Hollandaise sauce

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Hollandaise sauce
Hollandaise sauce.jpg
Hollandaise sauce served as part of Eggs Benedict with a dash of paprika
Type Sauce
Place of origin France, the Netherlands
Main ingredients Egg yolk, liquid butter
Cookbook: Hollandaise sauce  Media: Hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise sauce (/hɒlənˈdz/ or /ˈhɒləndz/; French: [ʔɔ.lɑ̃.dɛz]), also referred to as Dutch sauce, is an emulsion of egg yolk, liquid butter, water and lemon juice (or a white wine or vinegar reduction), whisked together over the low heat of a double boiler. Additional salt, white pepper and/or cayenne pepper is used for seasoning.

Hollandaise is one of the five sauces in the French haute cuisine mother sauce repertoire. These types of sauces are considered "mayonnaise sauces" as they are, like mayonnaise, based on the emulsion of an oil in egg yolk.[1] Hollandaise sauce is well known as a key ingredient of Eggs Benedict, and is often paired with vegetables such as steamed asparagus.


Original recipes for variations of Hollandaise sauce from; "The book of Sauces" by C. Herman Senn (1915)

Sauce Hollandaise translates from French as "Dutch sauce".[2][note 1] The recipe for Dutch sauce would appear to be a classic Hollandaise. However, there seems to be little explanation as to why it was so named.[4] From the name, Hollandaise sauce would imply Dutch origins. However, like many dishes, there are connections to the French Huguenots who were forced out of France in the late 17th century, but eventually returned from the various countries to which they had fled. Huguenots, returning from Holland, are said to have brought the recipe back to France that they had developed abroad.[5] The first documented mention of a recipe is from 1651 in François Pierre La Varenne's Le Cuisinier François[6] for "asparagus with fragrant sauce".;[7]

"make a sauce with some good fresh butter, a little vinegar, salt, and nutmeg, and an egg yolk to bind the sauce; take care that it doesn't curdle"[7]

La Varenne is credited with bringing sauces out of the Middle ages with his publication and may well have invented hollandaise sauce.[8] The French developed Isigny sauce, very similar to hollandaise, and named after the Norman town of Isigny-sur-Mer which produces the finest French butter.[3][9] Isigny sauce is found in recipe books from the 19th century.[10] However, the story that the sauce began to be called Hollandaise after WWI, when butter shortages forced imports from Holland, is clearly inaccurate.[5][10][3] While the Norman butter helped the sauce reach a higher status, it actually dates back to when the Dutch sold butter and cheese to Europe from cattle grazed on reclaimed sea land.[4]

By the 19th century, sauces had been classified into four distinct categories by Chef Marie-Antoine Carême. One of Carême's family of sauces was allemande, which was a stock-based sauce using egg and lemon juice. Auguste Escoffier updated that list in the early 20th century by replacing allemande with Hollandaise sauce[11] as part of his family of five mother sauces of Haute cuisine.[12] While many believe that a true Hollandaise sauce should only contain the basic ingredients of eggs, butter and lemon, Prosper Montagne suggested using either a white wine or vinegar reduction, similar to a Béarnaise sauce, to help improve the taste.[13]

Preparation and handling[edit]

Egg emulsion sauces include mayonnaise, Hollandaise and Béarnaise.[14][15] For hollandaise sauce, egg yolks and water, lemon juice or vinegar are emulsified. Unlike custard, the egg does not coagulate.[16] An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible (unmixable or unblendable). Droplets of the butter become suspended in the water and lemon juice once emulsion occurs. While emulsions can be either stable or unstable, hollandaise is made stable by the addition of eggs which contain lecithin, combining with the oil and water, holding it together.[17]

To make hollandaise sauce, the eggs yolks are separated and added to a butter base with small amounts of water, vinegar or lemon juice with pepper, heated together slowly over a double boiler. A stainless steel bowl over a sauce pan with a small amount of water may also be used. The water should not touch the bowl or boil, just simmer.[14] The key to the recipe is to heat the ingredients without curdling the egg.[18] Add the egg and liquid ingredients first and whisk together with a wire whisk until frothy. Add the egg and liquid froth to the double boiler of the simmering water and whisk quickly and continuously. The mixture will expand a few times. Remove from the heat source and begin adding warm, melted, clarified butter to the mixture. If the sauce cools too much the butter will begin to thicken. If this or separation begins to occur, a few drops of hot water can solve this issue.[14]

Food hygiene is important, as is heating foods for proper safety. However, hollandaise sauce spoils at high temperatures.[19] It is also important to remember that foods made with raw egg become susceptible to microbial growth if left at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit(4.4 to 60 Celsius) for too long, increasing the danger of food-borne illnesses.[20] Eggs are "A food of public health concern" because they can easily be contaminated with salmonella which can cause food poisoning.[21] Along with a number of other sauces, hollandaise can be frozen in small single serving amounts.[22]

Ingredients and recipes[edit]

Basic ingredients[23][24] for the sauce are;

  • White peppercorns (white pepper)
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Egg yolks
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Cayenne pepper

The Book of Sauces, published in 1915, has both Hollandaise Sauce and Dutch Sauce above a list of 5 numbered variations.[25]

  • Hollandaise Sauce (Dutch Sauce)
In a sauce pan combine 12 crushed peppercorns with two tablespoons of French wine vinegar and 4 tablespoons of water. Boil fast and reduce by half. Whisk in 4 egg yolks and following that, add in 4 to 6 ounces of fresh butter a by degrees (little at a time), then adding a gill of water. Season with salt and the juice of one lemon. Pass the sauce through a tammy cloth and return to a clean sauce pan and leave standing in a pan of hot (not boiling) water until time to serve.[25]


Being a mother sauce, hollandaise sauce is the foundation for many derivatives created by adding or changing ingredients. The following is a non-exhaustive listing of such minor sauces.

