People are scared of emulsion sauces, but I encourage you to give it a go. All it takes is for you to master one and you’ll open the door of possibilities. Before you know it, you’ll be whipping them up in a flash—it just takes one success to build you confidence. Always remember you can rescue a hollandaise with an extra egg yolk; so you can’t really fail if you’ve got some back-up eggs to hand! There are two methods, both speedy. Before long, hollandaise will be you ‘go-to’ to add flavour and fat to meals.
1. Melt the butter in a pan until foaming. Take it off the heat and allow the milk solids to settle to the bottom.
2. As the butter is melting, quickly whisk the egg yolk.
3. Continue to whisk the eggs as you add the melted butter, drop by drop, speeding up to a steady steam as the mixture starts to thicken. You want the egg yolk to envelop the butter so it disappears. Stop adding the butter when you reach the milk solid (the butter will change from clear to milky)
4. Add the lemon juice and season to taste. I like mine quite lemony, so don’t be afraid to add more or less seasoning.
1. Cube the butter and add it to a heavy based saucepan with the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of water. Over a very gentle heat, whisk, whisk, whisk, until the butter slowly melts and emulsifies with the egg — the sauce will thicken as the butter melts. By no means should you abandon your station to do anything else — otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled egg.
2. Once the butter has melted, you can thicken the mixture by turning up the heat and whisking continuously. Make sure the heat isn’t too high or it will scramble.
3. Once you’re reached your desired consistency, take it off the heat, add lemon juice and season to taste. Again, I like mine quite lemony, so don’t be afraid to add more or less seasoning.
Serve with poached eggs, smoked salmon, steamed asparagus or steamed broccoli.
If your hollandaise begins to split, don’t panic. Stop adding butter, and take it off the heat straight away (if using method 2). Get a stick blender, and blitz the daylights out of it to bring it back together again. Continue from where you left off, adding the butter slowly and whisking. If blitzing fails, simply use another egg yolk, and using method one or two, slowly add the split mixture into the egg, like you did with the butter.