hollandaise sauce


  • 1 cup clarified butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • dash of Tabasco or pinch of Cayenne pepper

Heat an inch or two of water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Also, your clarified butter should be warm, but not hot.

Combine the egg yolks and the cold water in a glass or stainless steel bowl (not aluminum) whisk for a minute or two, until the mixture is light and foamy. Whisk in a couple of drops of lemon juice, too.

The water in the saucepan should have begun to simmer. Set the bowl directly atop the saucepan of simmering water. The water itself should not come in contact with the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the eggs for a minute or two, until they’re slightly thickened.

Remove the bowl from the heat and begin adding the melted butter slowly at first, a few drops at a time, while whisking constantly. If you add it too quickly, the emulsion will break.

Continue beating in the melted butter. As the sauce thickens, you can gradually increase the rate at which you add it, but at first, slower is better.

After you’ve added all the butter, whisk in the remaining lemon juice and season to taste with Kosher salt and cayenne pepper (or a dash of Tabasco sauce). The finished hollandaise sauce will have a smooth, firm consistency. If it’s too thick, you can adjust the consistency by whisking in a few drops of warm water.

It’s best to serve hollandaise right away. You can hold it for about an hour, provided you keep it warm. Do not hold for more than two hours, both for quality and safety reasons.

Cooks note: Hollandise in one of the four “mother sauces”  which is used to make the following:

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