One of my absolute favourite things is spending time with loved ones over brunch. But lets face it - in this day and age most people don't have the time or the money to spend on such things. I would always order the Eggs Benedict. Yum right?! So one day I set out on a mission to teach myself how to make a good Hollandaise Sauce. And with all the beautiful free range eggs available from our egg supplier I Love Eggs, I tend do indulge myself more than I should!
I spent quite a long time trawling the internet looking for a recipe that I liked and as always ended up combining one or two concepts til I got the result I was after. The recipe I settled on has three basic components. A vinegar/wine reduction, clarified butter, and good rich, preferably free-range, egg yolks.
The vinegar and wine reduction makes up far more than you need for a single batch of sauce, so I freeze it into ice-cubes (each ice cube just happens to be about the right amount for each recipe).
150ml white wine
225ml white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Black Peppercorns
2 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots or onion
Place the above ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil gently until reduce in volume by half. This will take about 20 minutes or so. Remove from heat and allow to cool. You only need a small amount for each batch of sauce, so I freeze the excess portion in my ice cube trays, to be used another time.
Slowly melt about half a pound of butter in a saucepan, try not to disturb it too much because you want the white milk solids to fall to the bottom. Once the butter is melted you need to very slowly pour off the clear melted butter to be used in the Hollandaise. The milky solids I set aside, and often use to cook the bacon for the Eggs Benedict. Waste not want not!
Separate 3 eggs, put the yolks into a glass bowl that can be placed over a pan of simmering water without touching the water. This is what you make the sauce in so it must be big enough to hold all the eggs, and butter, and reduction.
Place the bowl of egg yolks over the pan of simmering water. Whisk them steadily but watch the heat or you will get scrambled eggs. Add about 1 Tablespoon of the vinegar/wine reduction and continue whisking over a low heat for about five minutes til the eggs begin to foam. Remove the bowl from the heat and gradually drizzle in the melted butter, still whisking continuously. Don't pour too fast or this will cause separation. Continue adding butter and whisking until the sauce has reached the consistency you like. If it splits don't panic - sometimes I am able to bring it back by adding a little of the water from the simmering pan until it reconstitutes itself. The final product is not as good but it is still tasty and edible and therefore saves wasting expensive ingredients! The proper way to check if it is ready is when you lift the whisk and the sauce falls in ribbons back into the bowl ( a bit like the way golden syrup does when it falls back into the tin).
Serve over poached eggs with english muffins or toast, and bacon or smoked salmon, also works well with spinach for a vegetarian option.
And then of course you don't want to waste all those gorgeous egg whites....So I ended up making these beauties! This batch was a bit rushed and have cracked - but they still taste good! Edmond's have a good Meringue recipe if you want to give them a go.
Thanks to Homage to A Homestead Dream for again allowing us to use their recipes!