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Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

A warm emulsion sauce, made with egg yolks and butter, flavoured with lemon juice. Ideal served with fish, chicken or vegetables.

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Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians


For 4 helpings as a main course accompaniment:

- 170g/6 oz unsalted butter (at room temperature and cut into walnut-sized pieces)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) cold water
- 3 egg yolks (freeze the whites for another occasion)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice, sieved (about half a lemon)
- a little salt + pepper (white if you want to avoid black specks)


- Put water in the lower half of a bain-marie, making sure that when the top half is added it will not touch the water.

- Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to maintain a bare simmer.
- Put the tablespoon of cold water, lemon juice and egg yolks into the top half of your bain marie and lightly whisk.
- Place this over the simmering water.
- Start whisking with one hand, while slowly adding butter with the other. Only add more butter as the preceding piece has melted and been incorporated.
- The mixture will start to thicken as it rises above blood temperature.
- When all the butter has been used and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat.

- Season to taste.

The sauce can be held at this stage for about 90 minutes, in a cool part of the kitchen, maintaining a certain amount of heat over the hot water.
A slightly inferior, but more stable, sauce can be made by adding half a teaspoon of cornflour or arrowroot to the initial tablespoon of cold water (blending it in, until it 'melts')

Recipe taken from Foolproof Entertaining' by Simon Scrutton - available from

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hollandaise sauce
hollandaise sauce