Holding Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce, as well as other sauces in this family, poses a special safety problem. It must be kept warm for service, but it must be held below 140°F (60°C) so the eggs

Figure 8.9

Making hollandaise sauce.

Figure 8.9

Making hollandaise sauce.

(a) Combine the egg yolks and reduction in a stainless-steel bowl.

(b) Whip over a hot-water bath.

(c) Continue to whip over hot water until thick and light.

(a) Combine the egg yolks and reduction in a stainless-steel bowl.

(b) Whip over a hot-water bath.

(c) Continue to whip over hot water until thick and light.

(d) Very slowly whip in the butter. (Set the bowl in a saucepan lined with a kitchen towel to hold it steady.)

(e) The finished sauce should be thick but pourable.

(d) Very slowly whip in the butter. (Set the bowl in a saucepan lined with a kitchen towel to hold it steady.)

(e) The finished sauce should be thick but pourable.

uidelines for Preparing Hollandaise and Béarnaise

Students tend to be afraid of hollandaise because it has a reputation for being difficult to make. True, precautions are necessary to avoid overcooking the eggs and for getting the right consistency. But if you follow the instructions in the recipe carefully and keep in mind these guidelines, you should have no trouble.

Many of these rules have one object in common: Don't overcook the egg yolks, or they will lose their ability to emulsify.

Cool the reduction before adding the yolks, or they will overcook.

Use the freshest eggs possible for the best emulsification.

For safety, pasteurized eggs are recommended (see pp. 788 and 1030).

Beat the yolks over hot water.

An experienced cook is able to beat them over direct heat, if care is taken, without making scrambled eggs. Until you have gained some confidence, it is safer to use a hot-water bain-marie.

Use a round-bottomed stainless-steel bowl.

The whip must be able to reach all the eggs to beat them evenly. Also, stainless steel will not discolor the sauce or give it a metallic flavor. Have the butter warm but not hot, or it may overcook the eggs. If it is too cool, it might solidify. Add the butter slowly at first.

The yolks can only absorb a little at a time. Add a few drops at first and beat in thoroughly before adding more. If you add butter faster than it can be absorbed, the emulsion may break.

Don't add more butter than the egg yolks can hold.

Remember this standard proportion:

6 egg yolks per pound (450 g) of clarified butter Broken or curdled hollandaise can be rescued.

First, try adding a teaspoon of cold water and beating vigorously. If this doesn't work, start over with a couple of egg yolks and repeat the procedure from step 6 in the recipe, adding the broken sauce as you would the butter.

don't curdle. Unfortunately, bacteria grow quickly in this temperature range.Therefore, extra care must be taken to avoid food-borne diseases.

The following sanitation procedures must be observed to avoid the danger of food poisoning:

1. Make sure all equipment is perfectly clean.

Hold sauce no longer than 112 hours. Make only enough to serve in this time, and discard any that is left over.

Never mix an old batch of sauce with a new batch.

Never hold hollandaise or béarnaise—or any other acid product—in aluminum. Use stainless-steel containers.

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