Hollandaise sauce is a classic French sauce made from egg yolks, butter, and lemon juice. Hollandaise sauce is one of the most popular sauces in French cuisine.
It's delicious on steak, eggs, vegetables, and just about anything else you can think of!
Our hollandaise sauce recipe is easy to follow and will produce a smooth, rich sauce that can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference.
⬇️ Table of Contents
Making hollandaise sauce is much easier than it sounds. There are two methods:
- Using classic French technique.
- Using a blender or food processor and a few simple ingredients.
Today we are covering the Classic French Hollandaise Sauce, which uses the sauce technique of emulsion. An emulsion is the combination of liquid and fat into one solid state.
In the case of Classic French Hollandaise Sauce, the liquid part of the emulsion would be the egg. Eggs makeup is around 90% water and 10% protein.
The second part of the Hollandaise sauce is high-quality butter. High-quality butter is mostly fat.
When combined correctly, you'll end up with a smooth, almost velvety, creamy consistency. Correctly executed Hollandaise sauce will allow you to spoon the sauce on top of itself in a bowl and create ribbons. Example of ribbons in the photo below.
- 🥚 Egg Yolks
- 🧈 Butter
- 🍋 Lemon juice
- 🌊 Water
- 🌶️ Cayenne Pepper
- 🧂 Sea Salt
First, create a double boiler. A double boiler is a pot filled with water over medium heat, then covered with a bowl. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Steam hitting the bottom of the bowl is the goal.
- Add to the double boiler the water, lemon juice, egg yolks and salt. Using a whisk, move back and forth quickly to combine. The egg yolks will lighten in color. This process will cook the egg yolks and will thicken from the heat. Just make sure your heat isn't too high.
Egg yolks are cooked at 145F/62C. You'll know once the yolks begin to coat the back of a spoon. If you can swipe your finger down the middle of the back of the spoon and leave a line, you're good to move on. The yolks are cooked.
Chef Tip: Do not use a large bowl. Adding the extra surface area makes it hard to cook the eggs without burning. Think of it as keeping your work in one area. If the egg yolk is all over the cooking bowl, you'll have some parts overcooked.
In the photo below, notice how deep the base of the bowl is. You can see the edge of the pot through the glass bowl.
🧈 Clarifying Butter
This step is not required. The result creates an extra smooth and silky hollandaise sauce.
Over the years, I've heard a number of thoughts on clarifying butter. It might sound easy to do and you would be right. I'll tell you the number one key. Do not keep the butter on the heat any longer than you need to.
Butter has milk solids running through it, and this is what we are looking to remove. The milk solids will burn and burn quickly at high temperatures. In the clarifying process, we will remove all the milk solids.
- Place a pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium.
- Add your butter and melt.
- Whisk quickly. You'll notice small white foam coming to the top. These are the milk solids.
- Use a large spoon and scoop out as much of the milk solids as you can. To go the extra distance, you could pass the clarified butter through a piece of cheesecloth. This will catch the extra milk solids.
Using either clarified butter or normal melted butter, slowly pour into the double boiler incorporating into the egg yolks. If you pour too fast, the sauce will become broken.
A broken sauce is when the emulsification does not happen. The phrase "separated" is often used.
🥣 Hollandaise Sauce In Blender
Making hollandaise sauce is much easier than it sounds. All you need is a blender or food processor and a few simple ingredients. Here's how to make it:
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 tablespoons butter, melted
- Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper in a blender or food processor.
- Process until smooth.
- With the machine running, slowly add the hot melted butter to the egg mixture.
- Process until the sauce is thick and smooth.
- Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for later use.
🎦 Watch How To Make
How To Use Hollandaise Sauce
This sauce is usually thought of as a breakfast sauce often used on eggs benedict. Yet this sauce has numerous uses.
- Eggs Benedict
- Bearnaise Sauce (hollandaise sauce is the base)
- Poached Salmon
- Sous Vide Salmon
- Roasted Broccoli
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Crab Cakes
- Pasta Recipes
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📖 Recipe Card
Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
- 2 Egg Yolks You could use 3 Egg Yolks, You need to use more clarified butter
- 5 oz Butter half stick of butter equals 4oz
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- ⅛ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
- Double Boiler: Start by creating a double boiler. Double Boiler - A double boiler is a cooking pot that has two parts: a top pot and a bottom pot. The top pot sits on top of the bottom pot and water is placed in the bottom pot. This setup allows for gentle, even heating, which is perfect for hollandaise sauce.Bring to a boil, then turn the heat back down to around medium heat. "Gentle" cooking process. Add lemon juice, water, salt, and egg yolks and stir constantly. Try to work neatly and not spread the yolks all over the bowl. Keep it close to the center.
- Watch the color of the egg yolks. They will start to brighten and thicken. You will know the yolks are ready to butter once the yolks will coat the back of a spoon. Or reaches 145F/62c. About 3 minutes.
- Adding the butter: the key is to add the butter very slowly while whipping the egg yolks. A slow drizzle will create an emulsion.The setup: Take the egg yolks off the heat and place the bowl on a towel. Make sure the bowl is not going to move. Whip the egg yolks with one hand, while the other hand is pouring the hot melted butter into the center of the egg yolks.Make sure you're whisking over the area the butter is being poured into the bowl. After this, you'll have Hollandaise sauce.
The history of hollandaise sauceIt is a bit murky, but it is believed to have originated in the Netherlands. Some say that it was invented by a chef named Justus von Liebig, while others believe that it was created by a woman named Marie-Antoine Carême. No one knows for sure who first made this delicious sauce, but we can all be thankful that they did! Hollandaise sauce is a classic French dish that is made with eggs, butter, and lemon juice. It is usually served with vegetables or fish, and it is one of the most popular sauces in the world. The rich, creamy texture and delicious flavor of hollandaise sauce is sure to please everyone!
For more techniques using Eggs, check out our series covering proper Egg Cookery
Excellent post !