There is no magic or mystique to mayo. It’s basically an emulsion of egg yolks and oil. It’s a base for so many flavours…
There’s a lot of fuss about it, but I have mucked up mayo for so many years I have hopefully found a simple and fool proof method. I use a food processor or an electric whisk. But have used a hand whist or a mechanic cranking whisk with equally satisfying results.
- 2 egg yolks (no white at all); make sure they are at room temperature.
- some olive oil (say 250ml)
- some more bland oil (I use sunflower – say 200ml)
- a tablespoon or so of white wine vinegar
- a level tablespoon of sugar (white is sadly best)
- a good pinch of salt
Dissolve the sugar and salt in a teacup with the vinegar. It will need to good stir.
Take the egg yolks and pop them in the food processor or bowl you’re going to whisk in. Add the vinegar in which you’ve dissolved the sugar and salt. Then with the whisk going or food processor on, drizzle in the olive oil slowly – drop by drop. In a food processor you can zip through this fairly fast; using a whisk, steady drops will ensure it doesn’t curdle. Then as it thickens, add in a faster stream but don’t over pour. Each drop needs to emulsify. When you’ve used the olive oil, move on to the sunflower. This oil slightly lightens the mayo and brings out the flavours without over powering.
If at the end it needs more flavours, you can add a bit more salt, sugar, vinegar; perhaps a little mustard (powder or made). If at this point dried elements are being added, dissolve first in a tablespoon of boiling water, and whisk it in.
I have identified two problems in mayo making. First a food processor where the blades are not aligned to the base of the bowl. It means the egg yokes don’t get “hit” by the blades and the simple solution is to add enough vinegar to the yolks to achieve that “hit”.
Second it all curdles (probably because the oil was added to quickly). Simply break a new set of yolks into the hopefully clean processor or bowl and add drop by drop, the curdled first try of your labours. It will work!