If you love hollandaise sauce, but are intimidated by the thought of making it from scratch, don’t worry! This quick and easy guide will show you how to make hollandaise sauce like a pro.
Plus, I’ll give you some tips on how to prevent it from splitting (breaking), how to fix it if it does break and if it’s possible to reheat it. Hollandaise sauce is perfect for Eggs Benedict, salmon, chicken, and many other dishes. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
What is hollandaise sauce made from?
Hollandaise sauce is traditionally made from butter, egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt. It is an emulsified sauce, which means it’s created when ingredients that normally don’t mix together are blended. Butter and egg yolks naturally don’t want to combine so hollandaise needs to be whisked vigorously over a low heat to allow the two ingredients to gather together. I’m going to show you a much easier way using a blender. It’s the Chef Eric Ripert method, as mentioned in his book 32 Yolks.
Lemon juice or vinegar helps keep the hollandaise from separating and also adds a touch of acidity for flavour. I much prefer white wine vinegar for its flavour.
The eggs need to be cooked, so as you’ll see, we’ll be heating up the butter so it’s bubbling (but not burnt). When it’s blended with the eggs it will cook them. Once it’s finished, season with salt and serve warm.
Having said that, I do like to use salted butter. Many people like to use unsalted so they have control over the saltiness, but I use the same butter every time and am very familiar with the saltiness. That works for me, but you can decide what works best for you.
How do you make hollandaise sauce?
- First melt the butter in a saucepan. Getting it to bubbling, but be sure to avoid burning.
- Separate out three egg yolks into a blender. It should be a blender that allows you to do small volumes.
- Add some white wine vinegar to the blender and blend on low/medium for around 30 seconds.
- Slowly (and I mean very slowly) drizzle the hot butter into the blender.
- You should notice the sauce forming. It should be thick and silky.
How to keep hollandaise warm
When I worked in professional kitchens, we kept the hollandaise sauce in a metal bowl above the stove. Not directly above, because it would have split, but just off to the side.
For our uses in the home kitchen keeping it for up to two hours in a thermal flask is perfect and allows you to relax a bit whilst you the other elements of your meal, knowing you have a perfectly, silky, warm hollandaise sauce ‘in the bag’.
Can you use a stick/immersion blender to make hollandaise?
Yes, you can absolutely use an immersion blender to make hollandaise sauce. It’s exactly the same process as above with the regular blender. Just use the container that came with the blender and you’ll be good to go.
What temperature does hollandaise sauce break (split) at?
Hollandaise sauce breaks (splits) at a temperature of approximately 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius).
I’ve found it can go to that temperature when you first make it without splitting. But if you’re trying to reheat it (a minefield) then it can split at much lower temperatures.
How to fix broken hollandaise sauce
If hollandaise sauce has split (broken), don’t worry! You can still save it and make a delicious hollandaise.
- Get it hot again on the stove (just like you did when you melted the butter).
- Take a large bowl and add a teaspoon of warm water.
- Start whisking and add 1 – 2 tsp of the warmed split hollandaise.
- keep whisking, adding 1 tbsp at a time.
- As it starts to form a thick and silky hollandaise sauce you can add maybe 2 tbsp at a time. It can still split again at this point (by adding too much too quickly), so if you’re unsure err on the side of caution.
- You should now have silky, thick hollandaise again, ready to serve.
Making hollandaise from scratch can be nerve-wracking due to its delicate nature, but using the blender method and then also learning how to fix broken hollandaise gives you more confidence when making this classic French sauce at home!
How to store hollandaise sauce
Hollandaise sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. To store hollandaise, place it in an airtight container and make sure that the hollandaise is cooled down before you put it away. It is important to ensure that hollandaise has cooled down before putting it away as this will help prevent any bacteria growth.
An alternative option is to freeze hollandaise sauce. To do this, transfer the hollandaise into freezer safe containers or bags and press out all the air before sealing and storing in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to use, thaw hollandaise overnight in the refrigerator.
How to reheat hollandaise sauce
Hollandaise doesn’t like being reheated. At all. It’s so hit and miss that I suggest you melt it down and remake it.
There are sites that will tell you that as long as you bring it up to room temperature first and then reheat it slowly in a double boiler, or even a microwave, you can do it.
I don’t own a microwave, so I don’t do that. But even the double boiler method is touch and go. It can split at really low temperatures (I’ve had it split when reheating at 35 degrees Celsius). Did I mention you’re better off melting it down? 🙂
So if you need to reheat hollandaise, melt it down like you did with the butter initially, then follow the method above for split hollandaise.
