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Making Mayonnaise

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 September 2011 at 14:28
Now that we're out of the very nice Seidner's Mayonnaise that Dave sent to us, I thought I would try making my own. Naturally, I turned to my FOTW resource....
 
From Fime/Life's Foods of the world - The Cooking of Provincial France, 1968:

Quote Sauce Mayonnaise

To make about 2 cups:

3 egg yolks, at room temperature

1 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice or wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 and 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable or a combination of both

2 Tablespoons boiling water (optional)

 

Warm a large mixing bowl in hot water. Dry it quickly but thoroughly, and drop the egg yolks into it. With a wire whisk, rotary or electric beater, beat the yolks vigorously for about 2 minutes or until they thicken and cling to the whisk or beater. Add a teaspoon of the lemon juice or vinegar and the dry mustard, salt and pepper. Then beat in the oil, 1/2 teaspoon at a time; make sure each addition is absorbed before adding more. By the time 1/2 cup of the oil has been beaten in, the sauce should be like thick cream. Add the rest of the oil by teaspoonfuls, beating constantly. Taste and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper if necessary. To make the mayonnaise creamier and lessen the danger of separating, beat in the boiling water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep the mayonnaise in the refrigerator, tightly covered, until ready to use. For mayonnaise aux fines herbes, add two tablespoons finely chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon each of finely cut fresh chives and fresh tarragon.

 
I'll be trying this sometime on this holiday weekend - wish me luck!
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 September 2011 at 22:20
my luck wasn't so good today. i thought i followed all directions but something went wrong. i ended up with something that tasted wonderful but was way too thin/runny, rather than "gloopy" like mayonnaise. the flavours, however, were absolutely spot on!

i think that the stand mixer i used didn't do the job very well, but am not sure. will use a wand blender the next time.

more to come!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 September 2011 at 07:34
Could you use it for a salad dressing?
(And it does says "Sauce Mayonnaise." Maybe it's supposed to be liquid?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 September 2011 at 11:22
i think it can still be a salad dressing - overnight i see that the components separated but the can be shaken back together!

as for the sauce, judging by similar recipes i've seen, it's definitely supposed to be thick and emulsified. i think i simply executed it badly. lesson learned!

a friend recommended this link, which includes some preparation notes:

http://ruhlman.com/2008/05/yolk-lemon-juic/

the recipe in the link is proportionally similar to the one in my opening post, so either recipe should work, if prepared correctly
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 September 2011 at 04:22
Ron....here is the blender recipe I use ....it comes out great.
Don't be afraid to add a bit of cayenne if you want to.

Mayonnaise

   2 egg yolks, room temperature
   2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
   1 tablespoon prepared mustard
   1 pinch salt
   1 cup extra virgin olive oil


Blend the egg yolks, lemon juice & mustard on hi-speed until well mixed.
Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while running the blender on medium speed.
Salt to taste & give it a quick whirl to incorporate.
Voila – mayonnaise!
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 October 2011 at 20:12
I will have to seriously consider going that route, dave, because i'm definitely doing something wrong. this attempt turned out better, but there were still a lot of problems and the end result was not right. one thing i learned was that it is critical for all components to be room temperature. i was able to do that this time, and this kept the project from being a complete disaster. things seemed to go well until about halfway through, but by the end, the oil wasn't incorporating into the mayonnaise. it did end up separating again, but this time it seems like the top "half" might be usable, although i must stress that even that isn't like mayonnaise in texture/viscosity.

