The principle of making a hollandaise sauce is to create an emulsion of egg yolks and butter. This delicious and versatile sauce, once mastered can be used in a range of breakfasts, lunches and main courses.
Using the basic hollandaise sauce, and adding just a few ingredients, you can make a variety of other sauces including:
- Bearnaise – add tarragon to the hollandaise
- Maltaise – add the juice of a blood orange
- Choron – a variation of béarnaise with tarragon and the addition of tomato purée
- Paloise – is a version of béarnaise with mint substituted for the tarragon
The classic Hollandaise sauce recipe
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 2 large free-range egg yolks
- 1 dessert spoon white wine vinegar
- 1 lemon
Create a bain marie by placing a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the bowl is not in contact with the water.
Melt the butter over low heat.
Whilst this is melting, slowly make a reduction in a separate pan of white wine vinegar, black peppercorns and put aside to cool slightly.
When this has cooled slightly, put the yolks in a clean stainless steel bowl and strain the vinegar reduction into the egg yolks, making sure that the vinegar isn't too hot as the vinegar will cook the egg yolks too quickly.
Whisk the egg yolks and vinegar together over a very gentle heat.
Take the melted butter and slowly start adding this to the eggs & vinegar until reaching the desired consistency (which isn't too thick). Once the desired consistency is reached, season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Once the sauce is made you have to be careful as it will split quite easily.
When the sauce is complete, it needs to be kept in a warm place (i.e. the side of an aga), until you need to use it. It will hold like this for approximately one hour.
If the sauce splits whilst you are making it there are various ways of rescuing it: adding a couple of ice cubes adding a tablespoon of boiling water
A cheat’s Hollandaise sauce
This quick version of the classic recipe achieves the same desired result.
- Crack the egg yolks straight into a food processor.
- As before, still reduce the white wine vinegar and the black peppercorns in a pan, allowing this to cool before being strained and adding to the egg yolks.
- Melt the butter in a pan.
- Start to process the egg yolks and white wine reduction, adding the melted butter slowly.
- Once the mixture has come together, add the lemon juice and add salt and pepper if needed.
Some of our favourite dishes made with Hollandaise sauce
Eggs Benedict – toasted muffin topped with ham (or bacon), poached egg and hollandaise sauce.
Poached salmon – great as a light lunch with a green salad, crusty bread and hollandaise sauce.
Steak and triple cooked chips with bernaise sauce
Asparagus, poached egg, sourdough toast and a drizzle of hollandaise for a luxury breakfast
Our Salmon and rocket puff pastry tart is a firm favourite for a light summer lunch
If you would like to learn more about how to make the different sauces then attend our Stocks & Sauces course. Our chefs will teach you how to revolutionise your cooking with freshly made stocks, rich emulsion sauces such as Hollandaise, to the classic béchamel and a luxurious Creme Anglaise for your dessert repertoire.