Why did my hollandaise sauce break when adding spices?

  • Why did my hollandaise sauce break when adding spices? Matthew

    I just made my very first attempt at a hollandaise sauce, which of course broke. The funny thing is, the sauce was perfect, and was finished. However, it was really, REALLY bland. So, to add some flavor as I've seen several other chefs demonstrate, I attempted to stir in spices (a little salt, a little chili powder, a little black pepper). As soon as the spices hit the sauce it instantly broke.

    Sadly I am now out of eggs and butter, so there's no way I can salvage it. Down the sink it went.

    So, what happened? What did I do wrong? Any help would be appreciated - it has to be something with those spices. Perhaps the salt??

    I refuse to give this up, I need to learn these mother sauces!

  • Adding salt and pepper should usually not lead to a clotted sauce hollandaise.

    It happens if the whole thing starts getting to hot. The next time you do it you can try the following: Put some ice water aside as you start. If you determine the sauce starts separating beat in a tiny amount of ice water. If you are lucky you can form the emulsion again by that. If it doesn't work you have to start over again.

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