Who doesn’t love the silky, buttery taste of hollandaise sauce that comes dressed on top of those perfect poached eggs, crab cakes or smothered across crispy steamed asparagus? I certainly do.
However, this mother of all sauces has intimidated me all these years for fear of wasting a whole dozen eggs and tons of butter in attempt to get it just right to find that it actually does not taste anything close to what I remember. Then there are those instant packages you can get at any grocery where “just add water” which promise you an authentic taste, but do more than just disappoint.
So when I ventured out to Whole Foods on a Sunday morning to go find some already made hollandaise sauce to top the homemade crab cakes my aunt had just made me, all I found were the instant packages. I guess I expected just a little too much out of that gourmet house of food. So, with a brave face, I once and for all decided to face this fear and take a stab at this creamy concoction.
What I bought:
1 jar of ghee (clarified butter)
1 dozen eggs
The decision to go with the clarified butter was done more on a whim mostly since I have never used it before in anything, nor had the patience to make it myself. So, when I began my Sunday morning brunch experiment over the double boilers and did a tiny taste test, it was a hit with my taste buds. Of course, that wasn’t until six eggs later and a half a jar of ghee was already used.
Yes, that’s right I ruined the sauce on my first attempt and almost my second as well. I even tried putting in some really hot water and stirring fast as suggested by The New Cookbook (By Better Homes & Garden), but my hopes were failing fast. So with one last attempt to recovering the sauce, I decided to put in another egg yolk to try and emulsify it once again. That did the trick! I slowly heated the sauce and served immediately.
Total time (If you don’t mess up) is about 10 minutes. Here’s a nice demo, by the folks on Epicurious.com