Mark Greenaway Recipe: Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce
Hollandaise Sauce
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Believe it or not, Hollandaise sauce is actually French!

The name comes from the origins of the recipe, as the sauce was first cooked up for the Dutch king on a state visit to France.

Hollandaise is actually one of the five French ‘mother sauces’, another being veloute which I used in my pea soup recipe a couple of weeks back.

It is the basis for so many other sauces so it’s a great one to master, and you’ll also find the majority of my ingredients list loitering in your fridge and cupboards.

There is the opportunity for it to be paired with so many foods, but pouring it over some eggs Benedict wins for me every time.

When cooked correctly (thick but airy, with a rich buttery flavour) there’s no denying it is truly irresistible.

There are so many methods of preparing Hollandaise sauce available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

The one rule which features in all these techniques is that temperature must be closely controlled. If you expose your sauce to too much heat the yolks will curdle and the sauce could split, too little heat and the emulsion will fail to form or could even solidify.

Once it’s cooked, you’ll have to keep it warm and prepare the rest of your dish, and I wouldn’t recommend re-heating.

It all sounds very difficult but don’t worry, my recipe just takes some care and finesse to create a beautiful silky smooth Hollandaise Sauce.

And whatever you do, don’t fall for the ‘quick and easy’ recipes you see online, nothing beats a good old metal whisk and some elbow grease. This is definitely one of those recipes to cut out and stick on the fridge!


250g butter

4 egg yolks

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne

1/2 a juiced lemon


Melt the butter over a very low heat then set aside to cool. Whisk the egg yolks in a metal bowl until fully beaten. Place the bowl over a small pot filled with around 1 inch of water. Turn the heat to a low-medium level and continue to whisk until the water is simmering (do not allow to boil). Now, lower the heat but keep whisking the yolks, adding the melted butter in a very slow stream. Add a dash of salt and cayenne, and continue to whisk. Now add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Taste, and add more salt, cayenne and/or lemon juice as required. Remove the bowl from the heat, and allow to cool. Whisk occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. Use within one hour.