Here's how to get the right consistency for aioli

When done right, aioli elevates a simple hamburger to a gourmet meal fit for Gordon Ramsay. When perfectly creamy, aioli turns your crab fish cakes into a concert of impeccably harmonized tastes and textures, a symphony in your mouth worthy of Mozart. When attempted and failed, however, aioli is a sad reminder of what might have been, a slop of runny, garlicky disappointment that slides, unsatisfyingly off your expectant french fries. 

To make the 2,000-year-old condiment like it might have been prepared for ancient Roman emperors, you'll need a mortar and pestle (via fork + plate). By turning the pestle hard and fast to mash garlic and egg yolk while adding olive oil simultaneously, drop by drop by drop, you may be able to achieve the thick, mayonnaise-like sauce that you're longing for. If you're willing to put in the effort, far be it for us to stop you. If, on the other hand, you're a fan of the luxuries that 21st-century kitchens provide, you should be able to achieve a prize-worthy aioli with the help of a whisk or an electric blender. Here's how.  

Troubleshooting for the perfect aioli mayonnaise

There are three main problem areas that you'll want to troubleshoot if your aioli comes out consistently, aggravatingly thin. The first is temperature. If you've used cold eggs or cold oil, then your ingredients may not combine into the smooth, garlicky cream you're aiming for. In that case, suggests The Food Channel, try rapidly whisking a teaspoon of warm water into your sauce. 

No luck? In that case, posits Reddit and Chowhound forum posters, you may have added too little of one ingredient. Oil, when mixed in at the correct speed, provides fat that thickens your condiment. As counterintuitive as it may seem, make sure you've added enough. On the other hand, have you added enough egg yolk?  If all else fails, simply start with a new egg mixture, slowly whisking in your first-attempt at aioli until you've reached your desired consistency. Maybe. Because, if you haven't whisked your aioli fast enough, or maybe you whisked it too fast, you may end up consistently stumped.

Still no luck, and at the end of your rope? One Chowhound forum participant suggests steeming a small potato and sticking it into the food processor with your runny aioli. Voila. Aioli is living proof that all good things are worth fighting for.