How to: Fix a Broken Hollandaise

I stepped away for a moment to season my salmon after mastering a perfect stovetop hollandaise, when – POOF – my heart was broken… because so was my hollandaise. What was left in my makeshift double-boiler resembled a movie theatre butter sludge dispenser on cleaning day. I declared myself a failure, frantically Google’d a fix, and took a deep breath. I couldn’t fathom how small, simple things could possibly undo this, but it was worth a shot. It was either that or throwing two sticks of butter down the drain with my tears.


First, a basic hollandaise:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (or more, or less)
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • pinch cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and black pepper

    Whisk egg yolks, lemon juice, and hot water in a medium metal bowl. Place bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch the water). Drizzle in the melted butter 2 Tbsp. at a time, whisking constantly, until all of the butter is fully incorporated and the sauce is thick. Season to taste with cayenne, salt, and pepper. 

See how perfect my hollandaise was?


It only took a moment for this to happen:








If this happens to you, there is hope. And it’s super simple.

How to: Fix a Broken Hollandaise
  1. In a clean bowl, whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp hot water.
  2. Slowly, just a couple spoonfuls at a time, whisk the broken hollandaise into the new mixture.
  3. Voila — Tears of heartbreak are now tears of joy!

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