1. Crack the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites, placing yolks into a medium sized bowl. Discard the egg whites or set aside for use elsewhere. 00:18
2. Whisk the egg yolks over a simmering pot of water (as a double boiler) until the yolks have thickened and become airy. They should be about 90 degrees. 00:42
3. Remove the bowl from heat and situate it so that it remains stationary on the counter. 01:23
4. Slowly whisk a small amount of clarified butter into the egg yolks. Continue whisking until the mixture has thickened. 01:53
5. Whisk in a second stream of butter until the mixture is thick and uniformly smooth. 02:15
6. Continue whisking the remaining butter in small streams, making sure the mixture continues to come together into a thick, uniform sauce. 02:45
7. Once the butter is fully incorporated and the mixture resembles a thick custard, whisk in the juice from one lemon. 03:16
8. Add the vinegar, or another vinegar-based hot sauce such as Tabasco. Season with kosher salt. Serve over Eggs Benedict, cooked asparagus, or as desired. 03:51
What You'll Need
- Medium-sized bowl
- Large pot
- Eggs (4)
- Clarified butter (1 pound)
- Lemon (whole)
- Tabasco sauce (1 tablespoon)
A classic hollandaise is a thick, creamy sauce created by an emulsification of
egg yolk and liquid butter. To emulsify means to combine two or more
ingredients that are normally not blendable, like oil and vinegar.
Thick, emulsified sauces like hollandaise, dressings, and mayonnaise are
made by combining fats and liquids very slowly together.
For hollandaise, the ratio is typically 4 egg yolks per pound of butter.
A double boiler, also called a bain-marie, is a technique used to heat an ingredient gradually over a simmering pot of water; the bowl does not touch the water. This method is commonly used when melting chocolate or cooking custard.
Butter is made up of butterfat, milk solids and water. Clarified butter is the translucent golden-yellow butterfat left over after the milk solids and water are removed. Clarified butter is used in the classical version of hollandaise, since removing the milk solids and water helps improve emulsification. Regular melted butter works as well.
If the hollandaise seems too thick or is on the verge of breaking (indicated by oily butter accumulating on the edge of the sauce) take it off the heat and slowly whisk in either a tablespoon of cold water or an ice cube. A repaired sauce won't be as light, but it will be acceptable for most uses.