And although many cooks suggest using white pepper to avoid having a black speckled sauce, I still prefer to use black. Traditionally, hollandaise is made with lemon juice only, but the addition of vinegar gives it a lift.
- Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized chunks. In a small saucepan, reduce the vinegar and water to one tablespoon.
- Transfer this reduction into a bowl with sloping sides that will sit easily on a pot of barely simmering water.
- Make sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl or you may end up scrambling the eggs.
- Add the egg yolks to the bowl and whisk until thick. Add the butter gradually, whisking continuously until the sauce is thick and creamy.
- If the sauce becomes too thick, add a tablespoon of hot water.
- Season with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
For hollandaise variations, try:
BÉARNAISE: use tarragon vinegar instead of wine vinegar, and add freshly chopped tarragon to the finished sauce. The classic partner to grilled fillet steak.
MOUSSELINE: fold 75ml of whipped cream through the finished hollandaise. Fabulous served over cold poached salmon.
PALOISE: add 2 tbsp of chopped mint. Magnificent with roast lamb.
MALTAISE: replace the lemon juice with blood orange juice, but normal orange juice will suffice. Perfect with new season's asparagus.