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How to Make Eggs Benedict and Blender Hollandaise Sauce

After competing in the Project Food Blog competition, I realized that challenges were good for me. Not because I want to win something, but because they allow me to come out of my comfort zone. Without them, I would only be posting about soups and macarons. Nobody would like that, right?

So I decided to become a member of The Daring Kitchen, a site that brings together cooks from around the world who wish to challenge themselves to learn something new. There’s a group for bakers and another for savory experiments. Since I’m quite comfortable with baking (although I for sure have a lot to learn) I decided to become a member of the Daring Cooks, hoping to add new techniques to my savory répertoire.

My first Daring Cooks challenge in December was entitled “Poach to Perfection!” which challenged us to perfectly poach eggs to make Eggs Benedict. I have never ordered Eggs Benedict at the restaurant first because the sauce contains a lot of butter, which is not good for the lactose-intolerant that I am, and second because I only like my eggs scrambled (or I thought I did). I thought this was the perfect opportunity to allow me to not only learn a new technique but learn to enjoy something new.

Eggs Benedict with Steamed Asparagus and Crispy Prosciutto

Here are a few notes about my experience:

  • I used store-bought English muffins, but next time I will try making my own. Someone in the challenge made Alton Brown’s recipe which turned out pretty well. Bookmarked for next time.
  • I made Everyday Food’s Easy Hollandaise sauce (see recipe below), which seemed really quick and foolproof. Indeed it was! My only mistake was to make it a bit too much in advance and trying to keep it warm in a double-boiler. After a while, my sauce “broke” (separated), but knowing there’s a way to fix it, I didn’t panic! I found out how to emulsify it again (see tip below) and it came back together all smooth and creamy
  • Making the poached eggs turned out to be easy. I heated the water to 200˚F (about 90˚C), and added a bit of salt and vinegar to it. When I poured my eggs in the water, I thought they wouldn’t work because there seemed to be a lot of egg whites dissolving in the water (like in an egg drop soup). When I fished them out, I had the surprise to find them all set and pulled together. Turns out just a very small portion of the whites spread out, nothing that prevented me from successfully plate my very first Eggs Benedict.
  • I added asparagus and crispy prosciutto to finalize my recipe. Asparagus are a perfect match to the lemony Hollandaise sauce, and crispy prosciutto is better than bacon! Pancetta would be just as good.
Pouring the melted butter very slowly into the running blender to emulsify the sauce; keeping an eye on the water's temperature to make sure it doesn't reach boiling point.
Pouring the melted butter very slowly into the running blender to emulsify the sauce; keeping an eye on the water’s temperature to make sure it doesn’t reach boiling point.
Creamy, silky and airy hollandaise sauce; garnishes for Eggs Benedict.
Creamy, silky and airy hollandaise sauce; garnishes for Eggs Benedict.
Perfectly cooked poached eggs.
Perfectly cooked poached eggs.

Turns out everything went very well, the eggs were perfectly cooked, the whites well set and the yellow center still oozingly creamy. The sauce, which I made with goat milk butter instead of regular butter, was delicious and not too rich at all. When I close my eyes, I can still taste the incredibly silky texture of my Eggs Benedict and I only dream of the next time I’ll be making them.

Eggs Benedict with Steamed Asparagus and Crispy Prosciutto

Eggs Benedict with Steamed Asparagus and Crispy Prosciutto

Eggs Benedict with Steamed Asparagus and Crispy Prosciutto

Makes 2 people very belly-happy

2 English muffins, split and toasted

8 thick asparagus, tough ends removed and split lengthwise (or 16 thin asparagus), steamed for 1 minute in the microwave then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fleur de sel and black pepper

4 slices prosciutto, cooked in a pan for about 30 seconds per side, or until lightly browned and crisp

For the sauce (recipe adapted from Everyday Food Magazine)
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon warm water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt (do not add salt if you use salted butter)
1/2 cup (1 stick) goat’s milk butter (or regular butter, salted or unsalted)

For the poached eggs
4 very fresh large eggs
A large pot of water, heated to just below boiling point, about 200˚F or 90˚C (use a thermometer to monitor it)
A good pinch of salt
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Prepare the English muffins, the asparagus and the prosciutto slices. I made sure everything was ready before making the sauce and the eggs. I kept the English muffins warm in a 180˚F (85˚C) oven with the serving plates and zapped the asparagus and prosciutto slices in the microwave for 10 seconds to warm everything up right before serving.

Make the sauce: In a blender, combine egg yolks, water, lemon juice, and salt; blend until frothy. Heat butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium until bubbly (do not let brown). With blender running, pour in hot butter in a very thin stream, blending until sauce is thick and emulsified. Transfer to a measuring cup and cover until service. Heat it back up in the microwave for about 30 seconds (low power setting) before serving if needed.

What to do if your sauce breaks (the fat separates from the rest of the sauce or it starts to look curdled): you need to add a fresh egg yolk to rebind the liquids. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon cold water. Pour your sauce back into the blender and mix at low speed. With blender running, slowly pour the new egg yolk/water mixture into the sauce. Mix for 10-15 seconds and just like that, it should be fixed. Heat it back up gently in the microwave (low power setting) right before serving.

