Real butter-laden hollandaise, and how to apologise to your arteries/thighs
Mmm, hollandaise – the stuff that goes on eggs benedict, or the stuff that you just sort of smear all over your tongue fresh spring veges. It’s buttery, silky smooth, lightly lemony and peppery. It’s welcoming spring with open arms.
I just had a lot of butter for brunch. About 50g to be precise. It was melted, whipped into submission, and married with tangy lemon juice and silky smooth egg yolks. Some salt and freshly ground pepper later, it was coaxed out to smother a baked portobello mushroom, which it melted down a little, only to be caught by a home made bed of seed-embedded wholegrain rye bread. Perched atop it all was a little bundle of home grown green and purple.
Ahhh, smugness. It feels so good.
So are you ready to whip up some smugness home made hollandaise too? Well, before you get too excited, you will need one of the following sets:
- an immersion/stick blender with a whisk attachment, plus the smoothie cup that comes with it
- a blender with a bit that you can pour stuff in while the blades are going
- a small/mini food processor or blender with a bit that you can pour stuff in while the blades are going
- someone with strong arms, a whisk, a bowl, and a lot of patience and love for you (not really the desirable option here…use those arms for hugging I say)
- electric cake beaters that work when only one beater is put in, and a glass that fits the beater easily. It should have a little leeway on the sides and fit easily in the bottom of the glass.
By using one of the above you will be able to make a non-commercial amount of hollandaise, which is important since you can’t really keep hollandaise for more than an hour.
I’ll be thanked for my ingenuity some day. I hope. Thanks to Elise from Simply Recipes for the original recipe.
If you’re looking for healthifying tips, scroll to the bottom.
Easy hollandaise sauce
makes just under 1 cup
- 100g unsalted butter
- 2 egg yolks (fresh as possible – don’t use eggs you’ve had for more than a few days)*
- 1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 2 tsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed please) EDIT: a mixture of vinegar & lemon juice also works
- freshly ground black pepper
- pinch cayenne (optional)
- fresh chopped chives/spring onion (optional)
*you can separate the eggs over a small container and then freeze the whites that fall into the container. Genius. Remember to write how many egg whites are in the container, as it’s easy to forget.
Melt butter slowly over very low heat in a small saucepan. Take off heat as soon as butter is completely melted. EDIT: Or you can make brown butter hollandaise by cooking the butter on medium heat until it goes golden brown and smells nutty (just turn off the heat as soon as it goes golden, as it will keep cooking). Scrap the golden caramelised lactosey milky stuff in when you make the hollandaise.
While butter is melting, beat egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, cayenne and pepper for about 20-30 seconds, high speed, until the yolks pale a little. Don’t worry if your butter isn’t melted yet. Once it is, beat your egg yolks for a few seconds, and, leaving the beaters on, pour the butter into the yolk mixture in a VERY thin, steady stream, until the yellowy bits of the melted butter are all used up (you can use the creamy white stuff at the bottom by brushing it over your bread or mushrooms or onions later). Keep beating a few seconds after the butter is fully incorporated.
Note: It’ll be quite liquidy and lightened in colour, but it will thicken up. Leave in a warm room if you want it to stay pourable, otherwise leave on the counter while you prep other stuff for making eggs benedict. If left in a cold place, it will thicken quickly, but you can just beat it a few seconds to loosen it up. I left mine in the cold but just dolloped it on like greek yogurt rather than poured it.
Tips for eating hollandaise
- Since this already has a buttload of protein and fat in, serving it with eggs can be a little excessive. Try serving with baked portobello mushrooms (clean, brush with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, maybe some mixed herbs, bake 15 minutes at 200C or 400F). If you insist on using eggs, then invite some more people over to share the hollandaise with. Seriously, this stuff is very, very rich. Remember, it does not keep for more than an hour.
- Serve with caramelised onions or home roasted red peppers – soooooooo tasty. Serving with hollandaise though? Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo tasty. These can be done while the mushrooms are cooking. Pour the creamy whites stuff from the melted butter in at the end of cooking the onions – heavenly.
- Serve with some greenery if having with eggs benedict – it makes things a hell of a lot tastier, because each bite has a refreshing note that pairs really well with the lemony kick of the hollandaise. In spring, some freshly steamed or grilled asparagus would work nicely, but crunchy lettuces, rocket, mizuna or even stir fried snow peas or blanched spinach would work wonders.
- Try it with wholegrain bread rather than white. The extra fibre from the bread is a good idea with any large intake of butter.
- Fresh chopped herbs sprinkled over or stirred through your hollandaise will up its health factor and make it look a lot prettier and tasty too. Chives would be my first choice, but dill, chervil, parsley, tarragon, or basil would work too. If you love lemon-y ness, sorrel would work wonders too, although I’d sprinkle that over.
- Pesto alternately drizzled with hollandaise…./faint.
If you haven’t yet, start planning your seed purchases for spring! If you’re in a cold area like me, you want to start planting things indoors in a few weeks, especially warm weather plants.