i suspect that the egg yolks i am using might not be "big" enough, or that the recipe might call for too much oil, but i am not sure. i tried adding another two egg yolks after thinking of this, but it seems to have done no good. the only other factor i can think of is that i am using all olive oil for this, but as far as i know, that is not a problem.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 October 2011 at 20:30
Could a tiny bit of egg white have gotten in?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 October 2011 at 20:38
hi, melissa -
 
i have been pretty careful to separate the yolks from the whites as thoroughly as possible, but it is possible thst i'm leaving a little behind. i don't see any frothingor anything, so i think it's ok, but this is new territory for me, so i'm not sure. Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 October 2011 at 21:11
I've never tried it, so that was the only thing I could think of. Would the temperature of the bowl matter?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2011 at 12:03
Melissa, you might be on to something ~ my first "real" job was at the Hotel St. Cloud in Cañon City, Colorado. I worked in the kitchen there, and we made home-made hollandaise sauce. I only made it a couple of times, but one thing i defintiely remember was that it had to be made while whisking over another large bowl filled with boiling water, to keep the bowl heated. perhaps it is the same here.
 
One thing about this last attempt, it did seem to go fairly well, up to a point where the oil stopped getting assimilated into emulsion. too much oil (or too much olive oil?) or somethng with the egg yolks might be the cause, or perhaps temperature could be as well, since things are rather chilly up here these days.  To be honest, I don't know. The other wrinkle is that I never did get the "gloppy" texture that is associated with mayonnaise. I expected it to be much more yellow, due to the olive oil, but the texture, as far as I know, should be very close to store-bought, I would think. This stuff that i get is more like a thick, creamy sauce - maybe that is the way it is supposed to be?
 
It sure tasted good, though ~ 
 
The next time I try it, I will see about using a different oil, larger egg yolks (or maybe one extra) and keeping the bowl heated....we'll see!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2011 at 11:09
Sounds like you're having a problem with the emulsification. While I've never tried making my own, it's on my list of things to make.

Might want to watch this video for some tips:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bKya9uMHYs

It gets good right about 7 minutes in, but the whole thing is good.

And here's part 2 if you want to watch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gtTWkyIu3A&feature=related

It definitely says that the fresher the eggs the better, so that may have something to do with it, too.




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Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2011 at 11:24
one good thing is that i do have access to eggs that are darn-near straight out of the chicken, so i'll make sure to get them nest time - also, rather than bottled lemon juice, i'll try fresh-squeezed and see if that helps.
 
as for the oil, i like the idea of using all olive oil, but it seems that hasn't been working, so maybe i'll try a hlaf-olive-oil blend. not sure what to use, for the other half, though. canola doesn't seem right. maybe grapeseed?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2011 at 11:53
Peanut oil! lol. Cool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2011 at 11:57
if it does the trick, it works for me ~ lol ~
 
the other thing i will do is bite the bullet and do it in the blender. i've tried a stand mixer, a wand blender, hand-held beaters and whisking by hand. there have been various problems with each of these, but i have learned a few things.
 
i will say this - each time, using the original recipe in my first psot - it's always tasted GREAT! it just hasn't been right in texture etc. ~ if i can figure it out and get it right, this will be some wonderful stuff!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2011 at 16:51
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:


as for the oil, i like the idea of using all olive oil
Actually, you only think you do.  Heavy or flavorful oils will result in a much different product than what you think of as mayonnaise from the jar -- a product that many people find overpowering and offensive.  A very light, flavorless oil like canola will result in something more familiar -- and wastes less money if your technique is insufficient to produce success.

I'd recommend that you start with cheap, light and flavorless oil, and only experiment with blending in more flavorful oils once your technique is solid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2011 at 16:55
hey, daikon - that sounds like good advice, especially since i am having so much trouble getting the technique down.
 
i originally considered canola oil, wasn't sure how it would work. it always seems to have an "off" smell to me but perhaps the other ingredients would over-ride that.
 
i  will give it a shot using straight olive oil first, then see if a blend or lighter olive oil might be in the works after that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2011 at 17:03
If you don't like canola, then just use some other cheap, light, fairly flavorless "vegetable oil" blend.  Mayonnaise is mostly about texture, and you should work on getting that right before you move on to experiment with different flavors.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2012 at 15:14
Alright, people, i haven't yet had the chance to make another attempt at this, but with spring approaching, i can see all sorts of opportunities. with that in mind, plus the fact that so many people seem to be able to make this with no problems, i wanted to post a few pix here and see if we can find out where i am going wrong.
 
