icon Hollandaise sauce
served over Eggs Benedict

Hollandaise sauce is one of the 5 "mother sauces" of French cuisine (Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Sauce Tomat, Hollandaise). It is an emulsion of egg yolk and butter, seasoned with lemon juice, salt, and a little white or cayenne pepper. It is light yellow, opaque, smooth and creamy.

The first historical record of it comes from 1651, from a cookbook by François Pierre La Varenne called Le Cuisinier François, considered the founding text of modern French cuisine.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • pinch sugar
  • pinch turmeric
  • pinch white pepper
  • pinch Cayenne pepper
  • pinch garlic powder
  • pinch onion pepper
  • more tbsp cold water if needed


  1. Prepare a double-boiler consisting of a saucepan and a medium-size bowl. The bowl should fit onto the saucepan so that it leaves about 1 inch space below. Fill the saucepan with 3/4 inch water and bring to a soft boil. Fit the bowl on top and ensure that its botto is not touching the water. We want the steam to slowly heat the sauce we will be making, not the boiling water
  2. Break the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Place the yolks in the bowl and save the whites for another dish (i.e. Eggs Benedict for breakfast the next morning.
  3. Place the bowl with the yolks on the double boiler, add the lemon juice, the 1 tbsp of water, salt, sugar. Using a whisk, whisk up the contents of the bowl and monitor the temperature of the water below. Should it come to a fast roiling boil, reduce the heat. We want just the steam heating up the bottom of the bowl. Wait for the egg yolks to thicken and become shiny.
  4. Start adding the butter. Add 1 tbsp at a time and whisk until it is completely melted and incorporated into the sauce. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a tbsp of water. Continue until all the butter is added
  5. Season the sauce: add the sugar, turmeric, white pepper, Cayenne pepper, garlic and onion powder. Continue to stir.
  6. Serve the sauce immediately, or keep in a warm place at room temperature until use.
  7. YIELD: 2 cups.

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Last updated: May 3, 2020