The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

The mayonnaise obsession

homemade mayonaisseIt started last year. I sampled some homemade mayo at a client’s house. I was making a chicken salad lunch for a golf widower. Their homemade mayo was stunning. Light, tasty and sublime. He liked it too.

The next week it was the same menu with a pivotal difference.
“It will have to be the bottled stuff, Fiona. It’s in the door of the fridge.”
I discovered that it was Hellmann’s, full fat. I could tell from his plate he wasn’t so keen on this one.

Since then the thought of that first homemade mayo has stayed fresh. Flickering on the edges. Jumping up when I reach for the Hellmann’s. Suddenly it had shimmied enough. I just had to try and make my own.

My post on Hellmann’s was my first dip into the mayonnaise sea. I knew that these are the sort of waters that can’t guarantee soft breezes. The comments in response fired my enthusiasm and last night I just had to try making mayo for the first time. Boston Baked Beans were on the menu and coleslaw was the perfect companion Our jar of mayo had been licked clean a week ago. It had to be the Magimix route as time was limited.

“All I’ve got to do is make the mayo. I’ll be ready in five minutes.”

An hour later we had mayo. A sturdy, almost sliceable version. For the first 45 minutes I had produced only a thin yellow soup. I was delighted to have transformed this into something that could be marketed as a substitute for hardcore on a building site. But the Tulip Fairy who writes Tulip’s Kitchen gave me enough pointers to change it into double the quantity of great homemade mayonnaise.

What went wrong?

Laziness and an unfamiliarity with the three main rules of mayonnaise making:

  1. All ingredients need to be at room temperature
  2. Equipment needs to be at room temperature (as Mary Contini reports in Dear Francesca “Warm the bowl a little too; the eggs want to feel comfortable.”)
  3. The cook needs to be calm as the eggs need to be beaten until they have thickened sufficiently. In the Magimix this was testing. If you are going to use muscle power only Olympic shot putters need apply.

Thank goodness for the Tulip Fairy. She was the first to leave a comment on my Hellmann’s post – having made mayonnaise soup and transformed it into edible, delicious mayonnaise! With a click I was rereading her post and could understand her dilemma and joy of transforming the soup into pukka mayonnaise.

In seconds Magimix was washed, dried and ready for action. I used 2 egg yolks with a pinch of mustard and a little garlic and let M beat them for a good five minutes before adding a steady drizzle of the mayonnaise soup.

I could tell from the slapping, slurping sound that it had worked! It was a bit thick and eggy so I added (very s-l-o-w-l-y) 4 tablespoons of groundnut oil and a dessertspoonful of chilli sherry. Perfect spicy mayo. Tulip Fairy you are a star.

The Magimix recipe

2 egg yolks
1.5 tblsp of strong mustard (I used English mustard powder)
300ml of light tasting oil (I used groundnut)
2 tblsp of white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


Put egg yolks, mustard and a tblsp of oil into the mini bowl. Blend for 20 secs (!) and then slowly drizzle in half the remaining oil as the mixture thickens (I couldn’t see if the mixture had thickened so went ahead anyway). After a few minutes I added the rest of the oil. The instructions read
“Just before the end add the vinegar.”
Magimix had been pounding away for ages so I poured it in.

The Tulip Fairy Cure is here

My mayo was on the table again tonight to accompany steak and chips.
“It’s better than Hellmann’s. It’s spicy and thicker but it’s good.”
Danny knows exactly how to encourage me to dip in again!

Please keep on posting your ideas and recipes. Over the next few weeks I hope to try them all.

  Leave a reply


  1. chris

    Well, how easy was that !! I probably OD’d a bit on the mustard, but if it was 15 minutes work I would be surprised. I added a little garlic to mine and I am tempted next time to drop that and maybe add blue cheese, but whatever, Hellmans have lost a customer. Great, many thanks…

  2. chris

    Hi ladies, I am just making a shopping list and have run out of Hellmans and the thought came to me, can I make it ? Tulip, love the video on YouTube, what a help that is for a man with 2 left hands !! So, the only thing I don’t have is ground nut oil, which I never use normally, so have added that to my list. I have taken an egg out of the fridge to get to room temperature and I shall return, as General McArthur once said, but I shall return from Tesco !!

  3. Tulip-Fairy

    Hi Fiona,

    Can’t believe you’ve resorted to buying it again… its so much nicer when its homemade. I have just added my own video of me making it, very simple and only 300mls which is just enough to keep my family of 6 going for a couple of days. Check it out and let me know if you or your readers try making it. To ring the changes you can make wonderful flavoured mayo’s with this basic recipe, add a clove of garlic, some fresh herbs or use wholegrain mustard which is fantastic with cold meats!

    To the video:

    For the recipe:

    Best wishes
    Tulip x

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Tulip-Fairy

    I was very enthusiastic and then gradually petered out but having seen your video I’m raring to go. We eat a lot of mayo and I hadn’t thought of making just a small pot- duugh!

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