The Foolproof Hollandaise Making Method You Need to Know

The Foolproof Hollandaise Making Method You Need to Know

Never make a failed Hollandaise again!

When it comes to cooking, you never stop learning. A small tip in the right direction can transform a dish from just okay to out-of-this-world delicious: So to help you cook with confidence (and stop sifting through confusing Google results) we’ve set up our very own Cooking Hotline. It’s time to ask us your burning cooking questions: Submit them here!

I’m not usually one for rhetorical questions, but indulge me just this once: What would the perfectly poached egg atop a plate of eggs Benedict be without that smooth, lemon-yellow sheath of hollandaise sauce? It would certainly not be eggs Benedict, and I would go so far as to say that the glossy, runny yolk of that *perfectly* poached egg is, well, a waste without the hollandaise!

You might think that sentiment a wee bit dramatic, and I grant you that, but I hope the point I’m trying to make is clear: Hollandaise sauce might not be the most versatile, everyday, go-to sauce, but where it does make an appearance, it’s an absolutely essential part of that dish.

So here’s a little bit about hollandaise for those who are unfamiliar, and our key tool that makes this tricky sauce foolproof!

What is hollandaise sauce?

Hollandaise sauce is at best a silky, buttery, super smooth emulsion of egg yolks, melted butter, and lemon juice (or white wine or a vinegar reduction) seasoned with salt, and either white or cayenne pepper. It’s known for its starring role as the crowning achievement of an eggs Benedict, but it’s also commonly served with simply steamed vegetables, most especially spring’s seasonal darling, asparagus. It’s a notably tricky sauce to make at home, as it requires a good handle on the technique to bring the emulsion together (similar to homemade mayonnaise).

What does bad hollandaise look like?

A “bad” hollandaise will look broken, and you’ll be able to see the clumps of cooked egg or crystallized butter in a thin or greasy sauce. There are many reasons and places where a homemade hollandaise sauce can go wrong, be it from a temperature mix-up, an untrained hand (or eye) whisking too little (or too much), or too much butter being added at once.

So many home cooks might leave the hollandaise to the restaurant chefs, enjoy the buttery sauce at their cafés, or even buy jarred hollandaise to freshen up with some additional herbs or lemon juice at home—and this is perfectly fine!

However, if you want to master hollandaise at home, you certainly can.

Practice can make perfect when it comes to homemade hollandaise. We’re not here to talk about how to save your sauce back from the brink, but once and for all, to show you the foolproof method, so you don’t have to worry about a broken sauce at all, ever again!

Our tip? Skip the bain-marie and use a blender!

Many traditional recipes will call for setting up what’s known as a “bain-marie” for making your hollandaise. This requires putting a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water (the water must not touch the bottom of the bowl, only the hot steam will, making this a very gentle method of heating), whisking the hollandaise constantly while drizzling in your melted butter, very carefully, into a thick, stable emulsion. This is great, but just not necessary!

So to keep things super simple, straightforward, and, yes, as we already mentioned *foolproof*, we suggest you grab your immersion (or standing) blender (a tool we’ve already waxed poetic about) and assemble your hollandaise with this recipe:

Super easy blender hollandaise

Super easy blender hollandaise
Go to recipe

Recipes to eat your hollandaise with:

Bagels Benedict with smoked salmon and herby hollandaise
Asparagus eggs Benedict
Pasta and cauliflower casserole with chicken
White asparagus with ham and Béarnaise sauce: Swap the Béarnaise for hollandaise!
Classic eggs Benedict

Published on April 12, 2022

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