Monday, December 31, 2007

Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake

I got this particular Japanese Cheesecake recipe from Diana's Desserts Forum, it seemed easy enough to do, and exactly what my beautiful Bride liked in a cheesecake, simple, not too cheesey and not too sweet. It turned out great, though I did forget the lemon juice and the salt. I didn't want to make the full recipe, so I cut it in half, and made a 7" instead of an 8" cheesecake. Still, it tasted really good.

Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake
25 g butter
125 g cream cheese
50 ml rice milk
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
30 g cake flour
10 g cornstarch
3 eggs, separated
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
70 g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F. Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of a 7" springform pan with parchment paper.

Melt cream cheese, butter and rice milk over a double boiler. When the mixture is cool, fold in the flour, the cornstarch, egg yolks and lemon juice; mix well.

Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture; fold in, taking care not to mix too hard, as the egg whites will lose their air. Pour into the springform pan.

Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes, or until set and golden brown.

Chocolate Frangelico Drops

My inspiration for these came from a Christmas recipe I make nearly every year, Rumkegeln. I replaced some of the ground oats with ground hazelnuts, and paired the hazelnuts with Frangelico, the hazelnut liqueur. I also used hazelnut-flavoured cocoa powder as well, only because I had some around. These are easy to make and taste great, even better than the rumkegeln, a little fudgey in consistency, very chocolatey, with the great taste pairing with hazelnut. And the size is great during the holidays, one will do you, there's lots of flavour in each one.

Chocolate Frangelico Drops
100 g oats, ground
50 g Hazelnuts, ground
60 g coconut oil (Palmin)
60 g Icing Sugar
3 Tbsp. instant chocolate powder
1 Tbsp. Frangelico
water (if needed)

Melt the coconut oil. Add the sugar and chocolate powder and stir; allow to cool to lukewarm. Add the cooled chocolate liquid to the ground oats and hazelnuts along with the Frangelico. Add water if dough does not stick together, adding a little bit at a time. Form into small balls; put in fridge to set.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Restaurant Review - Rex Saigon

This restaurant was recommended to me by a coworker, and I finally had the opportunity to go to this unusual buffet restaurant, unusual in that it is not a Chinese buffet, but a Vietnamese and Thai, supposedly the first in the city. Located east of the intersection of Sheppard and Brimley, on the north side, it shares mall space with a large Chinese supermarket. We arrived at 5 pm, after the evening hours began, yet the restaurant was fairly empty, though that likely had more to do with the snowy weather than the food (patrons began to appear mostly after 6, though I wondered about the buffet food, as there was little turnover since we had arrived). There were lots of dishes to choose from, some Vietnamese, some Thai, some Chinese, Tom Yung or Ginseng Chicken soups, lots of noodle dishes, curried crab legs, make-your-own Pho (Viet noodle soup with veggies), sesame balls, roti, sushi, mango sticky rice, lots to choose from and too many to remember. Lots of desserts, bananas in cream, coconut bars, ice creams. We payed $17.95 per person (comparable to what large buffet restaurants charge on a weekend), as it was a Saturday evening (likewise for Friday and Sunday evening), it is $9.99 for lunch those three days, otherwise it is $8.99 for lunch and $14.95 for dinner. There's really something for everyone, I tried lots of new dishes and ones I was already familiar with, there were lots I couldn't try because there was too much. There are some rather generic dishes not so tasty or prepared so well, but that's likely true of any restaurant. If the place were closer, I would go there more often, more likely though for lunch.

Santa Cruz Organic Raspberry Lemonade

Having tried their Lemon Lime drink, I decided to try a slightly different version, their Raspberry Lemonade. Like the lemon lime, Santa Cruz uses lemon juice for the lemony bits, cane sugar for its sweetness, it adds raspberry puree to make it, if this is a word, raspberry-ish (plus natural flavours). It tastes pretty good, though it's still more expensive than buying a can of pop.

Ferrero Prestige

I picked up this offering by Ferrero on sale after Christmas. Along with the normal Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates, it also contains two other Ferrero confections. One of them Ferrero Rondnoir, which is filled and encased with dark chocolate. These were pleasantly chocolatey. As well, the almond-coconut confection from Ferrero Garden is included. I liked the coconut flavour of these. The container is filled with 249 grams of product, as opposed to if you buy the similar Ferrero Rocher version, which gives you 300 grams of product.

Decorated Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes

Here's the wonderfully decorated cupcakes my beautiful Bride created for our Christmas Eve meal.

