If there's ever an intimidating recipe, it's hollandaise. It's not that hard to make conceptually – you're just whisking egg yolks and butter until creamy and smooth but the sauce is very much affected by any changes in temperature and the emulsion can break really easily.
If you intend to make hollandaise, prepare it last and have everything plated and ready to go before you drizzle the sauce over it. If you accidentally heat the sauce up too much and it looks a bit lumpy, refresh it with a splash of warm water and whisk until creamy again.
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 10-15 minutes
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 stick of butter, divided
A pinch of cayenne powder, optional
Whisk the egg yolks: In a saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and the lemon juice until smooth. Add half the butter and turn the flame to very low. Using a wire whisk, vigorously whisk the butter into the egg yolks until the butter has melted and the sauce is creamy. Continue whisking until the sauce is a bit thick. Add the remaining butter and whisk vigorously until completely melted. Continue whisking until the sauce has thickened. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
Note: if you need to set the sauce aside as you finish up the rest of the meal, you can refresh the sauce with a splash of warm water over very low heat.
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Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!