Basic hollandaise

Basic hollandaise

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(27 ratings)

A challenge

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: nutrition per serving (for 6)

  • kcal336
  • fat36g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs0g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.02g
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  • 500ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp peppercorn
  • bunch tarragon



    A popular and versatile herb, tarragon has an intense flavour that's a unique mix of sweet…

  • 3 large free-range egg yolks
  • 200ml melted and skimmed unsalted butter (see Secrets for success, below)
  • squeeze lemon juice


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Karl Hans
16th Sep, 2019
Measurements are wrong. 500ml vinegar is crazy.
tonyd's picture
29th Jul, 2016
This recipe is grossly inaccurate. Get your act together BBCGF!!!
3rd Jan, 2016
This recipe is completely off the mark. For one, it is for bearnaise--hollandaise is sans tarragon and white wine vinegar. For two, even if it were titled correctly, the 500ml measure of vinegar is at least 5x the correct amount. For hollandaise, wisk together 3 egg yolks and the butter over a glass bowl double boiler and then season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and cayenne.
Corrine E Bryant
23rd Nov, 2015
Please add a way to upload recipes from your website to your app! Thank you!!!
28th Aug, 2015
Your recipe for "Basic Hollandaise" is actually a recipe for Bearnaise sauce (i.e. it uses tarragon and wine vinegar, which Hollandaise sauce does not).
5th Aug, 2015
This recipe tells you to boil 500ml of white wine vinegar and you only use 2 tsp. Just make 100ml and then reduce. I nearly wasted a lot of vinegar. Recipe was great though and the tip with the ice water for the mixture splitting really works well!
27th Jul, 2015
Tried this recipe and it is good. It makes a sauce with a smooth consistency - just runny enough - and delicious taste. But, I needed something a bit quicker this weekend. So, I used the suggestion from UncleVagrant (see below). I was lucky enough to have a bottle of tarragon infused white wine vinegar, bought cheaply from my local supermarket. Delia's recipe was a bit thick, so I would recommend using two or three times the quantity of vinegar and lemon juice that Delia does. Not as good as Gordon's but perfect with the piece of cod and broccoli that I poured it over.
M_Ni's picture
19th Jun, 2015
Really great recipe! I've made this a few times now and have stopped manually whisking since it takes me too long. I cheat a little and use a hand held electric whisk on a low setting and it works just as well. Also, I use less than half of the 500ml vinegar to boil to a reduction. I prefer to make a fresh vinegar reduction rather than have it stored somewhere in the back of my kitchen cupboard till next use. One of my family's favourite sauces!
13th May, 2015
I used this recipe last night and it was great! I put it on Ramsay's Eggs Benedict and it was a hit with my family!
casitawill's picture
31st Jan, 2015
This recipe is another example of Ramsay over-complicating the issue. The butter-vinegar ratio is WAY out as well. Try this: 750g butter; 6 eggs, juice of 1 lemon, pepper. Melt the butter in a pan. Put eggs (unseparated) with the juice & pepper into a food processor/liquidiser & switch on. Pour the hot melted butter evenly into the whisking wggs until the sauce has thickened. Keep pan over simmering water until ready to serve. Add herbs/flavourings as required. Boom.


24th Dec, 2014
500ml of white wine vinegar - is this a hollandaise or a vinegar soup?!?! That's a whole bottle of white wine vinegar for 3 egg yolks. This has to be completely wrong doesn't it but it has 12 five star reviews - I'm very confused!
30th Dec, 2014
I was shocked as well at first but if you read the steps you will only end up using 2tsp of the reduced vinegar. The remaining is stored and used whenever you wish. :)
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