Troubleshooting hollandaise sauce
If you’ve followed my techniques here, you’ll have perfect hollandaise every time. But if you’ve come here to fix your hollandaise, you’ve essentially got two main issues that I haven’t mentioned yet…
If your hollandaise is too thick
- This one is easy, simple blend or whisk in a teaspoon of water at a time.
If your hollandaise is lumpy or gritty
- It means you’ve scrambled the eggs. This can happen if you add the butter to the blender too quickly. If you’re doing it the traditional way, it can happen if the heat was too high (not an issue we suffer from with the blender method). There’s no way to rectify this unfortunately. It’ll taste fine, so if it’s just for you, if it’s not too lumpy it can still be used. But if it’s really scrambled, you’ll need to throw it and start over.
What does Hollandaise sauce go well with?
Hollandaise sauce is a luxurious, rich and creamy sauce that’s perfect for adding flavour and texture to many dishes. It’s a classic accompaniment to Eggs Benedict, usually served as a hollandaise-poached egg on bacon and muffin topped with hollandaise, chives and black pepper. But hollandaise can also be used in other delicious ways.
For example, hollandaise is great on grilled chicken breast, salmon fillets or roasted vegetables like asparagus or broccoli florets. The rich, buttery hollandaise brings out the natural flavours of the food and adds an elegant finish to any dish. Hollandaise also pairs beautifully with fish such as trout or snapper, especially when served with lemon wedges and steamed green beans.
You might also want to go simple and traditional and use it on steak.
Another way hollandaise can be used is as a velvety sauce for pasta dishes – it’s delicious over penne pasta with mushrooms and fresh herbs. And it works wonderfully on fish pies too – just spoon some hollandaise over the mashed potatoes before baking in the oven for an extra bit of indulgence!
Hollandaise is also great for breakfast dishes such as crepes suzette, waffles or French toast – simply drizzle over your favourite pancakes or waffles for added luxury! As hollandaise has such a unique flavour profile, it works well when combined with sweet ingredients such as honey, maple syrup or berries too.
Hollandaise really is one of those versatile sauces that can be used in so many different ways – from brunch staples to dinner entrees and desserts! So next time you’re stuck for ideas on what to make for dinner, get some hollandaise on the go.
What other sauces can hollandaise be made into?
Hollandaise sauce is a versatile and delicious sauce that can be used to create a variety of other sauces. One of the most popular hollandaise-based sauces is Bearnaise, which uses white wine vinegar and fresh tarragon to give it its signature flavour. It’s perfect for adding a rich, buttery flavour to steak, fish or chicken dishes.
Another hollandaise-based sauce worth trying is Choron – a combination of hollandaise and tomato concasse. This vibrant orange-red sauce adds a subtle sweetness and smokiness that balances out the hollandaise perfectly. It goes great with grilled meats or seafood dishes, as well as roasted vegetables.
For a lighter hollandaise spinoff, try Maltaise sauce – hollandaise made with blood oranges for a tart citrus twist. This beautiful pinkish-orange sauce adds zestiness to grilled salmon fillets or steamed artichokes and looks amazing when served over pasta salads or risotto dishes.
For something truly unique, you could make Mousseline hollandaise – hollandaise blended with beaten egg whites for a fluffy creamy texture and extra lightness. It works wonderfully in soups, omelettes or quiches where you want added creaminess without too much heaviness.
And last but not least there’s Foyot sauce – hollandaise enriched with an egg yolk and demi glace (brown stock reduction). This luxurious yet simple brown sauce gives an elegant finish to roasts such as beef tenderloin or roasted lamb leg and tastes amazing with mashed potatoes too!
These are just some examples of the myriad ways hollandaise can be transformed into different sauces depending on what you want to serve – so why not experiment and see what flavours work best for your meals? With hollandaise, the possibilities are endless!
Let me know in the comments how this hollandaise recipe worked out for you. I’d also love to hear how you’ve used it.Print
- 250g unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Melt the butter in a pan. We need to get it bubbling hot so it cooks the eggs, but be sure not to burn it.
- Separate three egg yolks from the whites. The whites can be used in baking, meringues or omelettes. The three yolks go into a blender (one that will allow you to blend small amounts). A stick blender can also be used.
- Add the white wine vinegar to the blender and blend on low/medium for around 30 seconds.
- Slowly (and I mean very slowly) drizzle the hot butter into the blender. If you do this too fast you’ll split the sauce and potentially also scramble the eggs.
- As you add the butter you see the thick and silky hollandaise forming.
- Hollandaise is definitely best made fresh.
- If you want to make it ahead of time it will keep warm in a thermal flask for up to two hours.
- It can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days but doesn’t behave very well at all when reheated (it splits really easily). My suggestion is to melt and heat it up then follow my instructions for fixing split sauce.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: hollandaise sauce