I was sitting at the back of the 205 bus the other day when I came up with the idea of making my own aioli using duck eggs instead of hen’s eggs for a richer result, perhaps with some saffron and lots of finely chopped tarragon. This all seemed fairly straightforward and like a good idea at the time.
All I can say is NEVER AGAIN.
I don’t own an electric whisk and my food processor is broken so I decided to use my trusty old hand whisk. I crushed a fat clove of garlic with some salt and added the egg yolks. It all started fairly promisingly, things were looking wobbly and pale and altogether pretty perfect. Then foolishly, I added what must have been two drops of oil instead of one and it was game over.
The wobbly became more like a grey, grainy cream that refused to transmogrify back into mayonnaise no matter how much I coaxed it. However, being a stubborn one I persisted, determined to whip everything back into shape. I proceeded to spend the next four hours whisking like a proper loser. That’s four hours of my life I will never get back.
Eventually, after my right arm had gone completely numb and I realised I was muttering and swearing at the bowl under my breath I decided, reluctantly to admit defeat.
I thought about it a lot the next day. It really preyed on my mind. Determined not to be beaten I tried again, and again started off well, this time the wobbly phase was substantially prolonged. However, heady with success I got cocky with the oil again and once again ended up with a curdled grainy mess. At this point I had actually developed blisters on my hands so conceded that in the long run, perhaps mayo failure was better than losing the use of my right hand.
Gutted, I stirred in half a bottle of Hellman’s a pinch of saffron and chopped tarragon. And even then it was still pretty horrible and far too rich. Sometimes the supermarkets really do know best.