Rose Silicon Baking Form

Silicon baking forms work well in some respects, and not so well in others. To be sure, you need to grease them in some way in order for them to release well. They are not good conductors of heat, thus have good application used like parchment paper on baking sheets or when taking hot things out of an oven, but you also need to increase the amount of cooking time. Too, they are kind of wobbly, and you need to put them on a baking sheet to give them stability, otherwise, you might end up with some of your batter in the oven (he said having had personal experience with this). This particular silicon form makes the baked good look like a rose, the possibilities are endless.

This is what the finished product could look like.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ferrero Garden

Ferrero Rocher is a popular chocolate gift at Christmastime in Canada; I like them, even though they are a bit pricey, because they are filled with hazelnuts. I see this year they have added a dark and a white version to their normal milk chocolate version. Ferrero also makes Mon Cheri, Nutella, Tic Tac and the large Kinder line (KinderSurprise, KinderBueno and more), among others. Like all manufacturers who export to other countries, often they offer different and interesting variations in their home markets. I received this package as a gift from my aunt in Germany, Ferrero Garden.

There are five different flavours in this garden; Almond, Pistachio, Raspberry-Strawberry, Hazelnut and Coconut. It will be interesting to see how they taste.

Very large Cadbury Dairy Milk

One of the Christmas presents I received this year, is this one kilogram in size, very large Cadbury Dairy Milk candy bar, imported from the UK. I think, with this one, I'm going to have to share, it's so big (I couldn't even fit it in the picture).

Spelt Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies

The first recipe I made with the mesquite pod meal is a variation on a honey based chocolate chip cookie recipe that is one of my favourites. Too, I substituted spelt flour for the all-purpose wheat flour, light muscovado sugar instead of brown sugar, cane sugar instead of white sugar, and added salba seeds, to make it really a more nutritious cookie. I have to play with the amount of flour, I think, as these spread quite thin on being baked, where the original recipe, they do not spread much (I think it requires more spelt flour, is all). But they tasted great! The mesquite adds a smokey flavour that works very well with the chocolate. And it smells great baking in the oven. Wow, I'm pleased with the results, other people have enjoyed it as well, and I am looking forwarded to incorporating mesquite in other recipes.

Spelt Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup mesquite pod meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup light muscovado sugar
1/4 cup butter, slightly softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp honey
1 Tbsp salba seeds
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.

Combine flours, soda and salt and whisk together.

Cream together butter and sugars. Add egg and beat until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla and honey.

Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture in two additions. Stir in chocolate chips and salba seeds.

Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies all golden all over.

Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a rack.

Ancient Grain - Mesquite Pod Meal

I first came across mesquite pod meal, or mesquite flour, in a recipe for Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies, I was intrigued by the account of the wonderful smoky flavour of the mesquite pervading the kitchen and whole house. I had heard of mesquite in terms of grilling, usually in the form of mesquite chips, made from the wood, that add a wonderful smoky flavour to your grilled foods. In researching mesquite flour, using the previous recipe as a springboard, I found that mesquite as a food has many health benefits, and has been used by the Native Americans for a long time to supplement their diet. I look forward to trying this intriguing ancient grain in various recipes.

Some things I found out:

Mesquite flour is low in gluten, and is suitable for gluten-free diets. Because of this, too, you need to combine it with other gluten-rich flours, especially if you want to make bread. Typically, you can substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup of mesquite flour in each cup of wheat flour, though I lie on the conservative side.

Mesquite flour is low glycemic; its glycemic index is 25 (where Sugar is 100), it's potentially good for diabetics. It is interesting to note that once Native Americans adopted the European diet of white sugar and white flour, incidence of diabetes increased within the population.

Mesquite is high in protein, typically 11 to 17 percent protein. It also has a high lysine content, and is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc.

The mesquite tree's flours can be used to make distinctive tasting honey.

Medicinally, parts of the mesquite tree are antifungal, antimicrobial, astringent, antiseptic, and antispasmodic.

Coppenrath Dark Spekulatius

Spekulatius is a traditional spiced Christmas cookie in Germany, this one features a coating of dark chocolate on the underside. Here is a recipe to make your own, a better tasting, more healthy version.

Chickpea and Tomato Stew

My sister introduced me to this Mediterranean-style dish, I immediately got the recipe from her, as it tasted so good. Looking for a quick recipe to make last night, I decided to introduce my beautiful Bride to the same recipe, and she enjoyed it as well, not even adding her normal spice to try it as it was intended. We did make one change, we upped the amount of fresh herbs, originally it called for 1/3 cup parsley, instead we put in basil and cilantro. This makes for a quick and tasty lunch, we ate it with some whole-wheat Naan that we also wanted to try, pita bread or roti also would work well.

