Hollandaise sauce is a creamy, rich, and delicious egg yolk-based sauce that can be used in various dishes.
It is what gives eggs benedict their signature flavor.
Hollandaise sauce has three main ingredients: clarified butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice or white wine vinegar.
In this post, we will go through what hollandaise sauce is and what it tastes like.
What is Hollandaise Sauce?
Hollandaise sauce is a classic French dish.
Often served with asparagus, eggs benedict, or simply over toast for a straightforward breakfast.
It’s made from butter and lemon juice and is thickened with egg yolk.
Known initially as Sauce Isigny, this dish got its name from the country of origin – France.
Originally a small town in Normandy famed for its butter and cream production, the Hollandaise sauce was renamed after becoming recognized as a popular dish.
The sauce contains the same ingredients used in mayonnaise, but it is thicker and has a tangier flavor.
What Does Hollandaise Sauce Have in It?
Hollandaise sauce is a classic French breakfast accompaniment made from eggs, butter, lemon juice, or vinegar and salt.
Considered by many to be the most perfect of all sauces in existence (and we cannot disagree), Hollandaise sauce has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years.
It was initially used as an egg-based ragout like béchamel, but it soon became popular with royals for its excellent flavor, luxuriousness, and light consistency.
Below, we will delve into the details about how to make hollandaise sauce.
What Should Hollandaise Sauce Look like?
Hollandaise sauce is a mixture of butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice.
It has two distinctive characteristics: light in color (yellow to pale yellow) and creamy thick.
When served on food, hollandaise often comes as a thin liquid, but the consistency can vary from very runny to thicker depending on how many eggs are used.
The thickness can be altered using more or fewer yolks, but it should never be so thin that you cannot see through it.
However, if left for too long, it will turn brown and become too thick.
However, there are variations such as adding lemon juice to create tartar sauce which goes well with seafood, particularly salmon sandwiches.
The consistency for this variation has more liquid giving it a lighter color and less runny texture when serving over foods like fried shrimp, crab cakes, and lobster rolls (which are all typical examples).
It has been rumored that the first time hollandaise was served, it had curdled and gotten lumpy because of improper cooking temperatures.
The perfect texture should be silky smooth, without lumps or curdled bits.
What Does Hollandaise Sauce Taste Like?
Hollandaise sauce is a culinary delight that has become an essential component of breakfast dishes.
It is a rich and decadent egg-based sauce with an almost creamy, buttery flavor but can vary from tangier to sweeter depending on the style.
Hollandaise sauce can vary depending on what ingredients you add to it.
For example, adding paprika will give the hollandaise some spicy notes, while salt and pepper are a must to balance any flavors in your recipe.
Adding lemon juice is also an option if you want acidity without using too much vinegar, which would make your dish sour-tasting; unsalted butter works great if dairy isn’t something that interests or restricts you with regards to dieting.
Hollandaise Sauce Uses
Hollandaise Sauce Uses very versatile.
It is one of the three sauces from which French cuisine derives its name (along with Bechamel sauce and Espagnole).
If you’re serving Hollandaise Sauce Uses as part of your meal plan, there are so many ways to incorporate them into your dishes.
You may find that this tangy sauce has become your go-to when cooking eggs, vegetables, fish, or any other dish you need some zing added to.
Eggs Benedict is a classic brunch dish that includes poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on an English muffin topped with Canadian bacon or ham.
Salad Niçoise (a French salad) uses this sauce as the dressing for its green beans and boiled potatoes, along with tuna in oil, hard-boiled eggs, roasted peppers, and tomatoes.
Some people refer to Hollandaise Sauce Uses as “mother’s milk” because it can make so many dishes.
It would not be uncommon to find it served in a restaurant as an accompaniment to steak or chicken.
My favorite use for the sauce is in my recipe for Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce Drizzle, which I serve on a bed of rice and broccoli.
The hollandaise adds just enough flavor without overpowering the delicate taste of fresh salmon.
Fish tacos are another popular dish that uses this creamy sauce; it’s served atop grilled fish (such as halibut), sprinkled with cilantro leaves and crema Mexicana on corn tortillas.
It’s also excellent for dipping lobster and shrimp in.
How to Make Hollandaise Sauce?
Hollandaise sauce is made by whisking together egg yolks in a bowl with lemon juice or vinegar until they become fluffy and thick.
The mixture gets heated on the stovetop over medium heat while constantly stirring so it doesn’t burn (and if you’re feeling extra fancy, add another egg yolk to make an extra-rich Hollandaise).
Butter is then added off the heat, one tablespoon at a time, just before each addition has been fully incorporated into the mix.
For about every six tablespoons of butter that have been added this way during cooking, there should be three times as many liquid ingredients: whole eggs plus lemon juice or vinegar (depending on what your recipe calls for).
The sauce might need to simmer between 1 and 2 minutes after adding the butter, which is when it will start thickening.
It takes time and patience during this process to make a traditional Hollandaise sauce: about 10 minutes of total cook time.
There are many variations on how you can alter the recipe to suit your needs or preferences.
This includes using lemon juice instead of vinegar, substituting whole eggs with half egg yolks (or even just egg whites), and using a blender or food processor to make the sauce.
Can You Buy Hollandaise Sauce?
Making hollandaise sauce can be intimidating.
It’s a delicate sauce that requires a lot of skill and attention to make it properly, but you can’t just buy it from the store either.
Hollandaise is considered one of those “special occasion” sauces because of how difficult it is to make at home, making people want to buy this kind of food more than they would if they knew how simple or easy it was.
Hollandaise sauce in stores isn’t as thick or creamy as hollandaise made by hand; there’s not enough egg yolk for all the butter employed in soufflé recipes.
Some of the leading brands are McCormick® and Knorr, but it’s important to note that not all sauces from these companies have an expiration date printed on them, so be sure you check before buying.
You can find this sauce in most grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, several online retailers offer the same high-quality spices.
Those who want to make their hollandaise sauce or for restaurants who need large quantities are available at wholesale prices on eBay.
How to Store Hollandaise Sauce?
Unlike most sauces, hollandaise is made by boiling clarified butter with egg yolks together.
This does not store well, so it’s usually prepared just before serving.
If you happen to be making the sauce ahead of time and find yourself short on storage space for it, freezing in small portions works best- place equal amounts of warmed hollandaise (no more than 2 cups) in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to one month.
Hollandaise sauce is a great way to add flavor and richness to your egg benedict.
It’s also delicious on asparagus, green beans, or spinach.
Use our easy recipe to whip up your batch at home.
Have you ever made hollandaise sauce? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.