This might seem difficult at first glance but don’t let the extent of this recipe frighten you. Making is Hollandaise is actually easy and with this detailed explanation you will know what to look, feel, and taste for when making it yourself.
Like every recipe, there are things to consider so firstly, start with room-temperature eggs and pay attention to use warm butter but not hot, because if the butter is too hot, you will break the hollandaise and if the butter is not warm enough, the hollandaise will be too thick. Secondly, serve the hollandaise over warm dishes because if the dish is too hot, the sauce will break, and if it is too cold, it will thicken.
You can make a simple hollandaise sauce with just lemon and spring herbs but by adding sherry vinegar or pickled mustard seeds, you can greatly increase the overall flavour.
Ingredients For 3/4 Cup of Hollandaise
- 10 tablespoons of butter
- 3 egg yolks (room temperature)
- Three-quarters of a teaspoon of lemon juice
- Half a teaspoon of sherry vinegar
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- 2½ to 3½ teaspoons of warm but not hot water
How To Make It?
- Put a small-sized saucepan over medium to low heat and add the butter and heat while swirling the saucepan regularly and continue to do so until the butter is entirely melted and warm but not boiling or separated. Then, pour it into a clear measuring cup and set aside to cool down slightly.
- Fill your 2-quart saucepan one-quarter full of water, heat the water to a boil and turn off the oven. Next, add your egg yolks into a small-sized bowl that can rest inside the rim of the pot without touching the water. Preferably, you will have a bowl with a gradual curve, it would be better because the natural curvature of the bowl will help you to whisk better. Then, on a countertop, beat the egg yolks for about 20 seconds, or until you see foams start appearing and as you beat the yolks, try to keep the beaten yolks on the bottom of your bowl as much as you can because in the next step any egg stuck to the side can overcook.
- Then, put the bowl over the saucepan holding the hot water and continue to beat for 1 to 2 minutes or until the yolks are pale and have increased in volume. You need to get as much air as you can into the yolks. Double-check the yolks aren’t beginning to cook. Take the bowl off the oven and check the temperature using your finger: the temperature should feel warmer than body temperature but not too hot. In order to make the two ingredients emulsify properly, you need to warm the yolks to nearly the same temperature as the melted butter.
- Cover a big pot with a damp kitchen towel and put the bowl inside the pot to help stabilize it as you beat. Add half of the melted butter into the yolks drop by drop while beating constantly, gradually the mixture will thicken. Stop pouring regularly while continuing to beat to ensure decent emulsification. You don’t have to work fast. The important thing is to beat and pour consistently and slowly to get an emulsified texture. Closely watch the butter’s temperature throughout because you may have to move the bowl back and forth from the warm pot on the stove top to the cool countertop as you beat to maintain the right texture.
- Once half of your butter is fully incorporated, slowly dribble in the lemon juice and vinegar while beating at the same time, then add the salt. While again working slowly, dribble in the remaining butter while whisking constantly and continue to move your sauce between the warm pot and cool countertop to maintain the right texture. With the help of proper emulsification, you won’t see a separation between ingredients. You should see one fully smooth and consistent substance. But in a broken emulsification, the surface won’t be uniform and it looks a little scrambled. Don’t panic when you see some separated milky white solids from the melted butter and fallen to the bottom of your measuring cup. Because you don’t want these in the sauce. So incorporate all but the last 1 to 2 tablespoons of the butter into the eggs and simply stop pouring and discard the solids.
- In the final stage, taste your sauce for salt and you can thin the mixture for a smooth and pourable consistency by adding 2 and a half teaspoons warm water or up to 3 and a half teaspoons while beating. Serve your sauce over room-temperature dishes and if you don’t serve right away you can hold the hollandaise in a thermos in a warm place for up to 2 hours.