Chickpea and Tomato Stew
6 medium-size tomatoes or 1 can diced or whole tomatoes (28 fl. oz)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium-size onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups boiled, drained chickpeas or drained can chickpeas (19 fl. oz)
1 cup very finely chopped fresh parsley or basil or cilantro
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 cup water

If using fresh tomatoes, drop the tomatoes into boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and peel. Mince the tomatoes.

Heat the oil in a 7- to 8-inch wide pan over a medium flame. Put in the onions and garlic. Stir and fry for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are soft.

Put in the tomatoes. Stir and cook them for 3-4 minutes or until they are soft and paste-like.

Add the chickpeas, herbs, thyme, salt and water. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.

Asian-style Noodle-Vegetable Salad

I came across this interesting recipe on the Food Network for a quick Asian-style cold noodle-vegetable salad, and decided to make it as part of my contribution for our Christmas Eve meal. We increased the amount of basil and mint and cilantro, as my beautiful Bride likes veggies, and used the juice of half of a lime in the dressing, rather than the teaspoon it called for. You can use any kind of noodles in this dish, it's better to use a shorter noodle. I would think that this dish could work better hot, though it did taste pretty good. You can increase the amount of chilli if you like it spicy, this dish as it stands is not.

Asian Noodle-Vegetable Salad
Adapted from a recipe by Ellie Krieger
4 ounces soba noodles
1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 red pepper, julienne
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup shredded fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp light muscovado sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp lime zest
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp fish sauce

Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain and cool.

In a medium bowl, combine noodles, shallot, carrot, red pepper and herbs.

Combine all dressing ingredients, season with salt to taste. Pour dressing over noodle mixture, and toss lightly.

New Tree Renew Black Currant

I came across these Belgian chocolate bars from New Tree and shortly thereafter read about them on a blog. This particular bar is an attempt to combine the antioxidant properties of black currant and dark chocolate, it seems an odd combination at the outset. Quite a few chocolatiers are bringing out heart-healthy versions of their products, with increased antioxidant properties (more than 2 glasses of red wine for this bar), following the report that dark chocolate is good for the heart, though I have since heard that the report may be overstated, and it depends on the chocolate and the chocolatier, if the "good" ingredients are in there. The 73% cacao content is in line with a lot of chocolatiers, and the ingredient listing is good, unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, black currant with other natural flavour (I wonder if one of them is vanilla), grape extract (also known for its antioxidant properties).

How does it taste? Not bad, though I don't know that black currant really works well for me, and my beautiful Bride thought it tasted more like blueberries. I liked the bar enough to want to try other of their bars.

Food Should Taste Good Chocolate Tortilla Chips

I knew that I had to try this particular chocolate offering from Food Should Taste Good, which is the name of the Company, as well as their Brand Name, and their motto. It seems an odd combination, corn and chocolate, at first glance, and, opening the bag, it does smell odd, kind of a little burnt. The ingredient listing is very short for a corn chip, I'm used to lots of ingredients, there just stone ground white corn, non-hydrogenated canola oil, dutch cocoa powder (the dutch process makes cocoa powder darker), turbidano cane sugar (a more healthy sugar), sugarcane fiber and sea salt.

Overall, they taste pretty good, I just don't think I can get over the "burnt" smell, and I don't think corn and chocolate make a great combination, though I understand there are some mexican recipes with such.

Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes

I wanted to make a dessert for my family's Christmas Eve meal, actually I got a request to make one, and so I selected this one, found somewhere long ago on the 'Net. The original recipe called for the cupcakes to cook for 18-20 minutes, I found I needed about 32 minutes for it to be fully cooked through. For the cocoa, I used this powder I found called Ruddy Red, it was certainly reddish in colour, and made the cupcakes dark brown. They turned out moist and very chocolatey, a quite dense cupcake. My beautiful Bride decorated them quite wonderfully.

Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350F. Line two 12-count cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat mixture on low speed until batter is moistened; scrape bowl well. Increase speed to medium and beat 1-1/2 minutes until smooth; scrape bowl well. Mix additional 30 seconds if needed.

