This is my second attempt at making hollandaise. I did it with a double boiler, and the recipe was 1 egg yolk, 4 tbsp of butter, a little water, lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. When I tried it, it was rich--almost repulsively buttery. As far as I can tell, the sauce looks right, and it definitely didn't break. My only thoughts are it needed more lemon juice to cut the butter or more air in the emulsion. I might have also cooked it a bit too cool as it started to solidify within 5 minutes of plating.

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    Well done on achieving what looks like a fine emulsion! Hollandaise is just one of many very rich buttery sauces in the classical French tradition. If you find it 'repulsively buttery' you haven't necessarily done anything wrong! There is already an answer suggesting how you might vary the recipe. Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 11:21
  • If your double-boiler water is clean, you can slacken the sauce with a splash of water from there. Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 10:30

2 Answers 2


Many recipes call for different ratios of egg yolk to butter. Egg yolk size can vary substantially. Your recipe is definitely at the low egg/high butter end of the spectrum.

Considering it came out looking great, add another egg yolk next time, and another the time after that.

I like 3 yolks with half a stick of butter, made with USDA AA large eggs, cooked sous vide (no double boiler).

  • I'll try less butter next time, along with tasting as I go. I get the impression that there's enough personal preference in the egg/butter/acid mix, and variability in ingredients, that there isn't a definitive recipe, just guidelines to start with. Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 0:38

When I make hollandaise sauce, I use the ratio of 2 tbsp butter per 1 egg yolk. I find that it gives the sauce a custard-like texture without being overly buttery. That being said, if you prefer a richer, thicker sauce, you could try 3 tbsp butter per 1 egg yolk, and continue lowering the butter-to-yolk ratio until you find a thickness you are happy with. Or, as the other answer said, you could try adding more egg yolks, but keep in mind this will make a larger amount of sauce.

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