Basic hollandaise

Basic hollandaise

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(12 ratings)

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Cooking time

Skill level

For the keen cook

Servings

Makes about 300ml (enough to serve 4-6)

This sauce, from Gordon Ramsay, takes some time to prepare, but think of it as a workout with a whisk

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition nutrition per serving (for 6)

kcalories
336
protein
2g
carbs
0g
fat
36g
saturates
22g
fibre
0g
sugar
0g
salt
0.02g

Ingredients

  • 500ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp peppercorn
  • bunch tarragon
  • 3 large free-range egg yolks
  • 200ml melted and skimmed unsalted butter (see Secrets for success, below)
  • squeeze lemon juice

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Method

  1. Boil the vinegar together with peppercorns and tarragon, reduce by half. Strain and reserve (see Secrets for success on storing, below).
  2. Boil a large pan of water, then reduce to a simmer. Using a large balloon whisk, beat together the yolks and 2 tsp of the reduced wine vinegar in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over the pan.
  3. Beat vigorously until the mixture forms a foam, but make sure that it doesn’t get too hot. To prevent the sauce from overheating, take it on and off the heat while you whisk, scraping around the sides with a plastic spatula. The aim is to achieve a golden, airy foam (called a sabayon), which forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted.
  4. Whisk in a small ladle of the warmed butter, a little at a time, then return the bowl over a gentle heat to cook a little more. Remove from the heat again and whisk in another ladle of butter. Repeat until all the butter is incorporated and you have a texture as thick as mayonnaise. Finally, whisk in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste plus a little warm water from the pan if the mixture is too thick.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2005

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Comments

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marsomarso's picture

Hollandaise can be tricky but I think I've found a way to make it a bit easier for us novices. I use a glass jug in a pot of boiled water, not on the heat. Using an electric hand whisk the whole process is much quicker. After making the initial foam with the egg yolks and vinegar I drip the melted butter in slowly and constantly (from another jug) whilst constantly electronically whisking. As the heat is not on there is no need to take the jug out of the pot so it removes the extra fuss that can result in it splitting. I've had about a 8/10 success rate with this method, compared to my previous scrambled egg covered walls. If you are making eggs benedict it helps to poach the eggs in advance and keep them warm on a plate in the oven at a low heat while you make the hollandaise, or vice versa. Good luck, it's such a yummy sauce to make and it makes your friends feel special!

Nattynoodles's picture

First time making hollandaise and was a little nervous but it was really easy and turned out perfect! I didn't bother reducing the vinegar so it was quick and simple to make. Would definitely recommend for beginners, gorgeous on a bit of poached salmon!

walsham's picture

So much better to use the traditional method. Everything is so controllable that curdling is a thing of the past. Not only was the recipe easy to follow, it gave my arms a good work out, and tasted sublime. Made the sauce to go with Gordon's eggs benedict and with a glass of champagne, it was a fantastic meal - it really is worth the effort.

claudia21's picture

That sounds fab!

nynaeve2k's picture
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Thank you, Gordon, for a great, basic hollandaise the with good instructions & tips for rescuing!

After trying (& failing miserably) with a food processor technique, I decided an old fashioned, whisk approach would give me more control. The result, after averting scrambled eggs with a little iced water, is a deliciously silky smooth sauce!

jfordtmc's picture
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This was an excellent tasting sauce, however I didn't get to enjoy it atop my english muffin. I had made the sauce which turned out perfectly, set aside while I made the rest of the dish, but the time the dish was ready for sauce, it was cold. I set the bowl of sauce over a pan of water once again just to warm and it turned runny and split. Stirring in iced water did not help at this point. This was the first time making hollandaise for me, so I undoubtably made a rookie mistake. How are you suppose to warm the sauce for re-use?

Josh

dannyboy123's picture

You can make Hollandaise in the food blender which is quicker

katjapenders's picture

Personally, I think Mr. Ramsay is the best chef because of the precision he has taught himself and others while attaining the ability to show the art of mastering cuisines. Although not a fan of his imprecational ways, I do believe that he 'fires' on-screen and if you are adament about learning the proper way of fine cooking, he would be my number one choice. I use this recipe all the time and it is the easiest way to make a stunning breakfast affaire! :)

obuffrey's picture

Poached eggs sometimes seem to work perfectly for me. Other tomes they are a disaster, though they always taste just as good. Can I suggest Lakeland's pochette's for when the need to look good. I know it's cheating, but the are foolproof! And you can do more than one at a time.

unclevagrant's picture

I found a Delia version a few years ago and TOTALLY swear by it. There's no excessive reductions and the only complex element is the requirement of owning a tiny wee blender. You won't split the mixture because you only heat the egg yolk through the warmed vinegar/lemon juice and then again with the frothy butter.

I'd pop a link here to it but the moderator probably won't allow it. Use google with Delia Hollandaise!

Enjoy

samwhyte's picture
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I'd never made a hollandaise before and it worked really well, I guess I have no basis for comparison, but it didn't split and it tasted lovely.

rmitter3's picture
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agree with all above comment about too much vinegar... no need for so much. complex but worth it, need to learn to thicken the sauce more

sallyrayner's picture
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To make hollandaise sauce - one you don't need tarragon - two you can add two teaspoons of cold water instead of vinegar and three - you don't need melted butter - the sauce is less likely to split if you incorporate small lumps of butter into the sauce and whisk each time - result - lovely sauce with less of the hastle - works every time.

trainee1's picture

surely you should in infuse the butter with the herbs as fat absorbs more flavour??

hiccup42's picture

The man in the "How to" video said you would use water if you weren't using the vinegar reduction. I haven't tried it out yet though. Perhaps using non - reduced vinegar is better than water.

sieske's picture

I love this recipe!! Really!! The only problem I have is poaching the eggs, I can't get really fresh eggs around here and I never seem to get the eggs like in pictures, but the sauce is really really really mmmmmmhhh, and the combination of the sauce, eggs, muffins, ham is great. Can't believe it's almost not known in Holland.

cakeanyone's picture

Made some enquiries and you can buy tarragon flavoured vinegar so that would same some time/money!

cakeanyone's picture

So, is there an answer re the vinegar issue? What would happen if you just used 2 tspn of white wine vinegar without reducing it? Another thought - if the reduction with the tarragon is just for the tarragon flavour, couldn't tarragon could be added elsewhere in the recipe perhaps. Any suggestions?

mondisaqt's picture
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How can any of you question "the man"?!?!

lexobbc's picture

And M Stevenson is also right - there's not much point in boiling down half a litre of vinegar if you're only going to use a couple of teaspoonsful. Why would you need all that reduced vinegar? How often are you going to make this sauce? This is a restaurant recipe which hasn't been translated into home cooking terms.

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