Culinary Adventures, Our Growing Edge
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Make Aioli

our-growing-edge-badgeThis post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Marnelli from Sweets & Brains is the host for month’s event. If you have a blog and have cooked, eaten or experienced a new food this month, come and join this event

The science of cooking both frightens and fascinated me. I cook by taste, touch and feel. A bit of this, a bit of that and dinner magically appears. When science is involved, I have to throw intuition out the window and follow a recipe. It doesn’t sit well with me.

I’ve failed and conquered hollandaise sauce and decided to tackle item number 70 on my foodie bucket list: make aioli. Both hollandaise and aioli are emulsions which means they are a mixture of two or more liquids that normally do not mix. Egg yolk and a good beating quickly fixes this.

Some vigorous whisking is required for this recipe and requires your full attention for a short time. You could make use of a spare set of hands or take turns. I had fun with this as I had some energy to burn but maybe give this one a miss at the end of a long day or if you have a dozen other kitchen tasks to multi-task. Personally, I would start with the aioli and multi-task your other dishes only after this is done.

Aioli plays very nicely with potatoes, fish, vegetables and eggs.

This recipe is adapted from this Epicurious recipe.


Creamy Aioli

Makes about half a cup


  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper or mustard
  • Fresh lemon juice


  1. Add egg yolk, grated garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons water to a metal bowl and whisk to blend well.
  2. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil, a teaspoonful at a time, until sauce is thickened and emulsified. Whisking constantly, add olive oil a tiny, bit at a time until it is all whisked in. The aioli will be pale and thick.
  3. Stir in cayenne or mustard; add lemon juice (taste and add more if required), and more salt if you wish. Aioli will thicken on standing.
  4. Serve  or cover and refrigerate until required. Bring to room temperature prior to serving.

Tip: Set a tea towel inside a small saucepan and a small metal bowl inside of this. This will give you a good stable base and you even have a handle to hold onto for vigorous whisking. Alternatively, you could make this using a saucepan alone.

Verdict: The Koala and I both loved this aioli and I love how low tech this recipe is. Just a handful of ingredients and some elbow grease required.

Note for next time: I think next time I will combine this recipe with my roasted garlic recipe to make a milder, sweeter roasted garlic aioli.


  1. Janet Rörschåch says

    Genie–I am proud of you for conquering this. Well done. Keep in mind that emulsion sauces are all about the first 6 drops of oil. One drop at a time and fully incorporate before adding the next drop. This works by hand, emulsion blender, food processor or mixer.

    Now how about making a Portuguese milk mayonnaise?

  2. Pingback: Our Growing Edge, September 2013 Roundup | sweets and brains

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