Hollandaise sauce is an emulsion of butter and lemon juice using egg yolks as the emulsifying agent, usually seasoned with salt and a little black pepper or cayenne pepper. It is a French sauce, so named because it was believed to have mimicked a Dutch sauce. Hollandaise sauce is well known as a key ingredient in Eggs Benedict. The sauce is one of the five sauces in the French haute cuisine mother sauce repertoire. Hollandaise requires some skill and knowledge to prepare; care must also be taken to store it properly after preparation. Properly made, the sauce should be smooth and creamy. The flavour should be rich and buttery, with a mild tang added by the lemon juice and seasonings. It must be made and served warm, not hot. If the ingredients are emulsified improperly by over or under heating them, they will separate, resulting in the sauce "breaking" from the emulsion and the yolks coagulating from excessive heat. The sauce may be portioned and frozen for future use. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature; some stirring may be required.
Hollandaise sauce recipe
- 3 large free range egg yolks
- 1½ tablespoons of cold water
- 1½ cup clarified butter or ghee
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- A dash of hot pepper sauce
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a bain-marie or a bowl set over, not in, boiling water
- Remove from the heat and whisk the eggs until frothy
- Place the bain-marie over a gentle heat and whisk until the eggs start to thicken, 2 to 4 minutes
- Don't cook the eggs!
- Remove from the heat and whisk to cool it a little
- Slowly add the butter, whisking all the while
- Add the lemon juice, still whisking
- Season with salt and pepper
- Serve immediately
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