How To Make A Foolproof Hollandaise Sauce

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Is hollandaise sauce the healthiest thing you could eat? Probably not. Is it the ultimate way to class up any breakfast food? Hell yes. Seeing the words hollandaise sauce on a brunch menu can inspire just about anyone with an appetite for comfort food. Pour the velvety sauce over a poached egg and you might just make someone fall in love with you. It might sound like an elaborate production, but when you break it down, it’s really just egg yolks, salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and unsalted butter.

You’ll want to have everything else prepared before you make the sauce because it needs to be served immediately, so, roast some veggies, toast some sourdough, poach an egg and then get to blending. If done right, hollandaise sauce should only take you about three minutes to make. The sauce itself is a creamy emulsion that people usually associate with dining at a restaurant, but you can just as easily make it in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Since Julia Child is the sauce master, it’s only fitting we would look to her for advice on hollandaise, one of the French mother sauces along with velouté, espagnole, tomato sauce and béchamel. The traditional method for making hollandaise involves a heatproof bowl, a double boiler and the stovetop, which gives a lot of room for error, i.e. curdling. Julia Child’s recipe is made using a blender and she claims it’s “within the capabilities of an 8-year-old child” in her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. 

The measurements will change depending on how many servings you need. Place the egg yolks, salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice in the blender. In a small saucepan, melt the unsalted butter until it’s hot and foaming. Cover the top of the blender and blend the egg yolk mixture at a high speed for about 2 seconds. Uncover and while the blender is still going at top speed, pour in the melted butter in a thin stream. The sauce will start to form a thick creamy texture. Season the sauce to taste and add a little extra lemon juice and pepper if needed. Pour the sauce over some hash browns, roasted potatoes, vegetables or make a decadent eggs benedict.

Once you master hollandaise, you’ll be the boss of all future brunches.