Friday, July 2, 2010

Hollandaise Sauce (Italian Eggs benedict)

Oh my gosh!!! Yum yum yum. Having had a productive morning I was craving eggs for brunch. My first thought was scrambled eggs on toast. This then moved onto poached eggs on toast which quickly evolved into eggs Benedict with an Italian theme. I had Italian bread and plum tomatoes and some basil that definitely needed using up. My brain went into overdrive. I thought of making a warm mayonnaise with olive oil but soon decided on an adapted hollandaise sauce using white wine mustard and oodles of lovely butter. Traditionally hollandaise is made with egg yolks, lemon juice and butter. Had I have had lemon juice I would have used that but to be honest the mustard works a treat and I think I actually prefer it!!! It has a tangy and spicy taste.

Before making the sauce I prepared my butter cutting it into several small cubes. I cut way too much butter. I now have a bowl of cubed butter sitting in the fridge. I knew I had to prepare the butter beforehand as I know that making hollandaise can be quite daunting. There are many stories of the sauce splitting or the egg scrambling due to not whisking enough or using the wrong heat. I blocked these stories out of my head and went for it acting all confident. I added a small amount of boiling water to a small pan and had the stove on at a medium heat. A bowl went over the pan. In went the egg yolk and mustard and I began to whisk frantically but calmly. Cubes of butter were added two at a time and when they were nearly incorporated in went another couple of cubes. I knew that only one egg yolk could hold a certain amount of butter but for one person I wasn't too bothered. I added enough butter to create enough sauce to coat my poached egg. To be honest I didn't use as much butter as I thought I would. Had I been making sauce for more than one person I think I would use two egg yolks. The sauce took about 5-7 minutes to make, enough to toast my bread and poach my egg. I layered all my ingredients onto my toast and liberally poured the hollandaise over top.

The hollandaise was smooth, buttery and creamy and just what I needed to feed my craving. It was one of the best I have ever tasted. I even cleaned the bowl out using another piece of bread. I wasn't going to waste any of this golden emulsion.

Italian Eggs Benedict
Italian Bread Toasted
Plum Tomatoes Sliced
Basil Leaf
Poached Egg
Hollandaise Sauce

Layer tomatoes on the toast followed by the basil leave and poached egg. Pour over the hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise Sauce (for one)
1 Egg yolk
1/4 Tsp White Wine Mustard
Cubes of Butter

In a glass bowl whisk the egg yolk and mustard together. Place the bowl over a small pan of just simmering water (I used a medium heat) ensuring the bowl is not touching the water. Whisk in 2 cubes of butter at a time until nearly disappeared then add another two cubes and repeat until the sauce becomes thick and creamy and plentiful. You do really have to eyeball the amount of butter needed. It all goes by feel, look and taste. Season with salt and pour over eggs, vegetables or fish. Sprinkle with a small pinch of paprika.

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