Hollandaise Sauce Question

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Dave,

Are you looking at a copy of the book as you write this? In his Hollandaise recipe, Escoffier writes "softened or melted" butter...a.k.a. WHOLE butter. The subtle and very specific individual flavor characteristics of whole butter are removed during the clarification process, rendering all clarified butter more of the less the same in the flavor department. Hence, it stands to reason that a sauce that is intended to showcase the superior flavor a particular region's butter would be made using WHOLE butter. Oui?
 
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In his Hollandaise recipe, Escoffier writes "softened or melted" butter...a.k.a. WHOLE butter.
Escoffier does not use the term "softened" butter at all in his Hollandaise recipe. He clearly says "pour" the butter which would explicitly exclude "softened" or whole butter.

There is no indication at all that he was trying to show case an artisinal or regional butter, do you have a source to substantiate that theory?

If you read Escoffier his view on solids in melted butter is quite clear. I think Escoffier is precisely where clarified butter started in Hollandaise.

IIR Jacques Pepin does use softened butter so pick your poison.   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

Dave
 
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To me Escoffier was using hot butter not softened or room temp. It is easier to teach a newb how to make it in a blender using hot butter to heat the yolks. To have a student stand here and whisk over a pot of kot water on the stove is asking for trouble. 1 in most cases sauce will break and he or she is highly likely to burn themselves. In his time all butter was what is known as 93 score today however butter by different manufacturers contains different amounts of water.

Margarine also . some contains so much water that on the label they even advise you not to cook or saute with it.  Cream in his time was at least 35 to 45 % butterfat but again not today, every brand is different. Now we even have imitation margarine, it looks like it was concocked by a pharmacist  or chemist.
 

kuan

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Use soft butter and you will end up with a very thick emulsion.  Very very thick.
 
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Dave,

Page 21, recipe number 119 in Escoffier's The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery...as I quoted before: "whisk continuously over gentle heat whilst gradually adding soft or melted butter"...so on and so forth. Please tell me what Escoffier book it is that you're reading where he has actually written the words POUR and CLARIFIED butter in regards to his Hollandaise recipe.

Mike
 
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I must be right out of the loop ....never have used clarified butter for hollandaise....I love the richness of whole buttter. I do however use clarified butter for omelettes.
Don't understand this. Whole butter is usually 81-82% butterfat, with the rest being mainly water.  Clarified butter is around 99-100% butterfat-much richer than 82%.

fwiw I was always taught to use clarified butter
 
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Guide Culinaire . A Escoffier  Crown Publishing    The original text. When I served my apprenticship in Nice   France(Hotel Negresco) over 50 years ago  Clarrified butter was made every day and used for EVERYTHING. I was only American in kitchen. All French. Swiss, and German Chefs.
 
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Dave,

Page 21, recipe number 119 in Escoffier's The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery...as I quoted before: "whisk continuously over gentle heat whilst gradually adding soft or melted butter"...so on and so forth. Please tell me what Escoffier book it is that you're reading where he has actually written the words POUR and CLARIFIED butter in regards to his Hollandaise recipe.

Mike
Mike,

You may want to consider getting a copy of "Le Guide Culinaire" by Escoffier. I have a few different editions (including The Escoffier Cook book-A guide to the fine art of Cookery) here but not the edition noted by either you or Petals. However If you look up-thread you can see exactly what I have word for word as Petalsandcoco was kind enough to post it for you... verbatim.

You can cleary see Escoffier says "pour" the butter and there is no mention of adding "softened" butter.

BTW did you have a source on your statement that Hollandaise was created to show case "top quality butter"? To whom do you attribute the creation of the sauce?

You may find this an interesting read as Ruhlman uses Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire as a reference as well.

Dave

http://ruhlman.com/2010/06/classic-hollandaise-sauce/
 
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Actually, one of the reasons for the clarified vs. whole butter--in my opinion-- is economy.

