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How To Thicken Up Hollandaise Sauce

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: February 9, 2021
How To Thicken Up Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce can be one of the fastest and easiest sauces to make, if you know what you are doing. One of its most important facets is its versatility as it can be used with almost anything. Although there are countless variations of this sauce, ideally you want a velvety smooth texture to go with its tang. You can buy it ready-made from your nearest grocery store, but the home-made tastes much better. Unfortunately, one common mistake is to make it a little too thin and runny. Fortunately, oneHOWTO, is here to show you how to thicken up hollandaise sauce.

You may also be interested in: How to Fix Hollandaise Sauce if it's too Thick

Why is hollandaise sauce too runny?

Before we show you how to thicken your hollandaise sauce, you should know why it is runny in the first place. The main reason why a hollandaise is too thin is because it doesn't use enough butter in the initial mix.

Another reason a hollandaise can be too runny is because we haven't whisked it enough. One of the hardest parts of preparing hollandaise, especially if not using and electric stand mixer, is to mix the egg yolks as you slowly add the butter. However, this process should help us avoid the sauce becoming too runny as we will need to pay attention and will be able to keep an eye on consistency.

Finally, if you use too much white wine vinegar or lemon juice (depending on your preparation), it may be more difficult to emulsify. The result will be runny hollandaise sauce.

Thicken hollandaise with cornstarch

Add some cornstarch to the sauce if it has become too thin. Although cornstarch is the most common method, you can also use arrowroot flour, potato starch, rice flour or tapioca flour. To thicken the hollandaise with corn starch, you will need to add more heat, something we need to be careful with to avoid splitting the hollandaise. To do this we need to:

  • Create a slurry of cornstarch to water at a 1:2 ratio.
  • Place the hollandaise sauce in a heat proof bowl and place over a bain-marie, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
  • When the water is boiling, slowly mix in the cornstarch slurry little by little, waiting for it to thicken before adding more.
  • Once you have the consistency you desire, take it off the pan and it is ready.
How To Thicken Up Hollandaise Sauce - Thicken hollandaise with cornstarch

Thicken hollandaise with food gum

You can use some food gums to thicken your Hollandaise sauce, such as agar, guar, pectin or xanthan gum. Only a small quantity can thicken your sauce without altering its taste and color. Xanthan or pectin gum can be added directly to the sauce, while agar or guar gum will need to be mixed with water first.

Use the same method used above for cornstarch, but with one big exception. if you create a slurry using water, the food gum will clump up. Instead, use a little of the melted butter and mix in the gums.

Thicken hollandaise with kneaded butter

Make kneaded butter by kneading flour and butter together. Make a dough or smooth paste with butter and flour, make small balls with this mixture, and add to the simmering sauce on the bain-marie one by one until you achieve the required consistency.

How To Thicken Up Hollandaise Sauce - Thicken hollandaise with kneaded butter

Thicken hollandaise with more egg yolk

Being a rich creamy sauce, the way hollandaise is thickened is not with fat form the butter. It is with the thick egg yolks and the mixing action of the whisk.

Since we might make the sauce too runny by adding too much butter, adding more egg yolk should help us to thicken up the hollandaise. However, we need to be careful not to add to much. To do this:

  • Separate the egg white from egg yolk as before.
  • Break the yolk in a pouring jug so it is more liquid.
  • Place the original hollandaise mixture over the bain-marie as before, and slowly add more egg yolk as you whisk. Wait to see it thicken before adding more.

Taste and see if you need to add any more butter if we have thickened up the hollandaise sauce too much. Add more lemon juice or vinegar if needed.

How To Thicken Up Hollandaise Sauce - Thicken hollandaise with more egg yolk

Thicken hollandaise sauce by simmering

To thicken Hollandaise sauce you can also simmer the sauce without bringing it to a boil. This is done, as before, on a bain-marie or a double boiler. As the sauce heats up, the water in it evaporates and it becomes thicker. Keep stirring to avoid burning. If the sauce gets too hot, it will cook the eggs and this cannot be fixed.

How To Thicken Up Hollandaise Sauce - Thicken hollandaise sauce by simmering

Thicken hollandaise sauce with potato flakes

You can add potato flakes to thicken up Hollandaise sauce. These are pre-packaged, dried mashed potatoes. One tablespoon of which is enough for one cup of sauce. Keep your sauce on the bain-marie to simmer, and add the potato flakes, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is achieved.

Don't forget to taste!

Once you have thickened Hollandaise sauce with any of these methods, make sure that you taste for salt and adjust as needed. We also want a velvety cream consistency, so doesn't thicken too much. Thickening may reduce the sauce, and make changes in the taste and flavor, so always proceed with caution.

If you love making your own sauces, at oneHOWTO we also show you how to make port sauce, meat sauces, almond sauce, orange sauce, and pineapple sauce.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Thicken Up Hollandaise Sauce, we recommend you visit our Recipes category.

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