Hollandaise Sauce - without the tears

breakfast recipe Sep 30, 2020

My husband's favourite breakfast is Eggs Benedict. He always orders it when it's on a hotel menu. Though, rather curiously, he asks for it deconstructed. Poached egg covered in hollandaise with the bacon or ham and the toasted English muffin on the side.

So it was a bit unfortunate that hollandaise was one of the last recipes I've mastered. I have tried several times over the years and, on at least one occasion, it has reduced me to tears.

However, when it comes to breakfast, I'm not one to give up. And, thanks to James Gray, who used to run The Ashton in Lancaster I've discovered an almost foolproof method for quickly cooking preparing hollandaise. This recipe is slightly different to the one James gave me, with thanks to Delia.

Once you've mastered Hollandaise it can be used to produce lots of different breakfast recipes.

I got another tip from Susan Poole, who used to tweet as the B&B Coach. She suggested putting the sauce into a thermos to keep it warm, so you can make it a bit in advance.

If the sauce gets too thick sitting in the thermos, whisk a few drops of hot water through it.

You can buy mini saucepans these day & I find mine ideal for heating & pouring the butter & vinegar/lemon. Though it's best to find the ones with a lip as this creates that very thin slow stream of liquid you need.

You can use a liquidizer but I've discovered that the Kenwood Mini Chopper (thanks again Delia  is the very best gadget for making Hollandaise. More info on this blog here

Finally, before I get into the recipe, there are 3 main reasons that hollandaise fails. The first is that you don't use enough butter. This is no time to skimp on it. The second reason is that the butter isn't hot enough. If it really needs to be bubbling without burning. And finally, it may split if you add the butter too quickly. 

Since I've been using this method, I've only had one hollandaise failure in 10 years and it's rare a week goes by that I don't make at least one eggs benedict for guests!

2 egg yolks
2 tsps white wine vinegar
2 tsps lemon juice
100g butter

Put the 2 egg yolks in a liquidiser, season with salt & pepper and whizz for a minute. Heat the vinegar & lemon juice together in a small saucepan till bubbling, then, with the liquidiser running, pour in a slow steady stream over the eggs. Once full incorporated, whizz for another minute.

In the same pan that you heated the vinegar & lemon in,  slowly melt 100g of butter, being careful not to let it burn, but make sure it's really hot. Then, with the liquidiser running again, pour the butter in in a slow steady stream.

Ta da!

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