Hollandaise is no joke, what am I doing wrong?

I have a double boiler setup, but is it necessary to use a whole stick of butter if I'm just making one portion? I used two egg yolks, and 1/2 stick of some Presidente butter. I skimmed off as much of the solids from the melted butter as I could. But some basic direction would be well appreciated from the Food52 cult.

James Durazzo


James D. November 16, 2013
Sauce maltaise, maybe I'll try experimenting with that. Thanks for the tip. Maybe some grilled Trevisano with the sauce maltaise?
pierino November 16, 2013
Traditionally it goes with asparagus. Good luck!
James D. November 15, 2013
Basically that's what happened to me. The double boiler method scrambled my yolks. Despite having the heat on the lowest setting, they still scrambled. I think pulling them on and off of the heat while continuously whisking would be a better method
pierino November 15, 2013
James, I once watched the other James, the one named Peterson (author of the book SAUCES) pepare a hollandaise directly over an open flame, whisking madly. I couldn't believe it. And then he turned it into sauce maltaise by adding blood orange juice. If you are serious about sauce it's a great book to own.
pierino November 15, 2013
Very good advice from Chris here. That's how I would do it as well. You are making an emulsion that you don't want to turn into scrambled eggs---which by the way can happen very quickly.
James D. November 15, 2013
Thank you, your husband is a lucky dude.

Voted the Best Reply!

Greenstuff November 15, 2013
You don't say what your problem is, but you should be able to make hollandaise with two egg yolks and a half a stick of butter. I don't even skim the milk solids, and much of the time, I don't use any heat. But, for your double boiler--whisk the egg yolks. Add a little lemon juice, let's say about a teaspoon. In a separate pan, heat the butter so that it's sizzling but not browning. Keep whisking, and very, very slowly, add in the butter. Really slowly at first, just a few drops at a time. You can speed up a little, but make sure that the butter is incorporated into the egg yolks as you go along.

Years ago (like about 35), when I was first dating my husband, I went to dinner at his house, and he said, "We're having asparagus. You can make the hollandaise." I whisked away with just a bowl and a fork, thinking, "Does he just expect all his dates to be able to make hollandaise?!" Amazing that we married, but it really was a pretty good dinner.
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