I looked through a whole load of recipes before pitching my ingredient quantities at a mid-point of those I was coming across, based on a relatively standard two-egg-yolk process. A variety of oils seem to be offered as suitable options, so I settled on sunflower oil as this is what I had in my larder. I have no idea which oil is considered best for making mayo, but a number of recipes suggested sunflower. Some indicated ground nut and others simply 'oil' or 'vegetable oil'.
The process was more simple than I expected. One of the things that has put me off making mayo previously was that I had heard it was really tricky. Whisking the oil very gradually, little by little into the egg yolks seems to be the key. I have no idea whether I have 'got it right', but it tastes like mayonnaise and is smooth and creamy.
The added extra - the Harissa - makes a huge difference to the experience of eating it. It is not over-hot at all, but the smokey chilli specks which are dotted throughout, give a warm tingle at the back of the throat when you eat it.
If I am really honest, the effort required to make it is perhaps a little excessive. I love the flavour the Harissa adds and it certainly works fantastically alongside the neutral creaminess of the mayonnaise. But I do wonder whether I would get the same result if I just stirred some Harissa into a bowl of good quality shop-bought mayo. Maybe next time I will give it a go!
2 large egg yolks (room temperature)
230 ml sunflower oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
¾ teaspoon white wine vinegar
pinch fine sea salt
1¼ teaspoons Harissa paste (or slightly less/more to taste)
- Put the egg yolks (which must have been brought to room temperature) in a bowl with the lemon juice, vinegars and salt and beat thoroughly.
- Add the oil a tiny amount (no more than a tablespoon) at a time and gradually beat to combine until the mayo has thickened.
- Finally add the Harissa paste (to taste) and beat through.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container and eat within a week.
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