Make the poached eggs: Bring the water to 200˚F or 90˚C and add the salt and vinegar. Crack your eggs one by one in a small bowl first (make sure not to break the yolk or you can’t use the egg!) then gently slide the entire egg into the water to poach. You can add the four eggs to the pot to cook them all together. 3 ½ minutes will cook the eggs until the edges of the yolk are cooked and the center is still runny. Fish the eggs out one by one with a slotted spoon and reserve in a small plate.

Assemble your Eggs Benedict: Take your English muffins and warm plates out of the oven. Place one slice of prosciutto on each muffin, then divide the asparagus stalks in four portions, placing them over the prosciutto. Top with a poached egg and a generous spoonful of hollandaise sauce. Garnish with thinly sliced chives and freshly ground black pepper.

For more tips on how to poach eggs to perfection and for great recipes that include poached eggs, download the full Daring Cooks challenge PDF here.

Eggs poached to perfection in my Eggs Benedict with Steamed Asparagus and Crispy Prosciutto

Yum

38 Responses to How to Make Eggs Benedict and Blender Hollandaise Sauce

  1. […] 10. Eggs Benedict Asparagus Sandwich Go ahead, douse your english muffin sandwich with extra hollandaise, we won’t tell and neither will the pasteurized eggs you used to play it safe. With prosciutto, asparagus, and poached eggs we guarantee it will be messy, but we also promise it to be a filling and fulfilling brunch option. Get the recipe. […]

  2. I used to make this every year and serve it as "Breakfast in Bed" to my ex for our Anniversary…. forgot how much I loved it and will have to make some for myself :)…thanks also for the info on The Daring Kitchen. I will have to check that out!!!!

    • Of course, you deserve to make it yourself! Try the easy Hollandaise sauce, I think you may never go back to the other way of making it. As for the Daring Kitchen, it's a really great community, and you don't have to have a blog to be part of it!

  3. Delicious!
    If you are looking for a beautiful and perfectly formed egg, put it in a small cup first, swirl the water in a circle , then carefully drop the egg into the vortex. Also, don't skimp on the vinegar.
    Enjoy!

  4. Your eggs look beautiful! The first time I made poached eggs, I had six very hungry guests sitting in my living room waiting for brunch! A very stressful experience and as a result, my eggs didn't turn out at all, but I will be sure to try your temperature tip next time and hope that helps my eggs stay together.

    • Wow, it's very courageous of you to have tried this for the first time when you had hungry guests waiting for your food, what pressure! I hope next time will be better, controlling the water's temperature worked out well for me.

  5. Well done for a great result! We've never done horrible with the poaching of eggs, but never great either. We'll try with your thermometer guidelines next time – thanks!

    Stay JOLLY!
    D&S

    • Don't know if it was the thermometer or just plain luck, but I'm really happy about how my eggs turned out! I will make them again on Christmas morning, I'll see if I can pull it off once more :)

  6. [email protected] says:

    Marie, I love the addition of the prosciutto and asparagus – lovely presentation too!

    • Thank you Mardi! I think the first time I came across the Daring Kitchen was through your blog. I have to thank you for that! I really enjoyed this first challenge and I'm already looking forward to the next one.

  7. Welcome to the Daring Cooks! Your eggs benedict looks gorgeous with the asparagus and prosciutto. I often make hollandaise in the blender, but made mine over direct heat this time since I only made a very small amount. Glad you were able to save yours.
    :)

    • Thank you for the great welcome message, I'm really glad I did join! I liked your versions of Eggs Benedict, inspired by different international cuisines. I'm especially intrigued by the Sri Lankan version, the coconut and curry leaf topping must be very tasty. Talk about getting away from the traditional recipe! Great job :)

  8. Your eggs were poached to perfection indeed! The final dish looks heavenly! Welcome to The DCs. It was my first challenge as well, but I've been a DB for a while now. Joined the DCs for the same reason :o)

    • Thank you for your comment! I will probably join the Daring Bakers eventually since I really liked my first experience. I think it'll be good for inspiration!

  9. Beautiful, I love the asparagus and prosciutto addition! That's very interesting using goats milk butter in place of regular butter, the hollandaise looks lovely and your eggs are indeed poached to perfection!

    • A bonus for using goat's milk butter is that the sauce is beautifully pale instead of turning yellow. I find it adds a bit of sophistication – and the taste is just as great as with regular butter!

  10. Hello and welcome to the Daring Cooks' and congratulations on your first very successful challenge I hope the other challenges are as much fun for you.

    WOWWOWOWOW is all I can say your posting is so good, I just love it and you are so funny "Makes 2 people very belly-happy" I laughed LOL for a minute it is so true. Bravo on your efforts.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    • Thank you Audax! I'm very happy to be a member of the Daring Cooks! If every month brings such a delicious discovery, it'll be a great year! I have to say your first post in the results forum was very inspiring and it provided a great insight, which helped me in making my own Eggs Benedict. Can't wait to see what the next challenge will be!

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