The principle of making a hollandaise sauce is to create an emulsion of egg yolks and butter.
Out of the basic hollandaise sauce you can make lots of different derivatives including:
- Bearnaise – add tarragon to the hollandaise
- Maltaise- add the juice of blood orange
- Choron is a variation of béarnaise without tarragon or chervil, plus added tomato purée or tomato juice
- Paloise- is a version of béarnaise with mint substituted for tarragon
Create a ban 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 a 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.
If the sauce splits whilst you are making it there are various ways of rescuing it:
1. adding a couple of ice cube
2. adding a tablespoon of boiling water.
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.
There is a quick version of the classic recipe that 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.
If you would like to learn more about how to make different sauce then you should attend out Stocks & Sauces’ course, it is taught by Jeff Thomas, a local classically trained chef who has over 40 years of experience in the food industry.
The course is held at our cookery school which is situated in the grounds of Catton Hall a privately owned estate. The school is just a 30 minute drive from Birmingham and is close to neighboring cities such as Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.