Hollandaise sauce is sunshine on a spoon—silken, glossy, and the richest shade of yellow. It is lush with egg yolks, velvety with butter, and sparkling with lemon. Auguste Escoffier dubbed it one of the five “mother sauces” of cuisine—that is, one of the sauces upon which all other sauces, like béarnaise, are built. Compared to some of Escoffier’s other sauces, hollandaise looks simple. At least it doesn’t require you to reduce a cow and three bottles of wine into a tablespoon.
Hollandaise may be simple, but it’s not easy. Despite being named after the Netherlands (“Holland”), la sauce hollandaise is very, very French. It is finicky, decadent, and often unstable. Making it can be a sophisticated form of masochism. In a traditional hollandaise, egg yolks are thickened to custard by beating over simmering water in a double boiler to prevent curdling. Too much heat, and the egg proteins freak out and clump together. Too little heat, and nothing happens at all. Then butter must be emulsified drop by drop, coaxing and coating the protein molecules. No wonder we eat out when we want eggs Benedict, even if the sauce is sub-par.
But fear not, such trials and tribulations are a thing of the past. For our modern hollandaise, we use a revolutionary gadget called The Control Freak. It looks like a sleek version of the hotplate you had in college, but it’s way cooler. The Control Freak is an induction burner so precise that it can double as an immersion circulator. It precisely maintains the temperature of what you are cooking within a fraction of a degree. The Control Freak lets you make hollandaise without the headaches. It is like a Saucier for Dummies, allowing your proteins and fats to mingle at the perfect temperature, coming together in a marvelously sheened, saffron-tinted glory. No constant whisking, no double boiling, no mistakes.
So prepare to ditch your brunch reservations and make eggs Benny for twenty. Your sauce will be perfect whenever you are ready to serve it. Just leave it to The Control Freak—the machine, that is, not your partner/spouse.