Hollandaise sauce is an intimidating component of many breakfasts, but can actually be easily conquered with a few tricks. Known as one of the Mother Sauces of haute French cuisine, Hollandaise requires patience and fresh ingredients - no short cuts here! We will share the Chester's method & recipe for Hollandaise, made by hand every single Sunday.
One of the key ingredients in Hollandaise is clarified butter. This is easily done, and your results will be better than if you purchase clarified butter for your Hollandaise sauce. Starting with 1 lb. of unsalted butter, melt it completely before letting it cool 5-10 minutes. The second step is to skim the milk off the top and ladle out 8 oz of the remaining part without disturbing the milk on the bottom of your pan. For use in Hollandaise, your butter should be at approximately 100 degrees F (or about the temperature of a warm bath).
Once you have 8 oz clarified butter, assemble the rest of your ingredients and start a large pot of water to boil. Your ingredients include 4 eggs, with the yolks separated from the whites (discard the whites), 1/8 tsp white pepper, a pinch of cayenne, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp lemon juice. At Chester's, we like to add a hint of Tobasco as well. This, with the clarified butter, will yield 1 cup of Hollandaise.
While you were assembling your ingredients, a large pot of water should have been brought to a boil. Put a stainless steel mixing bowl over the pot and pour the egg yolks & lemon juice into the bowl.
Whisking constantly until eggs thicken, lower the heat to low. Keep whisking until yolks will adhere to the back of a spoon and remove from heat. Place on a towel so that the bowl will not move as you continue whisking.
Once your bowl is securely in place, begin slowly adding clarified butter while constantly whisking the mixture. The slower the better, until all butter has absorbed into the eggs.
After your eggs & butter have completely combined to make a smooth sauce, add your seasonings and taste. If you like, add more of the seasonings you prefer until it reaches the flavor you like.
Your Hollandaise should be smooth, creamy, with no lumps or dark areas of separated yolk. The most common mistake made in this process is to have the bowl or clarified butter too hot, which will cause the sauce to "break". Your Hollandaise should appear as pictured below.