Thursday, December 31, 2020
The Culinary Cook Sauces How To Make Hollandaise Sauce

How To Make Hollandaise Sauce


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How To Make Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce is one of those things that I have no problem justifying paying for when going out for breakfast. I find that most hollandaise sauces are a direct reflection of the skill and competency of the establishment and therefore, the chef. If you’ve ever had a true homemade hollandaise sauce you’ll be able to tell the difference between it and the packaged stuff in an instant. Packaged hollandaise is filled with preservatives, flavor substitutions, and thickeners that result in a very distinct flavor that for some are the only hollandaise they know. Which is unfortunate, because of how delicious and amazing a real hollandaise can be.

Before you go planning your next Eggs Benedict on your next weekend, there is a definite need to understand what hollandaise is as it pertains to the sauces family before we get to making it.

What is a Hollandaise Sauce?

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Hollandaise sauce ingredients

Technically, a hollandaise sauce is an emulsified sauceAn emulsified sauce acts a bit differently than other sauces and is much more temperamental. A Hollandaise is made from egg yolk, which contains a large quantity of the emulsifying agent lecithin, which is a natural emulsifier. This is used to combine and emulsify warm butter and a small amount of water, lemon juice or vinegar. Vigorously whipping the egg yolks with the liquid over heat to form a soft foam, and then folding in the warm butter, the lecithin coats the individual oil droplets and holds them in suspension. Emulsification is the only method that enables the combination of fat and liquid.

Because we are dealing with raw egg yolks, it is important to understand that if you heat a Hollandaise past 65’C (150’F) you will begin to cook the yolk causing large chunks to interrupt the sauce. If the sauce falls below 7’C (45’F), the fat will solidify and cause the sauce to break. It is very important to have a good understanding of temperature control.

Foodborne illness can also occur with an improperly kept Hollandaise sauce. Because the temperature you must keep a Hollandaise is directly in the danger zone for bacterial growth, it cannot be kept for long periods of time. Hollandaise, when used in commercial settings, is kept no longer than 1 1/2 hours. Because of that, many restaurants have abandoned the classic Hollandaise sauce and opted instead for the easy and safer artificial variety. While the purest in my loves the classic Hollandaise (And in fact, no other substitutions can compare), I fully understand the decisions made on these bases. However, the majority of the time these restaurants switch because it is quite frankly too difficult for them to juggle a Hollandaise sauce.

A broken Hollandaise sauce
A broken Hollandaise sauce

The final quality level of a well-produced Hollandaise carries a few properties that you should always be aiming for. A properly made Hollandaise sauce is smooth, buttery, pale lemon-yellow colored and very rich but light in texture. There should be no lumps and not show any signs of separation. The buttery flavor should dominate but not mask the flavors of the egg, lemon and vinegar. The sauce should appear frothy and light, not heavy like a mayonnaise.

Basic Sauce Difficulty

(Lower is easier)

[skill start=auto progress=65]Hollandaise[/skill]
[skill start=auto progress=45]Espagnole/Brown Sauce[/skill]
[skill start=auto progress=25]Tomato Sauce[/skill]
[skill start=auto progress=15]Veloute[/skill]
[skill start=auto progress=10]Bechamel[/skill]

Hollandaise Sauce Recipe, Classic Method

Yield: 375 mL (12 fl oz)
Prep time: 10 min.
Cook time: 5-10 min.


Hollandaise Sauce, Classic Method
Ingredient Weight (Metric) Weight (Imperial)
Black peppercorns, crushed 9 9
White wine vinegar 30 mL 1 fl oz.
Water 45 mL 1.5 fl oz
Egg yolks 3 3
Butter, warmed (Clarified is optional) 225 g 1/2 lbs.
Lemon juice 15 mL 0.5 fl oz.
Salt and white pepper To taste To taste
Cayenne pepper To taste To taste

What You’ll Need


  1. Combine the peppercorns, vinegar, lemon juice, and water in a saucepan and reduce the mixture by half.
  2. Place your egg yolks into a stainless steel bowl. Strain the acidic reduction through a mini strainer. Add the reduction to the egg yolks. Use 15 mL of reduction per yolk as a guideline.
  3. Place the bowl over a double-boiler and whip the mixture continuously with a wire whisk. As the yolks cook, the mixture will thicken. When the mixture is thick enough to leave a trail when the whisk is drawn away (Ribbon stage), remove the bowl. Continue to whisk to stabilize the temperature. If you overcook, the yolks will cook and your sauce will become lumpy.
  4. Add the warm liquid butter to the egg yolk mixture a little at a time, while continuously mixing to form the emulsion. Once the emulsion has started, you can add the liquid more quickly. Continue until the butter is incorporated.
  5. Adjust the acidity of the sauce with lemon juice if needed. Adjust seasonings by using salt, white pepper, and cayenne.
  6. Strain the sauce if necessary and serve.


Hollandaise Sauce Blender Method

Blender method. While blenders themselves work well, food processors are good too.
Blender method. While blenders themselves work well, food processors are good too.

The above method is the classical method of producing a Hollandaise, and as you can tell, it is a temperamental sauce that requires a firm understanding of many of the fundamentals. Most commercial cooks prefer to use the blender method, which absolutely creates a more than acceptable Hollandaise sauce. The difference is you don’t use a reduction which causes the sauce to miss that deep flavor a reduction gives. Nevertheless, it is still an acceptable method in creating a Hollandaise as the classic method is losing popularity due to its complexity and the contrasting ease of the blender method. Whichever method you prefer is acceptable in any professional or home setting and the subtleties you lose are lost on practically everyone anyway.

Hollandaise Sauce Recipe, Blender Method

Yield: 500 mL
Prep time: 5 min.
Cook time: 10 min.

Hollandaise Sauce, Blender Method
Ingredient Weight (Metric) Weight (Imperial)
Egg yolks 5 5
Water, warm 45 mL 1.5 fl oz.
Lemon juice 15 mL 0.5 fl oz.
Cayenne Pepper To taste To taste
Salt 2.5 g 1/2 tsp.
White pepper 0.125 g (pinch) 1/8 tsp (Pinch)
Tabasco sauce To taste To taste
Whole butter 375 g 12 oz.

What You’ll Need


  1. Put the yolks, water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, salt, white pepper, and Tabasco sauce in the blender bowl. Cover and blend on high for 5 seconds.
  2. Heat the butter to 80’c (175’F). This will set the yolks when the butter is added.
  3. Turn the blender on and immediately begin adding the butter in a steady stream. Incorporate all of the butter in 20-30 seconds. Adjust the seasonings.
  4. Strain the sauce if any lumps appear. Transfer the sauce to a stainless steel container and adjust the seasonings again. Serve.


Hollandaise Derivative Sauces

These derivative sauces to Hollandaise sauce is easy to make. All amounts given are for 375 mL of Hollandaise.

Grimrod Sauce

Infuse the hollandaise sauce with a reduction of saffron.

Maltaise Sauce

Blood orange
Blood orange

Add to your Hollandaise sauce 25 mL (0.75 fl oz) blood orange juice and 2.5 g (1 tsp) finely grated blood orange zest (Zester here). Regular oranges can also be used for this sauce.

Mousseline Sauce (Chantilly Sauce)

Whip 75 mL (2 fl oz) of 35% heavy cream until stiff. Fold it into the Hollandaise just before service.

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The Culinary Cook

Professional Chef & Blogger

With 15 years of experience working in restaurants, resorts, and a fully Red Seal Certified chef, The Culinary Cook shares tips, tricks, and recipes for everyone to enjoy.

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