in all cases, i've been usng the recipe from Fime/Life's Foods of the world - The Cooking of Provincial France, 1968:

Quote Sauce Mayonnaise

To make about 2 cups:

3 egg yolks, at room temperature

1 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice or wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 and 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable or a combination of both

2 Tablespoons boiling water (optional)

 

Warm a large mixing bowl in hot water. Dry it quickly but thoroughly, and drop the egg yolks into it. With a wire whisk, rotary or electric beater, beat the yolks vigorously for about 2 minutes or until they thicken and cling to the whisk or beater. Add a teaspoon of the lemon juice or vinegar and the dry mustard, salt and pepper. Then beat in the oil, 1/2 teaspoon at a time; make sure each addition is absorbed before adding more. By the time 1/2 cup of the oil has been beaten in, the sauce should be like thick cream. Add the rest of the oil by teaspoonfuls, beating constantly. Taste and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper if necessary. To make the mayonnaise creamier and lessen the danger of separating, beat in the boiling water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep the mayonnaise in the refrigerator, tightly covered, until ready to use. For mayonnaise aux fines herbes, add two tablespoons finely chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon each of finely cut fresh chives and fresh tarragon.

 
this recipe seems to be similar and in proportion to other recipes i have seen, so i don't think that the problem is with the recipe; if someone who has enjoyed success with mayonnaise before would like to try this recipe and offer thoughts, i would be grateful. please note that the step at the end with the boiling water is an optional step, or a stop-gap against separation. i tried it once, but it didn't seem to work, so i haven't tried it since.
 
also, please note - for this attempt, i am using a wire whisk, but i have also used a wand blender and a stand mixer, with pretty much the same negative results, so i am guessing that the problem lies somewhere else.
 
also, no one is allowed to laugh at my equipment! LOL yes, i know it is rather pitiful ~ lol
 
anyway, here we go ~
 
here are the goods:
 
 
here are the salt, pepper and ground mustard, ready to go:
 
 
somehow, the salt got a little lemon juice on it, but that's ok.
 
we heated and dried the heavy mixing bowl as per the recipe; next, we commenced with separating the egg yolks from the whites, using this handy little tool:
 
 
and now my big secret is out: the beautiful mrs. tas eats her cereal from a hello kitty bowl.
 
when separating the eggs, i noticed there was a little bit of goop sticking to the yolks:
 
 
but i can't imagine that this is too much of a problem.
 
previously, i had tried using a stand mixer and also a wand blender, but with both of those attempts, it seemed that the blades/beeters couldn't "reach" the yolks to get started well, so for this attempt, i tried this:
 
 
my "real" wire whisk was MIA, so i used this, which came from an old set of hand-held electric beeters; it was a little worse for wear, as you will see in other pictures, but works fine with other similar whisking projects, so i don't think this was a problem, either.
 
we gave it some very vigorous whisking, and seemed to be doing well, so we added the lemon juice, salt, pepper and mustard and continued to whisk:
 
 
maybe this time, we would succeed?
 
once the seasonings were well-blended into the yolks, i began adding oil, very slowly, according to the instructions, while #3 son billy whisked:
 
 
we traded off the whisking task periodically, so as to keep a good  rhythm with as little algging as possible.
 
from the picture above, it seemed that we got off to a pretty good start, but there came a point, when there was still probably half the oil left to add, that it started getting a little precarious:
 
 
however, we kept at it, and the problem seemed to take care of itself; here, as we added a few more drops of oil, it looked like this whole project might work this time:
 
 
but by the time we got to this point:
 
 
it was clear that we were going to end up with the same, soupy, runny mess that we had experienced before.
 
