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Let's talk about hollandaise

It's a fixture on brunch menus nationwide. It'd decadent, rich and I believe, pairs best with Champagne rather than coffee to refresh the palate!


Hollandaise. Mainstay of the famous Eggs Benedict and often added to just about every other dish with a poached egg involved. Unless you're my friend Belle, who insists on having it on scrambled eggs because shes's still suffering from a bout of nausea induced by a soft egg when she was pregnant 18 years ago.


Hollandaise is one of the first emulsions chefs learn, and yet so many cafes use pre-bought guff. I'm told Maggi distributes big-ass bags of the stuff to cafes everywhere. Whenever you get served hollandaise that's super pale and bland - my bet is it's this shit or something similar. https://www.nestleprofessional.com.au/maggi/maggi-hollandaise-sauce-1l-x-6


One of the selling points of this commercially-made sauce is that it's heat stable and 'doesn't split'. Well, I've split hollandaise before (i.e. it's curdled) and you know how you fix it? With a few drops of boiling water and a fork. Boom, fixed.


This is the reason I always ask for hollandaise on the side - I'm not buying into one squillion calories of decadence until I know it's worth it!


More often than not we eat at home nowadays and if it's special occassion - we'll make our own hollandaise. It has been a party trick of mine ever since my boyfriend at 17 became obsessed with it. You know what they say - the way to a man's heart is to clog up his arteries so he becomes feeble and reliant on you.


If you've never made it before, do not fear! It is easy and I will provide two methods - traditional double boiler and, shock horror, in THE MICROWAVE.


Dylan whipped up some in the microwave a few years ago and while I was AGHAST, it was good. That man is always right. It's so annoying!!


RECIPE -Traditional (bigger recipe)


3 egg yolks

1/2 cup of salted butter

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

pinch of salt


Method:


Melt the butter in a small saucepan until hot, but not browned. Get another small/medium saucepan with a few inches of water in it and get a glass pyrex bowl (or similar) that will fit on top of the saucepan without touching the water below.


Whisk the eggs and lemon juice together and place in the bowl over the saucepan. Turn the heat on medium and as the water below heats up, drizzle the butter into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. If the sauce gets a bit thick or heaven forbid, splits, drop in a teaspoon of boiling water and whisk.


Take the sauce off the heat, season with salt and a bit of pepper (or cayenne, if preferred). Serve immediately.


I like doing it over the double boiler because I can see the sauce the whole time and I feel more in control.



RECIPE - MICROWAVE (smaller recipe)


2 egg yolks

Squeeze of lemon juice - fresh is best for max zingyness

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper if desired

1/4 cup of melted butter - I prefer salted here.


Whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice and seasoning. Drizzle in the melted butter while whisking to combine. Microwave in 10 second bursts, whisking in between. Sauce is done when it will coat the back of a spoon.



You'll notice that your hollandaise is a lot more orange/yellow than most of the sauces you get served in a restaurant. It might also be thinner. It obviously depends on the colour of the egg yolks, but I often assume when I'm served sauce that is super pale and thick, that it's commercially made, not freshly made. Chef/foodie friends- any comments here?


So tell me, do you love hollandaise? Have you made it at home before? Do you serve it with anything other than eggs? I think if you swap out the lemon for vinegar and add tarragon you pretty much have béarnaise sauce which is great for steak.


Butter and egg yolks. How could you go wrong?



xoxo,


Brisbane Foodie.