Recipe: Mayonaise - Delia's

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Ingredients:-

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 275ml groundnut oil (not olive oil)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of English mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Method:-

  • Begin by putting 2 large egg yolks into a 1½ pint (850 ml) basin with a narrow base – so that the beaters of an electric mixer reach all the ingredients all the time.
  • Then add 1 crushed garlic clove (optional) and a heaped teaspoon of dry English mustard powder, which helps to achieve the emulsion that gives mayonnaise its smooth, silky texture, as well as providing flavour.
  • Season with a level teaspoon of salt and a few twists of freshly milled pepper, and mix well together.
  • Using an electric whisk in one hand (which is the easiest option, but if you have oodles of energy, you can make mayonnaise with a balloon whisk) and 10 fl oz (275 ml) groundnut oil in a jug in the other, add just one drop of oil to the egg mixture, and whisk that in.
  • Strong flavoured oils are not advisable as they will make the mayonnaise too harsh. It is best to use groundnut oil, but if you want a slightly stronger taste you can add a little olive oil towards the end.
  • While you are dripping oil in with one hand and whisking with the other, you can steady the jug or bowl by placing it on a damp tea cloth.
  • Whisking each drop of oil in thoroughly before adding the next seems crazy, but it is absolutely essential and, just to reassure you, after a few minutes and several drops of oil later, the mixture will begin to thicken.
  • At that stage, and only then, you can begin to add the oil in larger drops – when the mixture has started thickening, the critical point is past.
  • There is a risk home-made mayonnaise will curdle if you add the oil too fast too soon. If that happens, don't despair.
  • Simply put a fresh yolk into a clean basin, add the curdled mixture to that, drop by drop, and then carry on with the remainder of the oil as if nothing had happened.
  • When about half the oil is in, add about a teaspoon of white wine vinegar to thin the mixture down (never use malt vinegar as it is too harsh).
  • Now you can begin pouring in the oil in a thin, steady trickle – whisking the whole time.
  • When it's all in, taste and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper and, if it needs it, a little more vinegar. The amount can never be exact because it depends on your own taste and how much acidity you require.

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