Little A, a lover of animals, asked for a penguin cake this year. We're pretty simple folk, so I don't buy cakes. I make them. But I'm also not a cake decorator, so the penguin was a challenge for me.
James and I keep a lot from our kids. Mainly sugary food that has permeated almost every aspect of society (holidays, family get-togethers, birthday celebrations, etc). I get tired of telling them no. But when Big C transforms into a werewolf after a couple days of sugar, I remember why I limit it so much.
Since I feel like I'm always keeping sugary treats away from them, I make a special effort to at least give them the birthday cake they want. Big C always picks a butterfly, which is easy. Little A has done ladybugs in the past -- also easy. But penguins? Oh my . . .
Let me first say the cake itself was dry. I tried making a new recipe with more arrowroot powder, but it wasn't that great. That said, my kids didn't care one bit because it had been 4 months since they had cake last. When you only get cake a couple of times a year, even the dry stuff tastes good.
I started out making a frosting that was a hybrid of two recipes. Disaster. It wouldn't set up stiff enough, so I froze it -- I thought it'd taste good on cinnamon rolls or something. I couldn't bare to throw away all of that syrup, palm shortening and coconut milk.
So I went back to square one and made the frosting out of the Paleo Indulgences book. I like it because it's creamy and stiff and it doesn't taste like coconut.
My attempt to make a natural black food coloring flopped, too. So then I tried to make purple. That didn't work either. I broke down and did chocolate frosting which Little A told me she absolutely did not want. But once Little A saw the cake, she didn't care one bit. She was just happy to have a bite.
I wish this story was a fancy segue, but cakes and frosting and penguins have absolutely nothing to do with the recipe today: Paleo Mayo. But I didn't have much else to write about.
If you've ever made homemade mayonnaise, you know that it can be a little tricky. The oil must be poured in slowly or else the emulsion breaks and you end up with mayonnaise soup -- not good. I've done that so many times that I pretty much gave up making mayo. James makes a good batch, though, so I left the job to him.
But recently, I gave it another try out of desperation. James was too busy to make it, and I was dying for thousand island dressing and tuna salad. Surprisingly, I did it! But we're out again and I'm going to have James do it again... must be a fear of failure.
We make mayonnaise at home because most of the mayo out there is made out of substandard vegetable oils (i.e. canola). There's probably an olive oil-based mayo out there to buy, but that sounds expensive. I'm pretty sure it's cheaper to just do it yourself.
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 T. white wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil (NOT extra virgin unless you like super bitter mayonnaise)
1. Place egg yolks and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice. Then in a small bowl, combine lemon juice and vinegar. Pour half into the food processor.
2. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil in. The trick is to go slowly -- pour the oil in so that only a small stream is running in. After a couple of tablespoons have been poured in, the mixture will have started to whip up into something that resembles mayonnaise. Scrape the sides and bottom of the food processor if the egg yolk is sticking.
3. When half of the olive oil has been poured in (takes a few minutes at such a slow drizzle), pour in the remaining lemon juice/vinegar mixture. Then continue slowly drizzling in the remaining olive oil. Be sure not to rush it even when you get to the end.
4. Spoon your mayonnaise into a glass jar and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or two. This allows the acid to kill any bacteria. Then refrigerate for up to a week.
Try adding herbs for more deliciousness!
*Mayo can also be made by hand with a large glass bowl, a whisk and a lot of elbow grease. Your choice.