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Farmdrop Cookery School – How to make Hollandaise Sauce

27th May 2021

Farmdrop Cookery School – How to make Hollandaise Sauce

Welcome to the first edition of the Farmdrop cookery school. In this series our recipe developer and chef, Gemma, will teach you a whole range of cooking techniques and skills. 

The three skill levels are as follows:

  1. Beginner
  2. Intermediate
  3. A little tricky

In this first lesson, chef Gemma will be teaching you how to make the classic sauce – Hollandaise.

What is hollandaise sauce?

Hollandaise is a rich and creamy sauce made with egg yolks and butter, flavoured with lemon juice and a little white wine vinegar. It is an emulsion sauce, meaning it is made by emulsifying egg yolks into the melted butter. This needs to be done slowly to bind them together into a rich, creamy sauce. Bearnaise is a type of hollandaise sauce, with the addition of herbs and shallot. 

What does hollandaise sauce go with?

Classically Hollandaise is enjoyed with poached eggs & muffins – eggs benedict/royale. It’s also delicious over asparagus or with fish. 

What’s in Hollandaise sauce?*

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp white wine vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • Pinch salt

*Makes enough for 2 servings of Eggs Benedict.

How to make Hollandaise sauce

Making Hollandaise by hand:

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan or microwave safe container.
  2. Get a cup of cold water to hand by the hob.
  3. Mix the cold egg yolks, ½ tsp vinegar and a pinch of salt in a medium glass bowl. Set over a pan with a few inches of simmering water. Put the heat on the lowest setting with just the occasional bubble in the water (any higher will be too hot and scramble the eggs).
  4. Stir the yolks constantly with a whisk and add small dribbles of melted butter at a time, whisking constantly to bring together until you have added all the butter and have a thick sauce. If the sauce starts to look too thick or greasy, add a few drops of cold water at a time to prevent the sauce splitting. 
  5. Season with lemon juice and salt to taste. Keep the sauce warm in the bowl over the water with the heat turned off

Making Hollandaise with a stick blender:

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan or microwave safe container. 
  2. Put the egg yolks, vinegar and salt into a jug or mug the size of the stick blender.
  3. Blend the yolks and while the blender is running slowly pour the hot melted butter into the yolks and bring together into a thick sauce. Season with lemon juice and more salt to taste.

The same method works with any other sort of blender but you need to ensure the blades are covered by the yolks or it won’t emulsify properly. 

How to thicken Hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise thickens when made properly using just butter and egg yolks. The proteins in the yolks act as an emulsifier and help the oil and water molecules of the butter disperse evenly together, creating a thick and creamy sauce.

The key to achieving a thick Hollandaise is twofold. Firstly you must slowly whisk the butter into the egg yolks so it emulsifies correctly. Secondly it’s important to get the temperature right – either by heating gently in a bain marie as you incorporate the butter (by hand method) or using hot butter whisked into the yolks (blender method). Gentle heat is important so the eggs coagulate and thicken, but not so hot that they scramble.

If the Hollandaise is thin and not moussey once you’ve added all the butter, but it is emulsified, it might need more heat, so continue to whisk over a warm bain marie until it has thickened. 

How to rescue split Hollandaise

  1. Add a splash of cold water if it starts to look greasy or grainy. Have a little cold water next to you and add a few drips at a time.
  2. Take off the heat (bowl away from the bain marie) if it looks like it’s starting to split – getting too hot is a problem so taking off the heat quickly will help.
  3. If you have a stick blender you can use this to make your Hollandaise. It’s also great for rescuing a split Hollandaise. 
  4. Once the Hollandaise sauce is finished serve immediately or keep in a warm, not hot water bath which will stop it splitting.
  5. If you can’t rescue it, start with a fresh egg yolk and a clean bowl and use the split mix in place of the melted butter and start from the beginning, making sure you are whisking/blending in the butter mix very gradually. 

Where to buy Hollandaise sauce

Want to test out your skills and make your own Hollandaise, try our new eggs benedict recipe kit. Vegan Hollandaise is also available right here on Farmdrop. It’s amazing drizzled over pan fried asparagus or roasted mushrooms.

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