Hollandaise Sauce

Serves Serves 4

This is an emulsion of egg yolk and butter seasoned with lemon juice. It is also rich, buttery and is the undisputed partner of poached egg and asparagus. The Hollandaise sauce is one that needs respect and care. Don’t be afraid of making it — feel the fear and make it anyway. With this recipe you can’t go wrong. If the sauce splits add a tiny amount of warm water and continue mixing to amalgamate the mixture. Or repeat the whisking of the egg yolks over simmering water, add the split sauce and re-whisk again until smooth.

Ingredients

  • 4 free-range or organic egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cold water (approx.), measure out by ladling in the water in 3 half eggshells
  • 100 ml clarified butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt and white pepper, to season

Method

Place the egg yolks in a very clean and dry stainless steel bowl. Keeping the bowl clean and dry preserves the integrity of the sauce, keeping the flavour of the sauce untainted. Suspend the bowl over a saucepan of cold water. The base of the bowl should not touch the water. Add the vinegar and the water. Place the pan over a moderate heat, whisk this mixture until the water comes to a boil, then reduce the heat to a steady simmer. Whisk until the mixture becomes thick and foamy. Remove the bowl from the heat. Set aside for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the clarified butter in a slow, steady stream. Continue whisking until all the butter is incorporated and the sauce is smooth and glossy. Stir through the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm. To make a mousseline sauce, allow the hollandaise sauce to cool to barely warm. Whip 50 ml of fresh cream to the same consistency as the hollandaise sauce and gently fold into the sauce. This sauce is delicious with artichokes, prawns and crabmeat.