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Hollandaise Sauce

by Tim Hayward from The DIY Cook

Tim Hayward explains how to make perfect Hollandaise sauce every time with this simple step-by-step guide. Once you've made this sauce, you'll never settle for shop-bought.

From the book

Tim Hayward


As well as emulsifying, egg yolk thickens when heated. Think custards. By gently heating an emulsion sauce whilst beating, it’s possible to create something rich like a mayo and stable like a custard. Neither of these qualities in itself is enough to explain the regal sublimity of the hollandaise, a sauce which outranks the kingly mayonnaise simply by being made with melted clarified butter rather than any healthy vegetable oils.

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250g clarified unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
lemon juice


Watch how to make the hollandaise sauce

Cut the butter into small dice, sprinkle on a plate and place in the fridge.

Make a bain-marie with a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Pour in the egg yolks and whisk them, regularly checking the temperature with a probe thermometer until they begin to thicken at 62°C.

At 62°C remove the bowl from the heat and begin whisking in the butter cubes a few at a time. The temperature will drop. As soon as the butter stops melting easily, put the bowl back over the heat and bring it back up to 62°C.

Once all the butter has been absorbed, whisk in lemon juice to taste, salt and a little black pepper.

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