France and Spain both claim to have invented Mayonnaise.
While it is debatable that a Spaniard from the city of Mahon came up with the idea of emulsifying egg yolks and oil, French is the merit to have turned this ingenious sauce into a worldwide success.
History apart, the real Mayonnaise is made only with egg yolks (and not with the whites and the yolks together, like someone may erroneously believe!) and the procedure is always the same, since more than 300 years.
Here’s the Authentic Recipe for Mayonnaise:
2 fresh egg yolks at room temperature, free-range are the best
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
250 ml of vegetable oil (8.45 US fl oz or 8.8 UK fl oz)
a pinch of salt
black pepper to taste
Now, the original procedure for making Mayonnaise did not involve using any stand mixers nor hand blenders, due to the obvious fact that electricity was not yet available.
However, for those that don’t want to struggle with a balloon whisk or prefer not to overload their muscles, we encourage to pick the best device technology has to offer.
We will give detailed instructions for the manual preparation and hints on how to do it with a stand mixer or a blender.
Place a big bowl on a kitchen towel. Put the egg yolks, vinegar, a pinch of salt, some pepper, a tablespoon of mustard and mix them together with a wide balloon whisk.
Once the mixture is smooth, keep on whisking and start adding the oil in a very fine stream, almost by drops at first. Adding the oil too quickly or whisking too blandly will prevent the two liquids from combining together.
Rapid whisking will disperse the oil in the mixture and slowly create an emulsion with the water mostly present in the vinegar. The lecithin in the yolks and the mustard will act as fat emulsifiers.
When the sauce becomes whiter and begins to thicken, you may increase the stream of oil.
This step might take as little as 2 to 5 minutes.
As soon as the consistency of your emulsion resembles that of Mayonnaise, you can add the remaining oil in a thicker stream, always whisking energetically.
You will know that the Mayonnaise is done when the texture of your sauce will become compact, and this will usually happen when you are about to pour the last drops of oil.
The differences between the manual procedure and the one done in a blender, or a stand mixer, are very little.
With the blender, you need to use the balloon whisk attachment and first mix the egg yolks with all the ingredients, apart from the oil.
Then, gradually increase the speed of the blender and start adding the oil, little by little. The rest of STEP 3 is the same.
With the stand mixer, the procedure is identical to the above.
Attach the wire whip or balloon whisk accessory and pour all the ingredients in the bowl, save for the oil.
Your hands are free and you can control your emulsion better than with a blender, especially if you are on your own.
Start with the lowest speed, blend the ingredients into a mixture, then increase the speed and start adding the oil.
High speed is crucial to incorporate the oil in the mixture and create the emulsion.
Equal for all the procedures: take a spoon, dip in the Mayonnaise and taste your sauce. In case it needs more flavour, you can always add salt, pepper, even lemon juice.
Your final Mayonnaise should taste great, appear glossy and feel rather firm to the touch.
Place it in a clean jar or a bowl, cover and place in the fridge.
It can stay there for up to 1 week.
Buen Provecho & Bon Appétit!