Saturday, April 30, 2011

Split mayonnaise

The more experienced I become at making mayonnaise, the more often I mess it up. Complacency is fatal. You really do have to add the oil very gradually, and to make sure that it is properly amalgamated before adding the next drops, until you have used at least half of it. On my first attempts, I was so nervous about separating the mixture that I dripped in the oil with huge restraint and care. Now, I am tempted to think I can get away with splashing it in, and as soon as I do the stiffened mixture in the bowl collapses and turns runny.

These blunders can be repaired, however. Pour the runny mixture into a second bowl. Put another egg yolk into your original bowl, which can have some of the botched mayonnaise adhering to it. Now amalgamate the botched mayonnaise, bit by bit, with the yolk; then start adding oil again. My method is to continue the process until the mayonnaise is too thick to stir, thin it with a little lemon juice or vinegar, and resume pouring in the oil, allowing 150g of oil (mostly sunflower, with about 25g of extra virgin olive) for each yolk.

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