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Q&A: Basic Condiments


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I'm so glad to see another eGCI class being offered. I've never made homemade mayonnaise before, though Lord knows plenty of people mention it in various threads! I'm anxious to have my first experience.

Could I possibly substitute the yolks from one double yolk egg for the "yolk from an extra large egg" that is called for in the aioli recipe?"

Maggie

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I've made Aïoli with the mortar and pestle only once, and it turned thinner than I would've wanted it to be. Later on, I while learning about making mayo, I realized that the reason had to be that I didn't whisk the egg yolks enough before adding the oil. From that point on, I've never had problems making mayo or any of its variations. However, I still don't fully understand why the yolks need to be whisked "to a cream".

I know that the yolks are used to make the emulsion estable. They keep the fat particles, which we break while whisking in the stream of oil (incidently this is exactly why we add a stream of oil as opposed to adding it all at once), from coming back together, therefore not mixing itself with the liquid that's gonna flavor the mayo (lemon jucie).

So, could you go a little into the chemistry of mayo? Is it that the yolk estabilize the emulion more when you whisk them? And if so, why does this happen?

Thanks or the great class!

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"Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

Garlic cloves, peeled, about 8 fat cloves

Kosher salt, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, approximately

Yolk from an extra large egg

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground white pepper

Juice of half a lemon

Hot water, about 1-2 teaspoons (if needed)"

Sorry for the quote, but I do not know how to quote from a "closed thread"...

Anyway, my question is regarding the quantity of garlic. Isn't 8 cloves of garlic a large quantity for the above ingredients?

I enjoy the class, thanks.

Alex

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Nice class!

As chance would have it, I'll be making mayonnaise this evening to use on the panini I'm taking to The Metropolitan Opera in Central Park picnic tomorrow.

I was happy to see the food processor used in your pictures. From my own experience, I can't endorse the utility of a small food processor bowl (either a 3-4 cup "mini processor" or the minibowl of a KA processor) strongly enough. This is by far the best machine for making mayonnaise I've found.

--

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I've made Aïoli with the mortar and pestle only once, and it turned thinner than I would've wanted it to be. Later on, I while learning about making mayo, I realized that the reason had to be that I didn't whisk the egg yolks enough before adding the oil. From that point on, I've never had problems making mayo or any of its variations. However, I still don't fully understand why the yolks need to be whisked "to a cream".

I know that the yolks are used to make the emulsion estable. They keep the fat particles, which we break while whisking in the stream of oil (incidently this is exactly why we add a stream of oil as opposed to adding it all at once), from coming back together, therefore not mixing itself with the liquid that's gonna flavor the mayo (lemon jucie).

So, could you go a little into the chemistry of mayo? Is it that the yolk estabilize the emulion more when you whisk them? And if so, why does this happen?

Thanks or the great class!

To make it very simple, that is, non-technical.

The thing to remember is that you are mixing a little bit of egg yolk with a lot of oil.

If you could look at it under a microscope, you would see that the protein in the egg yolk are like little beads in long strings. Beating or agitating these breaks up the strings into individual beads. As you continue beating while adding the oil in a very fine steam, the oil is beaten into beads or bubbles that contain air and several of these beads of oil and air will surround each bead of egg, keeping the egg beads from re-forming into strings or chains.

You then introduce an acid, the lemon juice, which supports the emulsion by strengethening the bonds between the egg and oil beads. The mustard powder also helps to stabilize the emulsion.

I showed it using a hand whisk so that people can know that it can be made without the aid of electrical appliances. It is quicker and perhaps easier to make it with an appliance but when you are preparing such a small amount, it is sometimes difficult to find an appliance small enough.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'm so glad to see another eGCI class being offered. I've never made homemade mayonnaise before, though Lord knows plenty of people mention it in various threads! I'm anxious to have my first experience.

Could I possibly substitute the yolks from one double yolk egg for the "yolk from an extra large egg" that is called for in the aioli recipe?"

You should have no problems substituting a double egg yolk.

I have made mayonnaise or aioli with jumbo egg yolks as well as duck egg yolks using the same proportions of the other ingredients.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andie's mayo calls for very cold egg yolk, Mary's "warmed to room temp."  ???  Why the difference?

This is the way I learned to make it more than fifty years ago from my grandfather's cook who was virtually illiterate. One did not ask "why" but did as one was told. It has always worked well for me and so I stick with it.

Everything should be cold. In my experience the mayo comes together easier and faster.

