- Prepare a water-bath by putting 2-3cm of water into a pot. The pot you choose should be wide enough for a metal bowl to sit on top. This bowl is where you will whisk the eggs. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Bring water to a simmer.
- In a new pot, bring the vinegar, salt and peppercorns to a simmer and reduce by three quarters in volume (2-3 minutes). Strain into a bowl that will fit over the pot of simmering water.
- Place the bowl on top of the pot of simmering water. Whisk the egg yolks in to the vinegar reduction until the eggs thicken and have the consistency of cream.
- Slowly whisk in the warm melted butter (reheat the butter if necessary). The sauce will form an emulsion and should be thick and firmwhen the butter is absorbed.
- If the sauce gets too hot, it will scramble. You can remove the pot from the heat but keep whisking to cool down.
- Season and add lemon juice if desired. Hollandaise will set firmly if allowed to get cold, keep it in a warm place
until serving — it will keep for about 30 minutes.
- Make sure the eggs and vinegar are of a creamy consistency before starting to add butter.
- Hollandaise will split or curdle if the butter is added before the eggs and vinegar reduction have been whisked to the consistency of cream.
- Use warm butter.
- Hollandaise will scramble if the eggs get too hot. To cool quickly, place the bowl in a sink of cold water and continue whisking to cool down. You can then return to the heat to continue adding the butter.
- You can easily change the flavourings by adding lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice or herbs etc.
To make eggs benedict
Serve hollandaise poured over poached eggs (click here for the recipe) on top of toasted English muffins and fried bacon. Or serve the hollandaise in a small jug on the side for people to add the desired amount.