Garlic mayo, otherwise known as aioli, is simply made with egg yolks, garlic and olive oil. Here a splash of vinegar is also added at the end to stop the sauce tasting too oily. The garlic is cooked lightly at the beginning so it gives a softer flavour than the traditional recipe

        Makes enough to serve 8

        250ml olive oil

        2 garlic cloves, thickly sliced

        3 large egg yolks

        2–3 tsp sherry vinegar

        Sea salt

1      Put 1 tablespoon of the oil into a small frying pan and heat gently. Stir in the garlic cloves and cook for about 30 seconds – just until they’ve softened and are about to turn golden. If they cook for any longer the cut sides will go crispy and they’ll be harder to mash into the oil. Take the pan off the heat and mash the garlic into the oil.

2      Put the egg yolks into a medium bowl and whisk a little – use a balloon whisk if you dare (though there’s no doubt about it – your arm will start to ache halfway through and you may be calling for help) or go straight for the electric hand whisk (much easier!). Add a drop of the olive oil and whisk in.

3      Continue, adding a little more oil each time and whisking between each drizzle, until the mixture starts to thicken and emulsify. At this stage, about halfway, you should be able to add the oil in a more or less constant stream while whisking. If it looks as though the mixture is about to split, stop adding the oil and whisk vigorously on the highest speed, which should keep the mixture together (see note below).

4      Once all the oil has been added, whisk in the mashed garlic and 1–2 teaspoons of the sherry vinegar (or to taste) and season with salt. This will keep in a clean jar stored in the fridge for up to four days. Once chilled it’s more like a spread and is also great on a toasted sandwich.


If you fancy using extra virgin olive oil here, the colour of the aioli will be much darker, with a green tinge. It will have a stronger olive oil flavour, too, so experiment with the quantity of vinegar you add as it will soften the taste. For a lighter flavour and colour, use half each of light olive oil and sunflower oil.

If the aioli does split, first whisk in 1–2 teaspoons boiling water to stabilise the mixture. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to start again with another egg yolk. Put it into a separate clean bowl, whisk to break it down, then add the split mixture, a spoonful at a time, and whisk in until all of it has been added. Finish off the recipe as in step 4.


As this recipe only uses the yolks, rather than waste the whites you can use them for the Golden Pavlova, or they freeze well, as do yolks. Store the egg white in a clean grease-free pot (if there’s a speck of oiliness in the pot the whites won’t whisk to their full volume), seal, label and freeze for up to one month. If you’re freezing yolks, whisk lightly in a small sealable pot and sprinkle with a pinch of salt first, then seal, label and again freeze for up to one month.


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