Hollandaise sauce

You just can’t buy good stuff like this ready made, and ordering it from a menu is too often a disappointment. So the ability to make it for yourself, at home, from scratch and with decent ingredients – is a wonderful skill to have.

You will need:
3 egg yolks
250g unsalted butter, fridge cold
For the reduction:
3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon of pink peppercorns (or black)
2 bay leaves
1 blade of mace
Salt to taste

For the reduction:
Just throw all the ingredients into a pan and boil it until it’s reduced by about half
Once it’s ready, remove the reduction from the heat, strain, and keep it to hand
Get the yolks into a pan and add just a teaspoon of the vinegar reduction
Cut the butter into cubes, then start the pan on a low heat and salt it generously before you start whisking
Add one knob of butter at a time initially, and keep whisking so it combines evenly
Once the butter in the pan is almost entirely integrated, add some more, and so on
This takes between 10 and 15 minutes
Once you’ve added more than three quarters of the butter, the emulsion should be stable enough for you to chuck in the rest in one go
By this time it will have taken on a bright, golden yellow colour and a light, velvety consistency; the hallmarks of a proper Hollandaise sauce
Taste it, and add more vinegar reduction or salt if necessary