Hollandaise never lasts long in our household. Honestly, it takes about ten minutes to make, and half that amount of time had (barely) passed by the time we’d licked up the last stray flecks of this creamy, golden, buttery sauce.
I’d never actually had hollandaise until long after I’d met M…I tried it for the first time and could barely keep myself from making a second batch, and a third. If you’ve never had this sauce, it’s a creamy, buttery, smooth sauce with rich hints of egg, lemon and cayenne. The perfect hollandaise, in my opinion, strikes a balance where the acid of the lemon cuts through but doesn’t hide the smooth, full-bodied flavor that comes from egg yolks and butter.
There are a lot of things people like to do with hollandaise:
- drizzle it over steamed asparagus
- use it over poached salmon for an extra layer of flavor
- on the infamous eggs Benedict
I, however, prefer it rather simply: with a piece of toast cut into soldiers* and a spoon. A cold winter afternoon with a small pot of hollandaise and a good book can really only be heightened with tea. Enjoy!
M’s favorite hollandaise
2 egg yolks
4-6 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp lemon juice (add more to taste if you like)
1/8 tsp cayenne
salt to taste
In a small, small pot (I use a sauce warmer) place the egg yolks, one tablespoon of butter, and the lemon juice. Whisk it all together and place it over low. Whisk continually, watching the butter. Once it’s melted, add another tablespoon and keep whisking.
What you’re looking for in the sauce is a thick, almost mayonnaise-like consistency. I know some people like a thinner hollandaise, but M and I prefer it rich and thick like sour cream, or aioli. As the sauce begins to thicken, keep stirring. You will know that the sauce is done once you lift the whisk, letting some sauce drip back into the pot, and don’t see a slightly darker yellow ring around the droplet.
Once the sauce is done, take it off the heat and whisk in the remaining butter.
Taste it and correct for seasonings. Then, serve it up! This recipe makes enough for two hollandaise-loving people.
*Note: “toast soldiers” is a way of saying, toast cut into thin sticks for dipping.