Hot Egg Sauces: Hollandaise and Béarnaise

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
The classic hot egg sauces, hollandaise and béarnaise and their offspring, are eggemulsified butter sauces. They are similar to mayonnaise in many respects, but of course must be hot to keep the butter fluid. Their dispersed fat phase is usually a smaller proportion of the sauce, between one- and two-thirds of the total volume. Hollandaise and béarnaise differ mainly in seasoning; hollandaise is only lightly flavored with lemon juice, while béarnaise begins with a tart and aromatic reduction of wine, vinegar, tarragon, and shallots.