Home Cooking Global History Composition Making Books About

Cooking  ·  Baking  ·  Sauces  ·  Compounds  ·  Clarified  ·  Sharing  · 
   « »
Related pages: Overview  ·  Butter Sauces  ·  Butter & egg sauces  ·  Quick tips  ·  Recipes  · 

Making Butter Sauces:

  • If your butter sauce begins to separate from the heat, you can whisk in a little cool water re-emulsify the sauce.
  • Cream isn’t an ingredient in a true beurre blanc, but you can add a tablespoon full in order help stabilize it.
  • Don’t allow your sauce to cool below 98°F or it will separate when reheated.
  • If you have to keep your sauce on the heat once it’s prepared, add a bit of water from time to time so the proportion of water and fat stays constant.

Making Egg and Butter Sauces:

  • When making a Hollandaise or Béarnaise sauce, a double boiler will provide the gentle heat necessary to keep the sauce from curdling.
  • Adding an acidic reduction to a sauce increases its curdling temperature at least 25 degrees F, to 195°F or 90°C.
  • If you have to hold your sauce, make sure to keep it covered over low heat and stir it occasionally.
  • If your sauce curdles, strain out any solids, then start with a new warm egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of water. Slowly whisk the sauce into the new yolk. This also works for re-warming refrigerated sauces.
  • If you’re concerned about salmonella from undercooked eggs, you can heat the egg yolks in a microwave to kill bacteria while you pre-thicken them.
  • If the weather is humid, use clarified butter rather than regular butter.
  • Never add salt before cooking the yolks, as it will cause curdling.

See also quick tips for baking, general cooking, compound butters, and clarified butter.

Help grow this exhibit! Join in the fun by sending your favorite tips for cooking with butter, or your tried-and-true recipes. Read more about sharing your tips and recipes.