Hollandaise: Don't be Afraid

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kuan, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Here we go people.  A little water and one egg yolk to start.  Sorry it's a little blurry.  I don't have a real video camera.

    1)  Cook the egg

    2)  Add the butter

    3)  Squeeze the lemon

    4)  Salt and pepper

    Just demonstrating the technique here.

     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
    katbalou likes this.
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I like how the steam fogs the lens.
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh yeah the steam.  Nothing I could do about that.  Amateur.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies//biggrin.gif   I think everytime I do something of interest I should do a quick video.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  4. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    Thanks again Kuan.  I appreciate the videos.  I've never attempted a hollandaise sauce, but I'm still trying to understand how you scramble and egg, cook it, and don't end up with scrambled eggs.  How do you know when you have enough butter in the mixture (volume or by "eye")? 
     
  5. chefgord

    chefgord

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    Pretty gutsy doing it over direct heat like that. I know it can work, but boy does that disaster potential go up in a hurry. I had one sousy a couple of years ago that doing it for a dinner special to order over open flame. I can't remember how many batches in a row he scrambled but dang was it funny.

    I think i made 3 batches during brunch yesterday. 2 perfect, right in the middle though one inexplixcably broke & left me with egg soup. Man i love it when that happens./img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif
     
  6. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    When you develop the technique to "run with the big dogs" and go over an open flame, more power to ya.  However, once your chef starts losing count of how many times you screw it up back to back, it's time to accept defeat and go back to the double boiler.  I'm surprised a) that he didn't do that on his own and b) that you didn't go "Ramsey" on him and scream at him /img/vbsmilies/smilies//smile.gif
     
     
  7. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Okay, some basics here.

    1/2 eggshell cold water per egg yolk. 3 yolks is easiest in a standard pan, until you get the hang of it.

    Whisk the c**p out of the yolk and water for 20-30 seconds, then put the pan over medium heat. Whisk steadily until it starts to thicken a bit. Whisk faster, and watch: suddenly the mix will turn nearly white and gain dramatically in volume, and you'll see the pan bottom as you whisk -- it's thick enough that you're pushing it out of the way instead of just stirring. Now whisk very fast for 20 seconds to finish cooking the yolks, remove from heat and whisk very fast 20-30 seconds to cool the mix enough that it won't keep cooking. You now have a sabayon.

    Add seasonings: lemon for hollandaise, for example, but you want some acid, which will also help keep it from breaking. A little mustard is nice in more intense, savory sauces.

    Now build the emulsion. Whisk steadily but not too fast, and add the fat (e.g. clarified butter) fairly slowly. Once it starts to thicken up and bind, you can add the fat more quickly. Don't whisk too fast, or you'll deflate the sauce, but don't add the fat too fast compared to the whisking or it'll break.

    Use the fat by eye: when it's thick enough for your purposes, stop adding fat.

    If your mise en place is good, you can do a hollandaise in under 2 minutes flat.

    Warning: if you use few yolks, it thickens very, very fast, and can easily curdle (scrambled eggs). If you use a whole lot, it thickens slowly and can break remarkably fast if you don't know what to watch for. Start with 2-4 egg yolks and an appropriate-sized pan, and do it several times until you get the hang of it.

    If you understand what you're doing, and know what you're looking for in the pan, you should be able to do it consistently with very few misses, even under pressure.
     
  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    This inspired me to make a little batch of Hollandaise for some shirred eggs I did this morning for breakfast. Was quite tasty.
     
  9. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    See it's not that bad is it?

    I seriously never thought much about what to watch for.  Thanks Chris.
     
  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I've always done it over direct heat. I've got a super wimpy simmer burner on my stove that's good for this task.

    I've never set up a double boiler for it. Too much hassle and extra time.