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Small victory - made first mayonnaise

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Small victory - made first mayonnaise

Okay, not a big thing in the scheme of things - but it was pretty cool doing it by hand and seeing it come together for the first time.

post #2 of 14
Very good !

Next try a Hollandaise as it is basicaly the same procedure only dealing in different temperatures. and ratios.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ed - and yes Hollandaise is a great suggestion, definitely. :cool:
post #4 of 14

Made Mayonnaise

Next, try Caesar Salad Dressing. It's an emulsification like mayonnaise.
Episode #154 of my video cooking series, "Cooking Coarse" covers emulsification in Caesar Salad Dressing. Search YouTube for ChefToddMohr and Caesar Dressing for a great video on emulsification in mayonnaise and salad dressings.

Chef Todd Mohr
The Cooking School at Savor Hospitality
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi ChefToddMohr :)

Not really my place, but as I'm here and it was your first post, I'd like to welcome you to the forum.

As to the Caesar Salad Dressing thanks for the idea, it certainly sounds like a can do project that I should be following up.:lips:
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Question re. Hollandaise Sauce

Is using clarified butter when making Hollandaise simply desirable, or is it crucial to the quality of the finished product ?

post #7 of 14
I have seen it done with clarified butter as well as raw butter whisked in piece by piece.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Cheers foleyisgood. I've seen recipes that meet either option. I was wondering not so much if it can be done either way, as to the impact on the quality of the finished product.

I was wondering if beyond any potential health benefit, the finished result was felt to be noticeably lighter and improved.

As a chef making Hollandaise at home, would you always choose to spend that little extra time preparing the clarified butter?
post #9 of 14
It depends somewhat on which method you're using to make the sauce. I also find softened whole butter a bit trickier to work with in turning a sabayon into a hollandaise, bearnaise, or the like, because the emulsion is less stable.

Beyond that, clarifying butter separates butter into three components: a foam you skim and remove, clear butterfat, and waxy milk solids. Adding the milk solids will thin the sauce, where adding the fat will thicken it. I have found it easiest to add butterfat, and if the sauce gets too thick whisk in a little milk solids to thin it a tad.

There are three basic methods for making a Hollandaise-type sauce: blender, bowl over hot water, sloped pan over direct heat.

Blender: foolproof, lots of cleanup, somewhat unrefined sauce with minimal possible variation. I believe Julia Child is credited with inventing this method.

Slope-sided pan over direct heat: slightly tricky, very quick, no mess, immense variation possible to match your whims. If you want to learn, learn this way.

Bowl over hot water: tricky, rather slow, some mess, some variation possible, pain in the rump. I have no idea why anyone ever uses this method.

To learn the blender method, read Julia Child. I believe most of her cookbooks have this in them somewhere.

To learn the pan method, read James Peterson, Sauces.

Don't learn the bowl method.

The quick-and-dirty of the pan method:

Put 1 Tb cold water per egg yolk in a slope-sided or curved pan. Your first time out, I suggest that you use 3 egg yolks (and thus 3 Tb cold water). Clarify 2-3 sticks of butter: melt gently over medium heat, remove from heat and skim all floating foam, ladle clear butterfat into a warm bowl leaving the milk solids behind. Have on hand 1/4 lemon, salt, cayenne (optional), and white pepper (optional). Get a good whisk.

Whisk the yolks and water fast for about 30 seconds until foamy. Place pan over medium heat and whisk steadily for about a minute. Around that time, give or take, the mixture will quite suddenly turn very pale, roughly double in volume, and thicken to the point that you can see the bottom of the pan clearly between whisk strokes. Now whisk fast for twenty seconds -- I count under my breath, personally -- during which time the yolks will come up significantly over 160 F, killing any salmonella. Remove from heat and whisk rapidly for another 20 seconds, so it won't cook any more when you stop whisking. (You have now made a classic sabayon.)

Now beat in the clarified butter exactly the way you did with your mayonnaise. There's no need to be super-slow and careful about it: the emulsion is quite stable, and you're adding pure fat, so it will not break especially readily. As the emulsion builds, i.e. as you add more fat, you can add it more and more rapidly if you choose. Ideally, you want to add it a bit on the quick side, because that way you don't lose all the air, but this is a minor refinement, not something to worry about the first time out.

Once the sauce is as thick as you'd like it to be, squeeze in much less lemon than you'd think, add a pinch of salt, and if you wish add a small dash of cayenne and/or white pepper. Stir to mix, then taste. The lemon flavor should not be strong, just a citrus accent to the clean, buttery taste. The pepper(s) are just there to help the flavor get past the richness, and should not be identifiable on their own.

Congratulations: you have now made sauce Hollandaise.

Last note. The underlined bit above is the most important part. Once you see it happen, you'll know: it's remarkable. Every time I've seen someone screw up making the sauce this way, one of two things has happened: either the person hasn't really whisked steadily, taking little breaks and stuff here and there, resulting in scrambled eggs; or the person has been so worried about scrambling the eggs that the sauce has been pulled off the heat before it had thickened. The latter problem seems to be very common, and is serious, because (a) the sauce doesn't ever thicken properly, (b) the emulsion is unstable, so the sauce is liable to break, and (c) you never really cook the eggs, which worries a lot of people with some justification. Just trust your eye: if the sauce is very pale and quite thick all of a sudden, start whisking faster for another 20 seconds and then pull it.

It's not hard to learn, and it's very satisfying when you do.
post #10 of 14
Ever wonder how much oil can go into mayonnaise? ;) Well I know... heh heh.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Chris - you're a star :cool:, the sauces book you mentioned by James Peterson is readily available, so I should have my hands on that next week. Thanks for the pointer. :)

As to methods, I prefer if I can to learn the hands on first, but not punish myself by refusing to learn useful short cuts in addition afterwards - so slope sided pan it will be - leastways as near as I can approximate.

Googling 1 stick of butter suggests it equals approx 4oz, hopefully that's approx what you had in mind.

Good to know... :D
post #12 of 14
One of the best cookbooks it has ever been my pleasure to read.
A non-reactive wok would do, or anything of the kind. You can do it in a skillet, too. The point is that you have to be able to get into the corners of the pan with your whisk, so you don't get bits curdling there.
Right: 16oz/pound, 4 sticks/pound, therefore 1 stick = 4 oz. About 20% of butter becomes foam or milk solids, so 1 stick becomes a hair more than 3 oz. clarified butter. Roughly speaking, you can get around 4 oz. fat into an egg yolk before it can't hold the emulsion together any more. Chances are, you won't want that much: the sauce will be too thick, more like Hellman's mayo than like a sauce. But you figure to have an extra stick of butter on hand, thus 3 yolks -> 4 sticks, just in case it's not thickening as much as you'd like.

Incidentally, once you get the hang of this process, bear in mind that the sabayon is a fantastically versatile thing. You can whisk any fat into it in the same way as clarified butter. You can whisk less in, for a thinner, lighter sauce. You can whisk in no fat at all, and have a light, airy sauce that tastes primarily of egg yolks; there are ways to build other flavors into this if you feel like fooling around.

And once you realize just how easy a sabayon is, a whole world of fooling around opens up. Why not try this, or this? If it doesn't work, it's no big deal -- just a couple egg yolks and a few minutes' work. So play!

(God I love technique...)
post #13 of 14
Emersion blender rocks when it comes to mayo......
I've been adding miso to aioli (garlic/lemon mayo) to top beets....oh man, great combo, who knew?
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #14 of 14
Once you make it once you will never touch the jar stuff.

I can't stand jarred mayo but love the home made stuff.
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