"in my time" in N. America, most places brought in salted  butter in 50 lb cases. F.O.H. used this for butter rolls/curls and the kitchen used the rest.  This also included left over butter from bread baskets.  Invariably butter was thrown into0 a big pot and clarifiied.  This acomplished two things: One,being that salt is water soluable but not fat soluable, the resulting clarifiied butter had much of it's salt removed (Using whole salted butter would make for a very hollandaise), and second, the high heat wold (hopefully) sterilize the butter. In many of the places the butter was NOT brought to a noisette, but just to a big boil and left to cool. A hole was then drilled in to the cake and the liquid poured off--this was "treasured" for making mashed pots.
 

phatch

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I'm a fan of unsalted butter--unclarified--in my hollandaise as well. I like the flavor the milk solids supply.
 

kuan

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Dave,

Page 21, recipe number 119 in Escoffier's The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery...as I quoted before: "whisk continuously over gentle heat whilst gradually adding soft or melted butter"...so on and so forth. Please tell me what Escoffier book it is that you're reading where he has actually written the words POUR and CLARIFIED butter in regards to his Hollandaise recipe.

Mike
I think if you're adding soft butter over heat that would work.  Never done it that way though.
 
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Dave,

Le Guide Culinaire is the same book as  The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, is it not? I have a couple of them as well. The recipe transcribed by Petalsandcoco does not seem to be truly "verbatim"...his/her own words pepper the recipe and MOP, and I do not see the word "pour" anywhere in Escoffier's original Hollandaise recipe when butter is added to the egg yolk and vinegar reduction base. And, as much as I love Michael Ruhlman, just because he was taught to use clarified butter to make Hollandaise at the CIA does not make it the "classic" version. His reference is the very same book I am looking at right now and have been quoting from, verbatim, all along. As far as the source for the argument of the sauce being a showcase for the best quality butter, it's a bit murky, but seems to start in a rudimentary form with La Varenne, slide through the mid 19th century with Mrs. Beeton as Sauce Isigny (town in Normandy?, known for great butter and other dairy), and then emerge as Hollandaise around the dawn of the 20th century, apparently due to the decline of Isigny's dairy industry and the subsequent acceptance of the Netherlands as the source of the world's best butter. The "creation" of the sauce seems to have happened gradually over many decades...what I'm really interested in is who can take credit for the initial use and eventual widespread popularity of clarified butter as the "classic" form. Also, if you can actually give me page numbers to look up where Escoffier says anything about clarified butter in regards to butter sauce production, I'd appreciate it...I can't seem to find anything.

Mike
 
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Duck Fat  /   My edition says same as yours.  I also have a version written in French and it says same thing but in different words.
 
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Have found that if Hollandaise "breaks" it can often be brought back with a fewtbsps of HOT water (from simmering water beneath bowl) and a quick whisk.
 
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Interesting...apparently this debate comes down to the particular version/translation of the Le Guide from which one is reading. Although, it can be agreed upon that there is no mention of clarified butter in either translation. Does Petalsandcoco own the Cracknell and Kaufmann translation?...there are obviously some interesting differences in the particular wording of the technique, and I feel that I trust this version as being more true to Escoffier's original intent than the book whose pages you've included above.
 
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Isn't "splitting hairs" part of what is so enjoyable and educational about participating in these discussions? Dave, does your French language version of Le Guide by any chance include a recipe number with the Sauce Hollandaise entry? It's interesting to me that a book such as this that was designed to be such a static,codified, referencetool  for experienced cooks has different editons with different reference numbers for the same recipe. In the Cracknell and Kaufmann translation, Hollandaise is recipe #119, and in Petals' version it seem to be #30.

Thanks,

Mike
 
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Just for novelty's sake, when making roux do you use whole or clarified butter? Without looking, what would Escoffier do?
 

kuan

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I really do take issue with Escoffier's method.  The way it's written makes it seem like Escoffier never made Hollandaise.   Here's what I think.

1)  You should add enough butter so the Hollandaise does not taste like egg yolks.

2)  A couple drops of warm water to loosen the sauce, cold to tighten it.  You don't just add water.

Here's how I make it:  
 
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