Fill cupcake pans 2/3 full with batter and bake 30-33 minutes, just until tester inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes in pan 2 minutes. Carefully remove from pans and cool on rack 1 hour before topping with your favorite frosting.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Baskin Robbins Hazelnut Dreams

I was in this mall on Wednesday, waiting for my beautiful Bride, and was suddenly struck with an urge to have a milkshake. Having passed a Baskin Robbins already, I looked at the offerings from Dairy Queen, on the other side of the mall, and, not liking the generic milkshake flavour offerings, I made the trek back to Baskin Robbins to see what flavours of milkshake they had to offer, as one can make a shake out of any of their flavours. And, what do I find, but this new ice cream, called Hazelnut Dreams, luxurious chocolate hazelnut ice cream swirled with a milk chocolate hazelnut ribbon and filled with hazelnut and chocolate pieces, according to the placard. Later I found out that it was December's Flavour of the Month, though I think that it will still be available after that. How did it taste? Very hazelnutty flavour when first sucking through the straw, that lasted throughout, and afterwards too, but I suspect it comes from an artificial hazelnut flavouring. There were very small almost candied hazelnut pieces, and much larger chocolate pieces. Overall, not bad, but could be a lot better, with larger hazelnut pieces.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mango Spelt Shortbread Cookies

I had been meaning to make these shortbread cookies ever since I got this Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies magazine, you can see how long it's been. I also wanted to make something with the Philippines Mango and Calamansi Lemon powders that I had purchased some months ago, I thought this was the perfect matching. The cookies turned out quite tasty, the nuttiness of the spelt flour (reduce the amount to 1 cup if you use all-purpose flour) combined well with both the mango and the calamansi lemon (though 2 Tbsp of that might make it a little too sour for some tastes). This recipe originally was double the ingredients, save that it asked for 2 Tbsp of Chinese green tea powder, I just halved the rest of the ingredients, and kept the amount of powder the same. It worked out to make a quite tasty shortbread cookie, I think. I also used my new small Holiday cookie cutters, as you can see, they were not so easy to use, with small edges that the dough stuck in.

Mango Spelt Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from a recipe from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies 2001
1-1/4 cups spelt flour
2 Tbsp mango powder (or Calamansi Lemon powder)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' or granulated sugar

Sift flour, mango powder and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sugar; continue to beat until very light in colour and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, about 2 minutes more.

Add flour mixture, combine on low, until flour is just incorporated.

Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on parchment paper. Chill dough in refrigerator or freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 170C/325F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut shortbread dough with cookie cutters; place on parchment paper. Gather dough scraps together and re-roll to 1/4-inch thickness; cut with cookie cutters. Repeat as necessary.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Cool on wire racks.

Penta Water

This drinking water by the California company Bio-Hydration Research Lab, Inc. is purported to be ultra-pure, it goes through an 11-hour 13-step purification process, including reverse osmosis and deionization using oxygen. The claim is that the water is arsenic, fluoride, chromium 6, chlorine and MTBE (an additive for gasoline) free; all of these are potentially bad for your health, eliminating them from your diet is a good thing. I must say that the water did not taste wonderful, there was still the flavour of the plastic bottle present, but it did taste like very good water. I got this as a test sample, I don't know the actual price, though I imagine it would only be sold in Health Food stores for a premium price.

Smart Monkey Ginger Snap

This Organic raw food Vegan bar by Smart Monkey Foods I came across for sale in this Health Food store in Kensington Market, I was interested in it, as it had ginger as an ingredient, and it is a raw food bar, uncooked, with no refined sugar, wheat, gluten, soy dairy or GMO. The ingredient listing is short and good, dates, coconut, sunflower seeds, ginger and Celtic sea salt (sort of a dirty-looking salt, I use it myself for cooking). It tastes pretty good and not too expensive (they were on sale, 2 for $1, so it's likely they would be twice that at least).

Friday, December 07, 2007

Moritz Dark Icy Squares

Moritz Icy Squares have been around a long while, I noticed this year that they have come out with a dark version. Once upon a time, I used to like these sugary chocolate squares, they had kind of a cooling flavour. Long before I even examined the ingredient listing, who did?, I gave up eating these, I found them too expensive, there was less expensive and more interesting chocolate and candy to buy and eat. I notice that they have hazelnut paste as one of the ingredients, though it's not detectable. Give them a try if you really like them, and want more chocolate, or to experience the "icy" flavour, otherwise, pass.

