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Recipe for :

Hollandaise Sauce - Modern Version

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Traditional hollandaise recipes called for nearly twice this amount of melted butter and a vinegar reduction, however this results in a very heavy sauce. Here the butter content is reduced and the vinegar reduction replaced with lemon juice. This not only reduces the fat and cholesterol content, but also a lighter sauce both in texture and flavour is produced. Complimenting the more delicate type foods that this sauce is generally served with.


250 gm melted clarified butter
4 pc egg yolks
50 ml water
sq lemon juice
sq cayenne pepper


  • Mix the yolks with the water
  • Place over a bain marie / double boiler, and whisk continuously until the ribbon stage is obtained (it should be light, fluffy and be able to hold its own weight)
  • Remove from the heat and cool slightly
  • Gradually whisk in the cool butter until thoroughly combined
  • Add the lemon juice to taste and correct the seasoning
  • Hollandaise must be kept at just above room temperature

Chef's Tip:

Served with poached fish and delicate vegetables, eg broccoli, asparagus.

Great care must be taken when making hollandaise as it can curdle or split very easily, it is a sauce derived from the process of emulsion and coagulation. Therefore if the butter is added to quickly or is too hot, the albumen in the egg will harden, shrink and separate from the liquid.

Should this happen:

  • place a tablespoon of boiling water in a clean bowl
  • gradually whisk in the curdled sauce

If this fails:

  • put a fresh yolk in a bowl with a teaspoon of water and remake a sabayon
  • gradually whisk in the curdled sauce


From this mother sauce many classical derivatives can be obtained with the addition of other ingredients All amounts are guidelines only and need to be added to taste, taking into account there needs to be a balance of all the flavours.

  Bavaroise : Add a tsp of freshly grated horseradish
  Béarnaise : Add a tsp of fresh, chopped French tarragon
  Choron : As for Bearnaise with the addition of a little tomato puree
  Foyet : Béarnaise sauce with the addition of a meat glaze
  Maltaise : Add zest and juice of blood oranges
  Mousseline : Fold in stiffly whipped cream
  Noisette : Made with nut brown butter
  Tyrolienne : Choron sauce but using olive oil in place of butter

Enjoy and bon appetit . . . . .

sufficient quantity (add to taste)
piece, meaning a whole one of