Quest for the perfect Hollandaise

Posted 22 December 2013 Recipes  /  No comments yet

Chris and I love Eggs Benedict. We love it so much that we got up ridiculously early and drove to London one weekend to try Eggs Benedict at The Ritz. We love it so much that we’ve nicknamed it: Eggybees.

Yesterday, when talking Christmas plans with Neil (Chris’ dad), he mentioned Eggs Benedict and so we’ve decided we need to master Hollandaise sauce before Christmas.

First order of business was separating three egg yolks into a bowl.

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I like to prep everything before I start, so I juiced two lemons as well. We didn’t use all of the lemon juice, but we do like the sauce on the tangy / sour side.

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Next, we had to clarify some butter. Quite a lot of butter, as it turns out. Hollandaise sauce is not healthy! After watching a few YouTube videos, I decided to use the microwave method. You basically just cube up butter and chuck it in the microwave until it melts.

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When it comes out, there will be three distinct layers. The middle layer is the clarified butter, so you have to skim off the top with a spoon before you can spoon your clarified butter into a container.

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This is what the top looks like. You need to scoop of all the white chunky bits (the milk proteins).

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In the end, you’re left with silky, golden clarified butter.

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Here’s the video that we are trying to follow:

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I’m convinced the first step is where we went wrong. You’re supposed to beat the egg yolks for about a minute until they thicken and then add a tiny bit of cold water and lemon juice. We added the cold water and lemon juice too early and didn’t beat them for long enough before introducing heat. Oops.

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I’m pleased to announce that I had no problems poaching the eggs. I add about 200ml of white vinegar to water, bring it to a boil and then turn it down so it’s still boiling but not as furiously. The white vinegar helps the egg white to congeal quickly so the egg stays together. I also like the taste it gives the eggs!

I crack the eggs one by one into a small cup and pour them into the boiling water from the cup. I find that it’s easier to do this than to crack them right into the water. There’s less room for error. You can when the whites are cooked because they’re less jiggly, but it’s about 2 minutes.

When the eggs are done, I dunk them in a bowl of cold water to stop them over cooking and then onto some paper towel to pat them dry before plating.

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The hollandaise ended up too runny. The butter integrated nicely and it formed an emulsion, but it didn’t thicken right away like it does in the video. It tasted just right, though!

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It was still a pretty decent breakfast. The wedding diet has completely gone out the window now!