  • The most common derivative is Sauce Béarnaise. It can be produced by replacing the acidifying agent (vinegar reduction or lemon juice) in a preparation with a strained reduction of vinegar, shallots, fresh chervil, fresh tarragon and (if to taste) crushed peppercorns.[26][27][28] Alternatively, the flavorings may be added to a standard hollandaise. Béarnaise and its children are often used on steak or other "assertive" grilled meats and fish.
    • Sauce Choron is a variation of béarnaise without tarragon or chervil, plus added tomato purée.[28][29]
    • Sauce Foyot (a.k.a. Valois) is béarnaise with meat glaze (Glace de Viande) added.[28][30]
    • Sauce Colbert is Sauce Foyot with the addition of reduced white wine.[31]
    • Sauce Paloise is a version of béarnaise with mint substituted for tarragon.[32]
  • Sauce au Vin Blanc (for fish) is produced by adding a reduction of white wine and fish stock to hollandaise.[33]
  • Sauce Bavaroise is hollandaise with added cream, horseradish, and thyme.[34]
  • Sauce Crème Fleurette is hollandaise with crème fraîche added.
  • Sauce Dijon, also known as Sauce Moutarde or Sauce Girondine, is hollandaise with Dijon mustard.
  • Sauce Maltaise is hollandaise to which blanched orange zest and the juice of blood orange is added.[28][35]
  • Sauce Mousseline, also known as Sauce Chantilly, is produced by folding whipped cream into hollandaise.[28][36]
    • If reduced sherry is first folded into the whipped cream, the result is Sauce Divine.
    • Madame Benoît's recipe for Mousseline uses whipped egg whites instead of whipped cream.
  • Sauce Noisette is a hollandaise variation made with browned butter (beurre noisette).[37]


  1. ^ The French tended to give foreign names to their creations, hollandaise being one of them.[3]


  1. ^ Tebben 2015, pp. 47–48.
  2. ^ Ayto 2012, p. 172.
  3. ^ a b c Alléno & Brenot 2014, p. 12.
  4. ^ a b Mendelson 2013, p. 264.
  5. ^ a b Jack 2011, p. 117.
  6. ^ Snodgrass 2004, p. 57.
  7. ^ a b Binney 2008, p. 129.
  8. ^ Ruhlman 2009, p. 57.
  9. ^ Gilbar 2008, p. 47.
  10. ^ a b Joseph Carey (9 March 2006). Chef on Fire: The Five Techniques for Using Heat Like a Pro. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 296. ISBN 978-1-4616-2607-7. 
  11. ^ Jeffrey Taylor (26 February 2010). Going From W2 to 1099. Jeffrey Taylor. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-935529-49-1. 
  12. ^ Ken Albala (15 June 2015). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Food Issues. SAGE. p. 499. ISBN 978-1-4522-4301-6. 
  13. ^ Elizabeth David (1 February 1999). French Provincial Cooking. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-101-50123-8. 
  14. ^ a b c Irma S. Rombauer; Marion Rombauer Becker; Ethan Becker; Maria Guarnaschelli (5 November 1997). JOC All New Rev. - 1997. Simon and Schuster. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-684-81870-2. 
  15. ^ Richard Hosking (2007). Eggs in Cookery: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium of Food and Cookery 2006. Oxford Symposium. p. 335. ISBN 978-1-903018-54-5. 
  16. ^ Wayne Gisslen (19 January 2010). Professional Cooking, College Version. John Wiley & Sons. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-470-19752-3. 
  17. ^ Alexis Rickus; Bev Saunder; Yvonne Mackey (22 August 2016). AQA GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition. Hodder Education. p. 140. ISBN 978-1-4718-6365-3. 
  18. ^ Amy Christine Brown (26 February 2014). Understanding Food: Principles and Preparation. Cengage Learning. p. 401. ISBN 978-1-133-60715-1. 
  19. ^ S Roday (1 November 1998). Food Hygiene and Sanitation. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-07-463178-2. 
  20. ^ Chef Charles Oppman (27 July 2011). Accidental Chef: An Insider's View of Professional Cooking. AuthorHouse. p. 230. ISBN 978-1-4634-1472-6. 
  21. ^ Crossing Over 4' 2002 Ed. Rex Bookstore, Inc. p. 170. ISBN 978-971-23-3288-3. 
  22. ^ Good Housekeeping (1 December 2001). The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook: America's Bestselling Step-by-Step Cookbook, with More Than 1,400 Recipes. Hearst Books. p. 460. ISBN 978-1-58816-070-6. 
  23. ^ Jody Williams; Emily Goose (February 2010). Ingredients for Peace. Lulu.com. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-557-10198-6. 
  24. ^ Dun Jipping (1 May 2016). Army Chef's Handbook of Cookery. Lulu.com. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-326-64301-0. 
  25. ^ a b Charles Senn (1 February 2008). The Book of Sauces. Applewood Books. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-4290-1254-6. 
  26. ^ Escoffier: 89
  27. ^ Cookwise, pp.304-5
  28. ^ a b c d e Joy of Cooking p.359
  29. ^ Escoffier: 90
  30. ^ Escoffier: 91
  31. ^ Escoffier: 41
  32. ^ Escoffier: 141
  33. ^ Escoffier: 163
  34. ^ Escoffier: 88
  35. ^ Escoffier: 128
  36. ^ Escoffier: 132
  37. ^ Escoffier: 138


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