However, if you get a good result with a room temp egg then by all means use it that way. My method is not carved in stone but I do know it works.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I saw that most of the recipes were using olive oil and also a belender/food processer. I was always told not to use ovile oil in make mayo in a blender because excessive beating of the oil gave it a bitter taste. I am just courise if that is another cooking old wives tale.

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Nice class!

As chance would have it, I'll be making mayonnaise this evening to use on the panini I'm taking to The Metropolitan Opera in Central Park picnic tomorrow.

I was happy to see the food processor used in your pictures.  From my own experience, I can't endorse the utility of a small food processor bowl (either a 3-4 cup "mini processor" or the minibowl of a KA processor) strongly enough.  This is by far the best machine for making mayonnaise I've found.

That little "food processor" is part of the Braun Turbo stick blender combo. That particular immersion blender is 400 watt.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I can't endorse the utility of a small food processor bowl (either a 3-4 cup "mini processor" or the minibowl of a KA processor) strongly enough.  This is by far the best machine for making mayonnaise I've found.

That little "food processor" is part of the Braun Turbo stick blender combo. That particular immersion blender is 400 watt.

Very cool. Are you able to add oil while the blade is in motion?

My method is (more or less) just to get the yolk going with some acid and salt (and garlic, etc. where appropriate) in the minibowl of my KA and slowly drizzle in the oil.

--

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Hrmm... it seems you did an excellent job of saying how to make mayo when everything goes right but you didn't spend more time on what to do when the mayo goes wrong. It would be nice to have some tips about what to do when:

a) mayo splits

b) mayo is too thick

c) mayo is too thin

Also, some reasons about why to chill the egg yolk, why to use mustard powder and not mustard and why an acid is neccesary and how it doesn't have to be lemon juice would help people get a grip on it better.

PS: I am a guy.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andie's mayo calls for very cold egg yolk, Mary's "warmed to room temp."  ???  Why the difference?

I based my recipe and technique on my copy of The Joy of Cooking, one of my favorite quick references. JoC says "ingredients at room temperature emulsify more readily than chilled ingredients," and suggests running hot water over the eggs (while still in their shell, it points out helpfully) to warm them slightly.

I frequently make blender-emulsified mayonnaise and find the process to be quite forgiving and elastic, as long as the oil is added in a very thin stream, with frequent stops to taste to check the texture.

Making mayonnaise too thick is not generally a problem, as the addition of a little more olive oil rectifies the problem. If the mayo is too thin, I recommend starting all over with a new batch. If you are still determined to save the original batch, simply make the mayonnaise a little thicker than desired, and add some or all back to the original batch, and blend it in gently with a spoon.

I saw that most of the recipes were using olive oil and also a blender/food processer.  I was always told not to use olive oil in make mayo in a blender because excessive beating of the oil gave it a bitter taste.

I haven't encountered that problem, however . . .

the flavor of the olive oil is extremely important to the final flavor of the mayonnaise, and I have found that some of my favorite extra virgin olive oils are too green and harsh for mayonnaise. The 'greeness' is sometimes amplified in the resulting product. Therefore, I recommend experimenting with sweeter or more floral oils, like canola. I was also very fond of a batch made from pumpkin seed oil.

Has anyone given it a try yet? How would you describe the mayonnaise flavor, and what oil did you use? Do you think the oil influenced the flavor, and were you pleased with the result?

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

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Thank you! This was much easier than I had expected. I elected to do it with room temp ingredients using a whisk rather than a machine. Now I must head off to a local farmers market to find a reason to use this!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Making mayonnaise too thick is not generally a problem, as the addition of a little more olive oil rectifies the problem.  If the mayo is too thin, I recommend starting all over with a new batch.  If you are still determined to save the original batch, simply make the mayonnaise a little thicker than desired, and add some or all back to the original batch, and blend it in gently with a spoon.

Huh? Doesn't adding more oil thicken the mayo even more? You should add lemon juice if you wanted to thin out the mayo and add oil if you want it thicker. At least, that's been my experience.

PS: I am a guy.

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I attempted and failed to make my first mayo last evening. It never thickened :blink: I used a chilled bowl, chilled egg yolk, and my whisk. Is there some measure of time that I can use to know if I have whisked the egg yolk long enough? It looked creamy to me, as the recipe said it should. I added other things as per instructions, and whisked 'til I dropped. Then I put the whole thin batch into my blender and blended it, until it started to smell like cooked eggs, but was still not thick! Once again, is there any indication of how long approximately this should take in the blender?

