Weird Hollandaise Problem



 Ok so this is the problem. I was at work working my normal brunch shift and i made my hollandaise. Typical  hollandaise that i have made a thousand times. instead of using clarified butter we use brown butter with the milk fats strained out. i used my normal holly reduction with my egg yolks over a pot of simmering steaming water until my sabayon was established then continued to add my butter slowly until i got my consistancy. It emulsified and didnt look at all wrong. we also like to gratin the eggs benedict just a little before serving so i usually check to make sure they gratin under the sally. and again nothing was wrong. so i went on with my prep. when i got the first order of bennys i poached my eggs and went to put on my holly and it began to run right off my plate. when i went to gratin it turned into a puddle. so frustrated i did it again and the same problem. im not sure what i did wrong and it made for a very bad sunday.. any ideas what went wrong and how i can avoid this problem again?
Joined Feb 13, 2008
I'm not going to delve too deeply into your general method.  Yours is not mine; but it's certainly one of many perfectly acceptable ways -- and I rather like the idea of using brown butter.  Toasty. 

Simply, your sauce "broke."  Egg sauces break when the fats, proteins and water cannot maintain a tight liason.  It happens for a number of reasons, some of which are beyond your control -- the weather, for instance.  So, no fault is implied. 

Sometimes you can stiffen an iffy hollandaise by beating in a little hot water, by beating in an ice cube over heat, or by monter some solid butter into it.  If the sauce is at all thin I favor the last method; but if it's grainy or lumpy ("curdled), either of the first two.  What's nice about all of these remedies is that they can be applied after the problem is discovered.

I get the feeling you're no stranger to butter mounting, but if you want a description ask here or by PM.

Good luck,
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Joined Jan 23, 2010
watch your ingredients carefully!

i used to make yorkshire pudding mixture by the bucket load on saturdays for sundays, i used the same recipe many times and one particular time they didn't turn out the next day.
in hindsight i realised what went wrong with the recipe and it was no error of mine. it was world cup football season and england was playing at the time, they had all the big screen TV's in the restaurant and all the staff were front of house watching the game while i was supervising the kitchen, in which there was only me and a KP. i went to the walk in fridge which was outside to get some more milk and when i returned one of the milk cartons i had already opened had less milk in it than when i left the kitchen. since the kettle was nearby i presumed somebody had used some milk to make a drink while i was gone. i presumed wrong and later realised that the KP had been messing with my recipe while i was out of the kitchen.

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