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Monday, 25 April 2011


I was away on a course on Thursday and Friday and stayed overnight at the Carrick Lodge Hotel .  I can highly recommend it, both my room and my colleague's room were of a high standard and the food was excellent.  I hadn't taken my camera so can't share my meal with you.  However, on the menu at breakfast there was 'Eggs Benedict', not something I would normally choose, but I just couldn't resist.  It was my Dad's favourite and is now one of my favourites too.

So, where is all this leading?   I have never made Hollandaise sauce and after my Eggs Benedict, I thought it was probably about time I had a go.  I know it has a reputation as being tricky but the recipe looked simple and I had everything I needed to make it.  We were having salmon fillets for dinner and some sauce would lift them to a real treat.

I could have chosen a recipe from any number of my collection of cookbooks but decided to have a look and see if Rachel Allen had one - and she did!  Right there at the back of  Home Cooking in a chapter entitled Basics.

Hollandaise Sauce
makes about 150ml (5fl oz)

2 egg yolks
110g (4oz) butter, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice

1. Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water on a medium heat. Add the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of cold water and whisk together.  Gradually add the butter, bit by bit until each addition has melted and emulsified as it is whisked in, before adding the next.

2. Once all the butter has been added, cook for a few minutes more, stirring regularly until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

3. Remove from the heat and keep warm if necessary, by covering with clingfilm and leaving to sit over the warm water, until you're ready to serve.

Confession No. 1: The sauce made perfectly, until I put in the lemon juice and then the d**n thing split!  So on the basis that it is just hot mayonnaise,  I got another egg yolk and a clean bowl and gradually whisked the split sauce into the egg yolk over the simmering water. It worked a treat!

Confession No. 2: I served this to Mr Farmer, he tasted it and said what a nice CHEESE sauce it was,  I don't know why I bother sometimes - ha ha ha!

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At 25 April 2011 at 15:05 , Blogger GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

It does seem easy enough ~ great correction after adding the lemon juice. I wonder why that happened?

Well, it does, kinda, maybe, look like cheese sauce :)

At 25 April 2011 at 15:13 , Blogger PapaCheong's 拿手好菜 said...

Hi, I have been a silent reader of your blog and I have to admit that I have been 'stealing' receipes from your blog to try them out myself after seeing the nice picture you have been putting up but my outcome is never as nice as yours.


At 25 April 2011 at 15:20 , Blogger Andrew Davies said...

I love Eggs Benedict and like you it lead me to making Hallandaise. I've made it quite a few times now but still sometimes it can go wrong splitting etc .. as you know!
There also seem to be varying recipes the one I use has white wine vinegar and Tarragon

At 25 April 2011 at 18:17 , Blogger Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

I think if it has tarragon in it, it is Bernaise sauce - would that be right?

At 26 April 2011 at 19:22 , Blogger Hannah said...

I have only ever tried it once and the lemon juice splitting happened with mine too.
I think I'll try again now you've mentioned about saving it.

At 27 April 2011 at 20:46 , Anonymous Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

Now that is just too funny. Monsieur who thinks of hollandaise as a mornay :-) It's rare when I get the chance to have breakfast in a hotel in the UK and when I do, I always go for eggs benedict. It's just such a mind-blowing luxury with a huge pot of tea... Now that you've posted this, Janice, no more excuses. High time I just made it myself for breakfast (as long as someone makes me a cuppa)

At 27 April 2011 at 20:50 , Blogger Caroline Taylor said...

I just made some Hollandaise for the first time myself! I had heard it was tricky too but I'm so glad I tried it. Mine got too warm and looked like melted butter. After a cooling down, all was well though!

At 28 April 2011 at 19:00 , Blogger Choclette said...

Your sauce looks so lovely and yellow. I've never made Hollandaise either, but I keep thinking I ought to cos I do like it. Must follow your lead.

At 4 May 2011 at 21:35 , Anonymous Corina said...

The first tiime I made hollandaise it was perfect and I wondered what all the fuss was about. The next time I made it in exactly the same way and it was a complete disaster - at least now I know what to do!

At 7 May 2011 at 14:29 , Anonymous Greedyrosie said...

You know, I made some very lemony lemon rice the other day and Mr G asked me, 'what flavour rice is this then?'

We are totally wasted on our men sometimes!


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I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

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