I woke up with a bit of a groan today; I left myself utterly unprepared for todays post. I rolled around in bed all morning trying to think of a good challenge post. I had so many ideas but as I left this til the last minute I couldn’t get them done in time. Mid roll I made myself a pact; that I will not eat until I decide on an idea. I wanted the challenge to revolve around food and I didn’t want to cook breakfast than another challenge meal. I was mucking around on YouTube trying to find inspiration and came across Eggs Benedict. Then I knew that my challenge was hollandaise sauce.
I don’t think of myself as a particularly skilled chef, actually I find it offensive to chefs to imply I have any cooking skills. I can cook to feed myself, but nothing too flashy. I have tried making hollandaise sauce twice before, and failed miserably both times. I found that whilst it is quite a simple recipe, it is so touchy. Make one mistake and you’re doomed, there is no going back. There is no appeasing the hollandaise God. So I stopped attempting it and only ate it out. Then I realised this morning that I had to face it, I love it but it is so expensive when you eat out (like an extra $4 to add hollandaise, it’s ridiculous.. It’s literally butter and egg, it should not be so expensive). My issue with hollandaise (apart from the price) is that I get distracted easily, so todays challenge was to make it whilst cooking all my other ingredients.
So here’s what I did:
Firstly, I somehow managed to talk my brother into taking photos for me (offering to make him breakfast will usually do that). I then ran down to the store to grab all the ingredients we were missing.
Ingredients (for two servings)
60g of melted butter
3 egg yolks
a pinch of lemon juice
Rest of the breakfast:
handful of spinach
2 pieces of bacon
2 slices of bread
and some orange juice
What I did:
I prepared all my ingredients, yolking the eggs and melting butter. I also set up all equipment I foresaw myself needing. The main issue with my cooking is that I don’t prepare myself, I am always trying to find whisks or wooden spoons at the last second.
I started off my breakfast with cooking the bacon. Whilst the bacon was cooking away I started heating up some water for hollaindaise preparation. I like my bacon crispy so I had plenty of time to let the water heat up. I put my bacon to the side, I later realised I should have put it in the oven to keep warm, but it still tasted yum.
I then put my bread in the toaster and popped some hashbrowns in the pan. I then put a small bowl on top of my saucepan of hot water. Whilst the bowl was still cold I put in my egg yolks and squeeze of lemon juice and started whisking away.
Whilst my lemon and egg yolks mix was still warm I flipped my hashbrowns and started frying my eggs. I then poured melted butter in the lemon and egg yolk mix and started whisking again. Once the mix had to thickened and the sides got a little clumpy (and started tasting like hollandaise) I took it off the heat straight away.
I then got my hashbrowns and eggs off the stove and put together my meal.
What I have learnt:
- Every other time I started my hollandaise sauce the bowl had already been very hot. This meant I had less time to add in my butter before the eggs started to scramble and separate. I have heard that if this happens a splash of boiling water is meant to bring the sauce back in form (I did have some boiling water ready just in case, but all was well). Since I started my hollandaise in a cool bowl I think it gave me a little more time and was much more forgiving.
- I had heard that an important part of hollandaise is to never stop whisking, once the mixture settles the eggs start to cook and separate. This leaves you buttery eggs (trust me I know from previous attempts). This time I only stopped whisking for a very quick moment so I was able to get away with it (luckily).
- I made some delicious hollandaise. My brother who doesn’t think I can cook for shit Sam started licking my hollandaise bowl after finishing breakfast like it was leftover cake batter.
- Even though I don’t really want to admit it… preparation was probably the factor that made this hollandaise work.
- And don’t drop melted butter on yourself, it is not pleasant.
- Also, if you want poached eggs, guess what? You have a perfectly good saucepan of boiling water at the ready! I thought I was pushing my luck already with hollandaise so I didn’t tempt the Gods and attempt poaching eggs.
I hope that was entertaining for you. If you are a chef and I got that all wrong, I’m so very very sorry! I actually had a lot of fun making this, although I don’t think my brother agreed. I doubt he will ever be my photographer again.
“SAM, SAM TAKE PHOTO OF THIS NOW”
“I’M TRYING JACQUI STOP YELLING AT ME JEEZ”.
What challenge should I set myself next month? Please tell me down in the comments
so I don’t have to think up one myself