Start with two eggs and end up with icecream and mayonnaise!

Okay, so what does that mean, exactly? What on earth do icecream and mayonnaise have in common? It’s simple: they both(or at least the home-made variety) start with an egg, or two, in this case, as I was making a decent amount of both icecream and mayonnaise.

Simply put, the icecream starts with two egg whites; the mayonnaise with two egg yolks. And you can make them at the same time–or, rather, one immediately after the other. Both recipes are ultra-simple: they’re my own invention(especially in the case of the icecream–haven’t really seen any other recipes quite like it) but can be easily reproduced by anyone.

So let’s start! Assemble your ingredients: two eggs, which are of course common to both recipes: best for them not to be too cold (cold interferes especially with the successful thickening of the mayonnaise), so if they are in the fridge, take them out at least half an hour beforehand. Then for the icecream, you’ll need pure full cream(NOT thickened or light cream); castor sugar; and flavourings as desired(see recipe below). For the mayonnaise, you’ll need sunflower oil, a very small amount of vinegar(say a quarter-half teaspoon), salt and pepper. You will also need bowls for the icecream and the mayonnaise(in the case of the icecream, you need two bowls, one for the egg white mix, one for the cream, and if you want to make different flavours like I did this time, you’ll need more than that, to separate them out.

Now separate the eggs, putting the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. I then made the icecream first but that’s not a rule or anything, you can do whichever first.

Icecream recipe (I call it my ‘snowball icecream’)

Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form, then add three tablespoons of castor sugar (one after the other, beating in between), beating the mix till it goes glossy, like meringue mix. Set aside and whip 300 ml of pure cream with one tablespoon castor sugar till glossy and thick. Blend the two mixes together, and that’s your base. Then flavour it with whatever you like: vanilla, melted chocolate, coffee, jam…The thing to remember is you must not mix in anything that is watery or juicy. So if you want a fruit flavour, for example, you use jam–strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, cherry are all especially delicious–not fresh fruit. The reason for that is that anything watery or juicy tends to form ice crystals: this icecream recipe makes particularly wonderful creamy soft-textured icecream which does not need any extra beating after freezing or special equipment, as long as you remember not to add those watery/juicy things. Below you can see the ones I made the other day: vanilla-flavoured(made with vanilla-bean-flavoured castor sugar, but you can also use vanilla essence); chocolate(dark chocolate melted with a tiny bit of cream) and strawberry(using our home-made jam made from divinely tasty Alpine strawberries).

This was to make a kind of home-made Neapolitan icecream. Okay, so then you put your icecream into a suitable container–if you’re making more than one flavour, you simply layer the flavours in the container) and stick it in the freezer. It will be ready in several hours: you can either make it in the morning to eat at night, or better still, make it in the evening to have for the next day. And that’s it! Like I said, no extra beating required, no special equipment of any sort(in fact I just use a hand beater to make the mix and that’s it) and the texture and taste is always wonderful. And it always works.

Mayonnaise recipe

Use a hand whisk for this one, it gives the best results. And by the way I use sunflower oil as experimenting has shown that gives the best classic subtle flavour: olive oil, which I normally use in sauces, is too strong, and other oils don’t seem to have the same subtlety as sunflower, in my experience, though canola is okay, and grapeseed oil as well. Add a tiny bit of vinegar to your egg yolks, stir in gently, then take your bottle of sunflower oil and slowly let in a trickle of oil into the yolks, beating as you go, then another trickle, whisking still, making sure that the egg is thickening up with the oil, and keeping that trickle going for quite a while so you get a good lot of lovely thick smooth mayonnaise. It shouldn’t be too ‘eggy’ in taste or too oily; taste it at various moments to check. Then add salt and pepper and any other flavourings you like: I’ve added piment d’Espelette to mine this time, but you can use herbs such as tarragon or thyme, or roasted garlic, whatever you fancy. Put in the fridge to cool–can be used within just a couple of hours. It will keep in the fridge, in a covered container, for around 3 days.

So now you can see how you can start with two eggs and end up with icecream and mayonnaise. Hope you enjoy creating your own!