The Creamy Addition That Prevents Broken Hollandaise Sauce

It may come as a surprise that hollandaise sauce is not from Holland. The buttery sauce actually began its journey in France. In the beginning, it was known as Sauce Isigny, dubbed after a town in Normandy that had a wonderful reputation for all things butter and cream. Hollandaise is considered a "mother sauce" in France and is enjoyed all over the world today on eggs Benedict, as a topping over asparagus and other vegetables, and alongside fish and grilled seafood.

As with many sauces, hollandaise has one fault — it sometimes breaks. It's not as sad as it sounds, thankfully. Broken sauce happens when its ingredients separate, leaving behind a unattractive condiment. Usually, it looks like the creamy part is no longer blended with the liquid, or you may see pools of oil. This can occur when you are trying to emulsify ingredients that don't easily blend together. In the case of hollandaise sauce, it may look grainy and thin with two different types of liquid. But the good news is that there is a secret ingredient that can stop your hollandaise from splitting.

Add some mayo to your hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise is a rich and buttery sauce with a light taste of lemon. One of the great things about it is that you likely have the ingredients to make it on hand. For a hollandaise sauce, all you need are butter, egg yolks, lemon juice, water, and some optional seasonings. Once you gather the components, you first melt the butter. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, and water. This mixture is cooked in a double boiler or bain marie while you thicken it by whisking. After you remove the bowl from the heat, you then slowly mix in the melted butter. 

However, to avoid a broken hollandaise sauce, you should add one more ingredient: a dollop of mayonnaise. Ahmed Abdalla, head chef at Legacy in York, U.K., told  The Guardian about this nifty trick. According to the chef, this simple addition keeps the hollandaise delectably creamy for hours and prevents it from breaking, even during reheating.