How do they taste? They have the same "icy" feeling as the milk chocolate version, they just taste a little more chocolatey. I think they are still too sugary, and expensive, for my tastes, so I don't think I will buy these again.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Revillon Dark Chocolate with roasted Cocoa Beans

This offering from the French company Revillon Chocolatier is one of several like this, I have also seen a mint flavoured one, and a raspberry one. This one is straight dark chocolate sprinkled with roasted cocoa beans, they kind of look like long twigs to me. The ingredient listing looks good, cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa beans (4%), cocoa butter and soya lecithin (as an emulsifier). The cacao content is 58%.

How do they taste? Pretty good, they have a crispy bite, crunchy with the cocoa beans too. Still, I don't think I will buy these again, but perhaps something different from this chocolatier.

Donate Rice and Learn some new Vocabulary

I recently came across this donation site, Free Rice, it works through the United Nations, through the United Nations World Food Program, and is totally free to you, they get their money from advertisement as you play the game.

The game is simple, you are presented with a word and four possible meanings for it; click on the correct one, and you donate 20 grains of rice (doesn't seem like a lot, but every grain of rice adds up - the time I looked at it while writing this, 281 million grains of rice were donated the previous day). If you get it right, you get a harder word, if you get it wrong, you get an easier word. Get three words correct in a row, and you get to the next Vocabulary Level (there are 50 in all).

Learn some new Vocabulary. Impress your friends and colleagues. Donate some rice. All good.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Swiss Chalet Festive Special

Swiss Chalet has what they call a Festive Special, it includes the addition of stuffing to their normal quarter chicken meal, plus, for dessert, this package from Lindt, of three Lindor chocolates. There were five Lindors in this package, two milk, one dark, one white and one hazelnut. I like the packaging showing an old-fashioned house. A Swiss Chalet, of course!!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Terra Nostra Organic Intense Dark

The second of the two chocolate bars from the Canadian chocolatier Terra Nostra, in Zellers, of all places, is a bar they call Intense Dark. The notes on the reverse side of the packaging tells me that the cacao content is 73% (which is the Intense part), the chocolate has been conched for 22 hours, to a micron size of 18, and that the cacao beans come from Ecuador, Trinidad and Peru. This chocolate is best paired with Cognac, Shyraz or B&B, or eaten alone. The ingredient listing looks good, all Organic, with added Chocolate Magic, just cocoa mass, sugar and cocoa butter. I like how this bar, and the other, does not have added soya lecithin and vanilla flavour.

How did it taste? Really good, really smooth and quite chocolatey, it also smells good. I would definitely buy this again.

Terra Nostra Organic Double Dark Truffle

I found this chocolate bar in, of all places, Zellers, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that this Organic Chocolatier is Canadian. Terra Nostra is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, with manufacturing facilities in Europe, the U.S. and Canada. I honestly had never heard of them before picking up a couple of their offerings, but apparently, they outsell all other Organic chocolate in the United States. They've also been in the chocolatiering business for several generations, five at least. I like how they give you specific information about how the chocolate is manufactured, for this bar, the cacao content is 60%, it was conched for 22 hours (to make it smooth and to reduce the size of the granules, to less than 30 microns), and the cacao is a blend of Criollo and Forrastero varietals. Too, like a good wine, they suggest pairing this with port or espresso or Merlot red wine. The ingredients, all Organic, look good, just dark chocolate, made from cocoa mass, sugar and cocoa butter, and expeller pressed canola and/or sunflower and/or safflower oil (which is what makes the truffle part, I would say). They also add chocolate magic!

How does it taste? Pretty good, my beautiful Bride really thought it was great, I think I would buy this again.

President's Choice Memories of the Tropics Macadamias

Another of the new items that comes from Loblaw's President's Choice line is this 250 g bag of dry roasted and lightly salted macadamia nuts. Macadamias are very rich, with a buttery flavour, that goes well in baked goods, or just to eat like that. I want to use them in some sort of cookie, so likely I'll rinse them off before I use them. Macadamias too tend to be an expensive nut to purchase, this is about $5 for 250 g, that's like $9-10 per pound, very similar to what hazelnuts go for.

Using Food to enhance Soap

We came across these Bath & Bloom soaps in Pier One, they look interesting, they also are made in Thailand. I know about using cocoa butter as a moisturizer, and using vegetable oils such as olive or palm oil to make the soap, but am not sold on just adding various food ingredients, ones that are good for the body, at least on the inside, so as to make the soap good for the outside.

This one adds cocoa powder, and also has rice bran oil, palm oil, olive oil and coconut oil.

This one has turmeric root, apparently used for years by Thai women to smooth and brighten their skin, and honey to moisturize the skin.