it had good colour, tasted very good and even stayed together for a while, but it wasn't long before the components separated, and we were pretty much at the same pont as we had been with the other two attempts.
 
for future attempts, i've resolved to use larger eggs, making sure they are as fresh as can be; i've also committed to using a different oil, rather than strict olive oil, as i had used before. i don't know if either of these two changes will make any difference. 
 
any other ideas?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2012 at 16:50
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

Alright, people, i haven't yet had the chance to make another attempt at this, but with spring approaching, i can see all sorts of opportunities. with that in mind, plus the fact that so many people seem to be able to make this with no problems, i wanted to post a few pix here and see if we can find out where i am going wrong.
 
in all cases, i've been usng the recipe from Fime/Life's Foods of the world
You F'd it up already!


Seriously though, you should probably simplify until you're sure of the basic technique: 1 large egg yolk into a clean, medium-size mixing bowl; whisk that yolk until it turns light yellow (and a poor quality whisk does make your life considerably more difficult throughout the process...); thoroughly whisk in a couple of drops of acid (either vinegar or lemon juice); whisk like mad while adding just one drop of oil; keep whisking way beyond the point where you think it could possibly be doing any good;  repeat the last two steps;  repeat them again;  repeat them again; arm hasn't fallen off yet?  Good.  Repeat again; seriously, you can keep going this way for as long as you like until you have eventually added a full cup of oil to that one egg yolk -- you can't screw things up by going too slow; you can screw things up by going too fast.  Once you've got 1/2 a cup of oil whisked into a stable emulsion, you can pretty safely start to go faster, but not too fast!  

What's too fast?  That is where experience comes into play.  Do this once a day, every day for a week, and you'll have it figured out just how fast you can go.  It will have cost you 7 eggs, 7 cups of oil, and a little bit of vinegar.  A pretty cheap lesson!  And your whisking technique has greatly improved.  And you've got an arm like Popeye.  And you've made a least some edible mayonnaise.

Once you've successfully completed your apprenticeship, you can start improving flavor with salt, pepper, dry mustard, different oils, different vinegars, herbs, using mixing machines, etc.  But there is no point in wasting money on the extras until you have got the basic technique mastered with just an egg yolk, a little vinegar, and a cup of cheap oil.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2012 at 17:44
Dry mustard? Why? Try using prepared mustard instead, which adds a bit of acid. And fresh lemon juice.
 
I'm just guessing but, in like with Daikon's comments, I believe you added the oil too quickly, for one thing, and haven't whisked the mixture enough, for another. Do not discount that last; even with a power tool it takes much longer than you think for the emulsification to take place. Whisking by hand can take two days longer than forever.
 
One thing that's definately not causing the problem is contamination by egg white. Mayo can be made with yolks only, with whole eggs, or with mixed yolks and whole eggs.
 
Although I've done it in the past, I no longer make mayo by hand. Arthritis won't allow it. Of all the power tools in the kitchen, the best for this job is a blender. A stand mixer with whip works only if you're making a lot of mayo. As you found out, the whip doesn't enter deeply enough into the ingredients with a standard recipe. A mini-food processor works well too.
 
I've seen dozens of mayo recipes, and they're all essentially the same. F'rinstance, my basic recipe is:
 
Have everthing at room temperature. BTW, eggs should always be at room temperature before you cook them in any recipe. It does make a difference.
 
Put into a blender container
 
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tbls French style mustard (any prepared mustard will do, in fact)
Grind of black pepper
Pinch of salt
Juice of one lemon
 
Turn on the blender and let it run ten-15 seconds to thoroughly combine ingredients. Then, with the machine still running, add 2 cups oil, a drop at a time. As others have noted, use a light, neutral oil until you get the technique down. Then you can play with other oils.
 
When all the oil has been added turn off the machine. Taste the mayo, and adjust the seasonings. Whirl it a few more seconds to thicken up and scrape into a non-reactive bowl.
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