Delia

Hollandaise Sauce

This great classic butter sauce from France can be tricky if it gets too much heat, so great care is in order here. However, since the advent of blenders and processors, the risk is not as large as it used to be with hand whisking over hot water. It has to be said that a blender is best, but a processor works well, too.

My own problem has always been how to keep it warm, as I always like to make it in advance, and overheating will make it curdle. There are two possible answers for this: either use a wide-necked Thermos flask rinsed with boiling water, or to make a lighter, more stable version, try Foaming Hollandaise. Either version of this supremely wonderful sauce can be used for serving with asparagus or artichokes, or with any kind of grilled or poached fish.

And served with Eggs Benedict, it's a positive star.


Serves 4

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course, How to Cook Book One and The Delia Collection: Fish

Hollandaise Sauce
Ingredients
 2 large egg yolks
 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
 1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar
 4 oz (110 g) butter
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
Equipment

Method

Begin by placing the egg yolks in a small bowl and season them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Then place them in a food processor or blender and blend them thoroughly for about 1 minute. After that, heat the lemon juice and white wine vinegar in a small saucepan until the mixture starts to bubble and simmer. Switch the processor or blender on again and pour the hot liquid on to the egg yolks in a slow, steady stream.

After that, switch the processor or blender off.

Now, using the same saucepan, melt the butter over a gentle heat, being very careful not to let it brown. When the butter is foaming, switch the processor or blender on once more and pour in the butter in a thin, slow, steady trickle; the slower you add it the better. (If it helps you to use a jug and not pour from the saucepan, warm a jug with boiling water, discard the boiling water and then pour the butter mixture into that first.)

When all the butter has been incorporated, wipe around the sides of the processor bowl or blender with a spatula to incorporate all the sauce, then give the sauce one more quick burst and you should end up with a lovely, smooth, thick, buttery sauce.

Note: this recipe contains raw eggs


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