Delia's Homemade Mayonnaise


2 large egg yolks
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 heaped teaspoon powdered mustard
1 level teaspoon salt
Freshly milled black pepper
150ml groundnut oil
125ml extra virgin olive oil
1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar

Equipment:  You will also need an electric hand whisk and a small pudding basin 


First of all, put the egg yolks into the basin, add the crushed garlic, salt, freshly milled black pepper and the mustard powder. Mix all of these together well with the whisk, then, holding the groundnut oil in a jug in one hand and an electric hand whisk in the other, add 1 drop of oil to the egg mixture and whisk this in.

However stupid it may sound, the key to a successful mayonnaise is making sure each drop of oil is thoroughly whisked in before adding the next drop. It won't take all day, because after a few minutes – once you've added about half of the groundnut oil – the mixture will begin to thicken and go very stiff and lumpy. When it gets to this stage you need to add a dessertspoon of vinegar, which will loosen the mixture. Now you can add the remaining groundnut oil in larger drops.

Now the critical point has passed, you can then begin pouring the olive oil in a very, very thin but steady stream, keeping the beaters going all the time. When all the oil has been added, taste and add more salt and pepper and vinegar if it needs it. If you'd like the mayonnaise to be a bit lighter, at this stage add 1 tablespoon of boiled water and whisk it in.

Mayonnaise only curdles when you add the oil too quickly at the beginning. If that happens, don't despair. All you need to do is put a fresh egg yolk into a clean basin, add the curdled mixture to it (drop by drop), then continue adding the rest of the oil as though nothing had happened.

The mayonnaise can be stored in a screw-top jar in the bottom of the fridge, but for no longer than a week.

Note: this recipe contains raw eggs.


Recipe adapted from Delia’s Complete How to Cook published by
BBC Books 2009. © Delia Smith 2013
To watch this recipe video, click here
For more information about Delia's online cookery school go to www.deliaonline.com

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 15 minutes 15 minutes
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This recipe was first published in August 2013.