Friday, 28 June 2013

The Miracle of Mayonnaise

I have to be honest, I've not really spent a lot of time worrying about Mayonnaise in my life. I make it sometimes, I buy it sometimes, sometimes I buy it and pimp it up - it's really just whatever suits that day. A few weeks ago I made some which split and went wrong, no idea why and no idea what I should've done. I binned it and used shop bought. However Fanny's next Golden Thread for me to master is mayonnaise that will NOT curdle, and some handy hints to restore any mayonnaise that has not been made the Fanny way (as if I'd dare).

The ingredients seem familiar, except the addition of white pepper, but the amounts seem 'scant' (I am picking up various new bits of cooking vocabulary thanks to Fanny!). She tells me to use a scant egg spoon of white pepper. I'm guessing that's smaller than a teaspoon, so mix it in with my egg yolks and salt.

Feeling that Fanny is watching over my shoulder I whip it up for much longer than I would normally, until it looks as Fanny describes - no picture story this time - thick, pale and fluffy. Still whipping away, I drizzle in the olive oil slowly. It looks really thick and very yellow, much more so than ever before. Fanny loves her garish colours so this must be right!

Fanny suggests various variations for different flavours and types of mayonnaise so I pause here to consider these. Always keen to teach me French, Fanny warns me that vinegar (vins and aigre - wine and sour) may be too sour if I am 'going grand' and serving my mayonnaise with fine wine at a special dinner. I have certainly never considered 'going grand' in this way, and never I don't think considered serving mayonnaise at any dinner party, or with fine wine. Fanny tells me to replace the vinegar with grape juice if I do... So just to try I divide this basic mixture in two, add vinegar to one and grape juice to the other. Mix as instructed and add a smattering of flavours as suggested which raise the 'basic' mayonnaise to something more 'high flown' according to Fanny.

This is feeling like an experiment back in my science class now.

So Fanny has guided me through a maze of mayonnaise hints, tips and recipe ideas... And the results look good. They are more sturdy and more vibrant than those I have made before, but really was I expecting anything else? Fanny says if I find it indigestible I could transform it into Spanish Mayonnaise by whipping in a beaten egg white or thin it down a little with cream... But I think I'll just dive in a see what it's like... Completely forgetting that I'd need to eat it with something though, I quickly knock up some baked Avocado Chips (that I'd seen in a blog this week, yum) and Breaded Mushrooms. Success! It tastes great, and is so different to usual in texture - really light and smooth despite being thick. Really digestible. And not a curdle in sight. Sadly, no fine wine though...

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