Monday, September 30, 2013

Hollandaise Sauce

The other day my husband and I had the most delicious breakfast with my brother and his wife. We made home-made rostis with salmon and I, between the chaos of frying rostis and poaching eggs, quickly whipped up some Hollandaise sauce. My brother, my number one support when it comes to blogging, immediately said, "We should have taken photo's!". And that's what lead me to this post. I realise so many people think that Hollandaise sauce is such a difficult thing to make, when actually it just requires a little practice.

My photographer friend Jill Chen, took these gorgeous images (with me styling), so I really have no excused not to write a quick post on the infamous Hollandaise.  This is what my The Professional Chef cook book from the Culinary Institute off America has to say about it, "A classic emulsion sauce made with vinegar reduction, egg yolks, and melted butter flavoured with lemon juice. It is one of the grand sauces" ..."And will press the socks of your guests", should have been added.

Hollandaise Sauce
(Makes 5 portions)

2 egg yolks
170ml melted whole butter or clarified butter
a reduction made from 100ml white wine vinegar, minced shallots and peppercorns
a small amount of water, to refresh or cool the reduction
lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste


To make the clarified butter: Place the butter in a small pot and bring it up to melting point slowly. Don't let it boil. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes, now carefully spoon off the white residue floating on the top of the butter until you have clear, melted butter.

Boil the ingredients for the reduction over a medium heat until the ingredients are almost cooked away. (You only need 2-3 tablespoons of reduction). Cool and strain the reduction. Place it in a small stainless steel bowl.

Add the egg yolks to the reduction and place this over a double boiler. (a small saucepan with slowly simmering water). Whisk until it is pale and frothy (this might take some practice!). The stage that you need to whisk to is called 'sabayon' stage. This is when your whisk will leave a 'trail' as it drags through the yolks.

Remove the bowl from the heat. I like to place a tea towel on the surface so that my bowl doesn't slip. Now gradually drizzle the warm butter into the egg yolk mixture as you whisk. It helps if another person pours the butter into the bowl while you whisk.

If the sauce becomes too think, add a little lemon juice or water. If it looks like your sauce is 'breaking' (splitting) add a little water and continue to whisk until adding more butter. Don't add more butter at that stage as it will only get worse. Also watch the temperature carefully, if the sauce becomes to hot, the egg will start to cook on the outside of the bowl, add a little cool water to restore this.

Once your sauce is glossy and smooth with all the butter incorporated you can season your sauce with salt and pepper and possibly another splash of lemon juice. 

As I've mentioned, this might seem quite daunting, but all it needs is a little practice! Enjoy!


  1. Oh, these pictures are just beautiful and it makes me want to try and make this! I'll let you know how THAT goes... :-D

    I nominated you for the Liebster Award and I would love for you to check it out:

    Lekker week vir jou, Niggie!