Eggs Benedict

Week 20, Session 2

I’m not a massive fan of Eggs Benedict as I always find hollandaise too rich and a little vinegary. However, as usual, Leith’s has come through again. It was rich but in a moorish rather than sickly way and I made the perfect amount for 2 poached eggs on muffins topped with ham.

I will definitely make this again but might try adding some herbs to the hollandaise and using smoked salmon instead of ham or some sautéed mushrooms or spinach or asparagus. Really, many choices!


Makes enough for 1 (as per the picture above so 2 if you’re not greedy)

  • For the reduction:
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 50ml water
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 mace blade
  • For the sauce:
  • 150g unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Few drops of lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt and ground white pepper
  1. For the reduction, put the wine vinegar, water, peppercorns, bay leaf and mace in a small saucepan and simmer. Reduce the liquid by two-thirds, then strain to remove the peppercorns, bay and mace.
  2. To make the sauce, cut the butter into 1cm cubes. Put the egg yolks, a cube of butter and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and cream the butter into the egg yolks.
  3. Add ½–1 tsp of the reduction and stir to combine.
  4. Half-fill a roasting tin with water and set over a medium heat, to create a warm bain marie.
    Heat until the water is hand-hot (it should be comfortable to dip your fingers into). If the water is too hot, the sauce will curdle.
  5. Stand the bowl containing the egg yolk, butter and reduction mixture in the bain marie, off the area where there’s heat underneath, and stir until the egg yolks visibly start to thicken.
  6. Beat the remaining butter in, a cube at a time, making sure that the sauce has re-thickened before adding the next cube of butter. If the sauce becomes very thick and appears greasy, add a little more reduction or cool water. Remove the bowl from the heat and turn off the heat if it is getting too warm.
  7. Once all the butter has been added, remove the bowl of sauce from the roasting tin. Adjust the seasoning by adding more reduction, lemon juice, salt and ground white pepper. The sauce can be kept for about 30 minutes before serving, by standing the bowl in a warm bain marie, off the heat.
  8. Toast the muffins and poach the eggs. Assemble.

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