Friday, April 29, 2016

Easy One-Bowl, One-Step Hollandaise - A Miracle of Modern Science

I'm not sure what specifically that would be, but I assume there’s some kind of science behind this amazing, and possibly modern method I happened to stumble upon. I once saw a chef make hollandaise buy adding chucks of cold butter instead of whisking in hot melted butter, and it intrigued me.

Not enough to actually try it, but enough to make me wonder what would happen if we dumped everything in the bowl at once, and just cooked it all together. No one was more shocked than I was when it worked. And worked beautifully. By the way, I’m guessing I’m not the only person to have thought of this, but until I see proof, I will claim to be it’s inventor.

The only way this doesn’t work is if your heat is too high. I don’t have to tell you what will happen if it is. However, over a low flame (or double-boiler if you’re scared) this will come together very gradually, right before your eyes, and you’ll be able to stop anytime you see fit.  

Eggs are cheap, so give it a try, and see what happens. Being able to just dump everything into the bowl, and make hollandaise in one step is well worth the investment, especially with Mother’s Day coming up. Hint, hint. I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 portions (this can be scaled-up to how ever much you need):
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (you can always add more to taste)
salt and cayenne or hot sauce to taste
NOTE: If sauce gets too thick, just thin with a little hot water.


James said...

Chef John,
I love this technique; and I must say Thank You for making my life better with your recipes.

Unsatisfied said...

Would this work on an electric stove?

Joe Eoj said...

So Hollandaise is basically Mayonnaise made with butter instead of oil.

Robin Betts said...

I've always used cold butter, but never tried this, all-at-once method. I'll definitely give it a try next time. My hollandaise always seems to thicken too quickly, though, and I have to slacken it back off with a splash of hot water. Maybe someone can tell me why?

Jhex said...


thisizk8 said...

You should patent this method before it ends up in on of those awful buzzfeed recipe videos!

arwiv said...

This looks so much better than the bogus microwave method I just tried about 3 weeks ago.

Chris K. said...

Super Bowl XXX. Dallas Cowboys & their entire retinue were staying at the resort I worked at in Tempe, AZ. I was working the line during breakfast rush and we were in the weeds. A professional football team goes through more steak & eggs than you can possibly imagine.

We ran out of hollandaise and the executive chef jumps in to help us out. He's mixing up a batch of hollandaise over the stovetop cowboy style - exactly this technique - and asks me to get some lemon juice from the walk-in.

So I run to the walk-in, grab a quart of lemon juice, run back to the line, chef's got a skillet full of whipped-up egg yolks and melted butter. He holds it out to me, and I slip on the no-skid mat on the floor and dump about a cup of lemon juice into his sauce.

Do you know what murder looks like? The expression on chef's face. Directed at me. That's what murder looks like.

Aaaanyway... if you need to hold your beautiful hollandaise before serving and you don't have a steam table in your home kitchen, store it in a pre-heated thermos bottle. Pre-heat it by filling the thermos bottle with hot water for several minutes, dump it out, and fill with your lovely heart-attack sauce. It'll keep for a good long while without breaking, and you can just drizzle it out of the thermos as needed.

Ashvin Vijay said...

Hey Chef John!

I'd love to know what brand knife that was in your video, it looked awesome!


Ron Decline said...

Tried this last night and it worked a treat. I had got my hands on some very fresh asparagus from Evesham (Worcestershire UK) in the morning and decided to have some hollandaise after I got home so was dead chuffed to see this recipe. It took me less than 10 minutes to make a thick, lucious hollandaise.
The asparagus was peeled, lightly charred on a cast iron griddle, wrapped in proscuitto and baked for 10 mins. The hollandaise was the perfect sauce for this. We served this with pan fried hake.

Deborah Freeman said...

Is there a part 2 for the cured lemons?

Edmond Dantez said...

Tried this, wisking constantly for probably 20 minutes. It refused to thicken and then suddenly ... Broke, leaving me with a scrambled egg yolk in a bowl of grease. Not sure what went wrong.

s00p said...

Even easier method: Use the whole egg, put all your stuff in a small to medium sauce pan, leave out the water (you can still add some later if your sauce ends up too thick), add lemon juice or vinegar (I prefer vinegar here). Put on low heat an whisk. No awkward holding the bowl with a towel and no wasting the eggwhite. It's really hard to fuck this sauce up unless you put in on full heat and forget to stir. Then you'll end up with really fancy scrambled eggs.

Claudy days said...

I used s00ps tip,two whole eggs, no water, and it came out fantastic. I added some chives.

Our grilled asparagus tasted wonderful with the hollandaise.

Thanks for making this less daunting.

Annette said...

Thanks Chef John! It's my first successful attempt at making a shortcut Hollandaise. I tried the blender method a few weeks ago and that was a disaster. Your method was perfect, and it thickened within 10 minutes.

Randall Smith said...

Chef John I would just like to say thank you for your extremely Informative and highly entertaining videos and instructions. Your foolproof way of cooking a rib roast turns out fantastic every time. You have so many great looking recipes that I'm going to have to start trying. Thank you!!!

Graphorik said...

I had the exact, same experience as Edmond (above). Wish I knew what went wrong. I love shortcuts, and I'm bummed it didn't work for me.

kandus said...

Thank you thank you thank you

miket29 said...

I made this the other nite and it worked wonderfully! Thanks for publishing it.

That said, there are other mentions of this method prior to 2016. In his 2004 book "On Food and Cooking" McGee mentions on page 636 one of the methods of making hollandaise is to put everthing in a pan and stir, although he doesn't give specific proportions.

In the book "Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient" from 2008 McLagan gives a complete recipe on page 41 that pays homage to McGee and says she now follows his lead.

Paul Davis said...

Well, it worked as advertised. I put it on some poached eggs for eggs Benedict. The sauce was perfect. I liked it a lot but my wife wasn't as fond of it, but she doesn't like holindaise sauce. I will give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars and I will make it again.