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How to Make Hollandaise Sauce – Classic French Mother Sauce

  • Author: Erin
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: French


Inspired by Julia Child’s version of Hollandaise Sauce.


  • 4 egg yolks (the better the egg, the darker the yolk, the more beautiful the sauce)
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (I used sweet cream, salted butter)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (just a little less than a Tablespoon actually)
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • about 1/8 Teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground black pepper


  1. Whisk together egg yolks and lemon juice until double/triple in volume.
  2. Melt butter in small saucepan; let simmer or “cook” for 5 or more minutes or until it gives off a strong, nutty aroma.
  3. Place yolk mixture in metal mixing bowl over another larger saucepan with water at the bottom and place over medium heat; ensure bottom of mixing bowl isn’t touching the water.
  4. Very slowly, add butter to yolk mixture, continually whisking.
  5. Continue until all of the butter is added (this will take several minutes).
  6. Add salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper and whisk again.
  7. Serve immediately or leave in “warming bowl” for an hour or so.
  8. Add Tablespoon of warm water to sauce that has been sitting and whisk to revive.