5 inches high and about 3 inches wide (from SKS Bottles).

Unknown said...

Tina, if you were going to take to market, does it need any preservative and if no, what is shelf life. If it needs one what would you suggest?

Tina Sams said...

We've never done the necessary research for wholesale marketing of this product.