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What to Do With Extra Egg Yolks: Hollandaise Sauce

Updated on April 12, 2013
Hollandaise sauce is a good way to use extra egg yolks.
Hollandaise sauce is a good way to use extra egg yolks. | Source

Whether making a pie topped with a delicious meringue or Cloverleaf’s now infamous hub on French bread making (see link under Related Links below), sometimes you just find yourself with a few extra round sunny yellow egg yolks. You could just throw them away; or you could feed them to the dogs or cats (Yolks are very good for their coats and skin.), but I suggest using them to create a masterpiece that can be served alongside that loaf of French bread.

Let’s take a look and see what we can do with egg yolks. Cloverleaf’s recipe leaves three of them behind!

If you don't have a double boiler - no problem. You can use a broad based bowl over a deep sauce pan as pictured here.
If you don't have a double boiler - no problem. You can use a broad based bowl over a deep sauce pan as pictured here. | Source

How about a Classic Hollandaise Sauce that can be found in almost any cookbook or recipe file on-line? A Hollandaise sauce can be served over vegetables (such as asparagus, broccoli, or cauliflower), poached fish, or Eggs Benedict. It is a rich egg-based sauce usually flavored with lemon or vinegar, plus butter and a touch of cayenne and salt. And I happen to have a recipe that just happens to call for 3 egg yolks.

I am told that the most important thing in making a successful Hollandaise sauce is the use of a double boiler. However, if you don't have one - no problem. You can use a metal or glass bowl that fits securely over a deep sauce pan. See the picture to the right. That's all you need to improvise for a double boiler. You just need a shallow broad-based bowl on top, and a deeper sauce pan on the bottom. It is important that the top bowl does not come into contact with the water. This will allow us to use indirect heat which will help to prevent burning or scorching our sauce.

Another important aspect in making a successful Hollandaise is to make sure that the water in the bottom pan does not come to a full boil. You want it to be hot and lightly simmering only.

Obviously we will need to be very careful when it comes time to remove the top bowl as it will be extremely hot. Be sure to use a hot pad.

I could have taken pictures as I used my egg yolks to make this sauce, but for this particular sauce I think it is better to have the motion shots that the video can provide. Let's watch the video and get an idea of what we are doing. Then we can gather our ingredients together and make our Hollandaise sauce.

This sauce is a little tricky to make but absolutely delicious! She does a really good job of explaining how to make this delectable sauce. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter
  • Pinch of cayenne

Put the egg yolks in a bowl over a small pot of boiling water, or in the top part of a double boiler. Add lemon juice and water. Whisk yolks until they are about triple in volume and start forming ribbons. She does a very good example of showing how to do this in the video. Remove yolks from heat when they start forming ribbons.

Slowly add the melted butter a small amount at a time. The initial addition is very important in order to emulsify the sauce. Whisk in the rest of the butter gradually. The more butter you add the thicker your sauce will be.

Hollandaise Sauce Recipe w/3 Egg Yolks

  • 2 T. white-wine or tarragon vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 4 T. boiling water
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Melt the butter and keep it warm.

Heat the vinegar or lemon juice until just warmed. Have small saucepan with boiling water and a measuring tablespoon ready.

Place the top of a double boiler over (not in) hot water, or the bowl over the sauce pan as indicated in the picture above.

Place the egg yolks in the top of a double boiler and whisk until they begin to thicken. Then add 1 tablespoon of the boiling water. Continue to beat the sauce until it begins to thicken. Repeat with the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time, beating the mixture after each addition.

Now add the warmed vinegar or lemon juice. Remove the double boiler from the heat. Beat the sauce briskly with a wire whisk. Continue to beat the mixture as you slowly pour in the melted butter. Add the salt and cayenne and beat the sauce until it is thick. Serve immediately.


What happened?

Hollandaise is considered to be a difficult sauce to make, so after this you are a pro. You can pat yourself on the back.

But, if you happened to have some problems, here are the common problems and their solutions!

  • If it starts to separate, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of whipping cream and beat the sauce with a wire whisk until it is smooth.
  • If the sauce has curdled, you can put it in a blender and blend well. This will alter the texture slightly.

Serve your Hollandaise sauce over steamed vegetables, poached fish or eggs Benedict. Enjoy!

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Copyright © 2012 Cindy Murdoch (homesteadbound)

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Comments: "What to Do With Extra Egg Yolks: Hollandaise Sauce"

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    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Fellow Mumbaite - Let me know how you like the sauce. It really is a nice accompaniment to veggies. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Fellow Mumbaite profile image

      Fellow Mumbaite 

      9 years ago from India

      Nice article on Hollandaise Sauce..I always happen to throw the egg yolks as they are not needed mostly. But I believe this sauce will be perfect with veg. accompaniments we serve.


    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Aeron Wright - I hope you find that you like it and it is a good way to use your egg yolks. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Aeron Wright profile image

      Aeron Wright 

      9 years ago

      Thanks homesteadbound for this great sharing, sometimes it is really a headache to manage the leftover egg yolks and most of the time just threw it away. This recipes is new to me, I will definitely try to do Hollandaise sauce with it next time.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Movie Master, hello again! Let me know how it turns out! The bread is indeed very yummy. If I were home tomorrow I would be making for the third time this week! It just keeps disappearing. Do you think the yeast monster may have actually escaped?

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi homesteadbound, I have never made hollandaise sauce - and I love it, so I will give it a go!

      What a good idea to use up Cloverleaf's yolks and that bread is so yummy:-)

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      anupma - I hope you get a chance to try it. Thanks for the votes and for stopping by.

    • anupma profile image

      Dr Anupma Srivastava 

      9 years ago from India

      Great hub, you have given the best idea to utilize leftover egg-yolks. I am sure that the dish will be delicious. I voted it up, interesting and useful.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Victoria Lynn - Be sure and also check out the link and make Cloverleaf's French Bread first.

      I have added the link. I forgot about the link when I wrote the hub at 2 a.m. this morning. It's a great bread and I've already made it twice in the last 4 days, and all 4 of the loaves are already gone!

      Thanks for the votes.

      And Happy Hollandaise Sauce and French Bread Making!

      Enjoy the feast!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Cloverleaf - as you know, I would not have written it without your approval. You had first rights since it ties in with your bread recipe. And since I did this very early this morning, I'm thinking that I forgot to put the link in about your recipe. I will go do that now. Thanks for giving me the go ahead. Blessings and thanks for stopping by.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      9 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I voted this up, useful, and interesting. I love hollandaise sauce--since I discovered it on an omelet at a local restaurant. I've tried the packaged sauce at home (which wasn't very good), but I've never tried to make it from scratch. I plan to try this recipe, for sure. Will bookmark this one!

    • Cloverleaf profile image


      9 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      This is a great idea, homesteadbound! I never know what to do with the leftover egg yolks after making french bread, but now you've given me a great idea. Guess what I will be doing this weekend? Voting up and awesome!


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