The second part of the series on how to make Eggs Benedict is here! The next step is to make Hollandaise Sauce! If you need a recap of the first part on English Muffins, click here.
I’m guessing that some of you might think that the creation of this sauce will take ages and will be terribly difficult, like I did before I made it. No need for that. Relax. It is so incredibly easy to make this. I’ve made it a couple of times and succeeded every time. So I’m sure that you’ll do great as well!
Hollandaise Sauce is a basic sauce in classic French cooking. It is a white sauce, based on butter and egg. Therefore, it has a very rich and creamy taste. It’s mainly served with steamed or boiled vegetables, or with salmon. However, a very smart American once decided that it would be great as an accompinement to poached eggs and English Muffins. For that, I salute you, sir.
I would like to point out that, since there are raw eggs (not thoroughly cooked through anyways) in this sauce, you cannot keep it in the fridge for too long. Make it on the same day that you will use it. You could perhaps freeze it, but just to be on the safe side I would just make it up to 4 hours beforehand and throw it away after.
If by any chance, the sauce is shifting while still warm, add a bit of cold water and whisk. On the other hand, when the sauce has shifted while cold, add a bit of warm water. Normally, that should return the sauce to a normal state.
Let’s crack on!
So the first technique that needs to be applied, is au-bain-marie. This basically means that your ingredients need to be gradually warmed, and can under no circumstance be put directly on the heat. Thus, you’ll need a sauce pan with simmering water, not boiling! Put a heatproof bowl on the pan. And you’re all set up.
Next up, the butter needs to be clarified. Melt the butter in the saucepan. As can be seen on the photo below, the butter will seperate.
The foamy top needs to be removed by using a skimmer. As a result, you’ll have pure butter, which is more resistant to heat, and will provide a more solid texture to the sauce.
The end result is clarified butter!
After you’ve beaten the egg yolks, add them to the heatproof bowl while whisking.
Whisk until the sauce thickens and is slightly foamy, as you can see above. Then proceed to add the butter. Do not stop whisking, otherwise you might end up with scrambled eggs.
The finished sauce will be thick, slightly stiff. It resembles the texture of mayonnaise.
See, it wasn’t that hard, now was it? Good job!
Yields about 1 cup of sauce
- 200 grams (7 oz) of unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tsps water + 2 extra tbsp of water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- Lemon juice
Used kitchen appliances
- 2 sauce pans
- Heatproof bowl
- Melt the butter in the sauce pan on a medium to low heat. Clarify the butter by removing the foam on top with a skimmer.
- Beat the egg yolks with a tablespoon of water.
- Fill the other pan with just enough water, so the bowl will not touch the water. Do not let it boil. Put the bowl on the pan and pour in the water, salt, and pepper. Heat until the water is lukewarm.
- Add the egg yolks and whisk until the sauce thickens and gets foamy.
- Gradually pour in the melted butter and a tablespoon of water while whisking.
- Once the butter is fully incorporated, you will have a thick sauce. And you’re done. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.