I'd like to try again tonight - any suggestions?

Maggie

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"Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

Garlic cloves, peeled, about 8 fat cloves

Kosher salt, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, approximately

Yolk from an extra large egg

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground white pepper

Juice of half a lemon

Hot water, about 1-2 teaspoons (if needed)"

Sorry for the quote, but I do not know how to quote from a "closed thread"...

Anyway, my question is regarding the quantity of garlic. Isn't 8 cloves of garlic a large quantity for the above ingredients?

I enjoy the class, thanks.

Alex

I dislike to quote myself, but nobody has addressed this question yet. From my experience making aioli, you want less garlic than 8 cloves for that amount of oil and eggs, unless the garlic has been roasted first.

Alex

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Doesn't adding more oil thicken the mayo even more? You should add lemon juice if you wanted to thin out the mayo and add oil if you want it thicker. At least, that's been my experience.

That's absolutely correct, and valuable advice. However, making homemade mayonnaise is a sort of 'bell curve.' At the top of the curve, with attention paid to the texture of the developing mayo, a little more oil does increase the silky viscosity.

Once you start down the slippery slope, which in my recipe can be all too easy given the speed of blenders and food processors, the mayo starts to break down, and more oil simply results in an oily gloop.

Not all is lost, however, if an attempt fails. It's an egg yolk. Some oil (which all eGullet members should own in abundance, right? :wink: ) and a squeeze of lemon. What are you going to do with the rest of the lemon? Freshen your disposal? So unless you are out of eggs or expecting your mother-in-law in five minutes, try another batch. Better yet, try two batches back-to-back with different flavorings.

_____________________

Mary Baker

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I attempted and failed to make my first mayo last evening. It never thickened :blink: I used a chilled bowl, chilled egg yolk, and my whisk. Is there some measure of time that I can use to know if I have whisked the egg yolk long enough? It looked creamy to me, as the recipe said it should. I added other things as per instructions, and whisked 'til I dropped. Then I put the whole thin batch into my blender and blended it, until it started to smell like cooked eggs, but was still not thick! Once again, is there any indication of how long approximately this should take in the blender?

I'd like to try again tonight - any suggestions?

Its split. You've made vinagrette (water-in-oil, not oil-in-water). If you leave it your thin mayo will seperate into oil and water phases.

Don't chill it. Cold is the enemy of real mayo. Use everything at room temperature.

When its warm whisk it DROP BY DROP into a fresh egg yolk. I find a spoon easier then a whisk.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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I attempted and failed to make my first mayo last evening. It never thickened :blink: I used a chilled bowl, chilled egg yolk, and my whisk. Is there some measure of time that I can use to know if I have whisked the egg yolk long enough? It looked creamy to me, as the recipe said it should. I added other things as per instructions, and whisked 'til I dropped. Then I put the whole thin batch into my blender and blended it, until it started to smell like cooked eggs, but was still not thick! Once again, is there any indication of how long approximately this should take in the blender?

I'd like to try again tonight - any suggestions?

Did your chilled bowl have condensation in it?

Putting the whole concoction into the blender would not revive it, I'm afraid, as it's important to pour the oil in a thin stream into the egg yolk. That's when the magic happens.

Blender time:

Whisk one entire egg in a small bowl until frothy then let settle. Measure 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg into a stand blender. Add the egg yolk and whip for 5 seconds (if using a food processor, whip the eggs for 15 seconds).

Add the lemon juice and saffron, and blend at a low speed for 2 minutes. Remove the center cap of the blender lid. Through the small opening, slowly pour in 3/4 cup of olive oil in a thin stream while blending on low. When the mixture reaches a thick, creamy consistency, taste and add more lemon juice if desired.

Depending on the power of your blender (mine is an Cuisinart blender/processor) the final blending time will vary. But it shouldn't be a stressful enterprise. Pour the oil in through the lid opening in a stream slightly thinner than a pencil, and blend on the lowest setting. The mayonnaise will become silky and viscous.

_____________________

Mary Baker

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"Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

Garlic cloves, peeled, about 8 fat cloves

Alex

I dislike to quote myself, but nobody has addressed this question yet. From my experience making aioli, you want less garlic than 8 cloves for that amount of oil and eggs, unless the garlic has been roasted first.

Alex

You may use less if you like. It depends on how fresh and how strong the garlic you have.

Very fresh and sweet garlic - use more. If the garlic is strong - use less.

I like it this way and have made a lot of it and have not had any complaints.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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