Mess Level: Low
Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- ½ Cup (one stick) Butter preferably at room temperature
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- Add one inch of water to a small sauce pot and set it over medium heat. Place a large, heatproof bowl on top of the pot.
- Separate all your eggs and reserve the yolks.
- Add the lemon juice to the egg yolks then chunk your butter up into cubes so it will melt faster.
- Add the lemon and yolks to the double boiler and whisk vigorously for about a minute.
- Constantly whisking, slowly add the butter in a few pieces at a time until it’s emulsified. The easiest way to break the sauce is by adding too much butter too fast.
- Pay attention to the bottom of the bowl, if the sauce seems like it's getting sticky and gluey, that’s a sign you’re about to scramble your eggs. Pull the bowl off the heat and keep whisking until the bowl cools down; about 30 seconds.
- Return the bowl to the heat and continue whisking and adding butter until all the butter is incorporated.
- Remove the butter from the heat and whisk in the salt and paprika. Taste and add more lemon, salt or paprika as needed. Enjoy!
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What is Emulsified?
Two liquids that would normally separate becoming one.
What does it mean when a sauce breaks?
- It's not good... But you can fix it!
When a sauce is made up of items that don’t bind well together and they separate.
What is a double boiler?
- Double Boiler:
A double boiler is a small pot of water and a large bowl set over it. This creates steam around the bowl, great for melting chocolate, making custards or other sensitive items like hollandaise.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
Ever heard the term “My sauce has broken” before? It basically means all the components of your beautiful sauce separated into an icky looking pool of floating oil and fat pieces.
Hollandaise is one of the simplest sauces to make but people get scared because it’s a sauce that breaks easily. You’re mixing lemon juice with egg yolks and butter and none of these things like each other so it’s very easy for the sauce to separate on you.
You’re also heating a sauce with egg yolks in it and if you get the sauce too hot then you’re going to scramble the eggs which will definitely break the sauce. But guess what? There’s a way you can save your broken sauce!
When your sauce separates, we need a binding agent to hold it all back together. Now if you get your sauce too hot and the eggs scramble, then you’ll have to start over. You can’t uncook your eggs. But if it just broke (separated), then it’s an easy fix.
Start with one new egg yolk in a new bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the yolk vigorously and very slowly pour the broken sauce into the new bowl. The egg yolk will act as a binding agent and hold everything together! Now go whip up some hollandaise and see if you can get it to break.