Founder of the B and B Academy, Karen Thorne, shares her method for perfect the Eggs Benedict
Whenever we eat breakfast out these days, it seems that eggs benedict is always on the menu. Either that or one of its many cousins such as eggs florentine, royale or even California (avocado apparently!)
At my own B&B I always offered an extensive breakfast menu – cooking and feeding people is my thing – but it did take me a while before I was brave enough to start attempting hollandaise at 7am in the morning.
The first few attempts resulted in actual tears. On one occasion a pan may actually have been flung across the kitchen.
My mistake was trying the traditional method, involving a lot of whisking in a bowl over hot water. I just ended up with something that looked like scrambled eggs.
My younger self would have given up in a strop. But the older I get, the more I find that I persevere at things. Maybe it’s sheer stubbornness or not wanting to let something containing so few ingredients get the better of me.
Finally, I mastered hollandaise – thanks to my Kenwood mini chopper, the cutest little butter pan and a mini vacuum flask that, prior to installing fridges in the rooms, I gave guests their milk in.
It turned out to be the most popular breakfast special at my B&B, and it kept my husband happy as eggs benedict is his favourite breakfast – albeit deconstructed with the bacon, poached eggs and english muffin all laid out separately on the plate.
Here are my top tips for creating a hollandaise sauce your guests will love, without the tears.
Following these tips, I’ve only had one hollandaise failure in 10 years.
- Use a liquidiser or, if you’re making smaller quantities, a Kenwood mini chopper – one of my favourite kitchen gadgets. You can even make hollandaise for one without any waste.
- Use a small vacuum flask to keep the sauce warm. Before pouring the sauce in, swirl some boiling water around the flask. This will keep your sauce warm for a couple of hours.
- Make your own English muffins. This isn’t essential, but they are a world apart from the ones you buy. I make mine in batches and freeze.
- If your hollandaise gets too thick – it will thicken up a bit in the flask – whisk in a few drops of boiling water.
There are 3 main reasons for Hollandaise sauce failing:
- Skimping on the butter – this is no time to go on a diet.
- The butter isn’t hot enough – it needs to be bubbling but without burning. You need to be paying close attention at this stage.
- Adding the butter too quickly, it needs to be added in a slow, steady stream. A little mini butter pan with a lip is really useful here or pour the butter into a small jug first.
For Karen’s Hollandaise recipe, visit her blog at: