I absolutely relish everything about brunch. Making and eating a late, lazy Sunday meal of poached eggs, French toast and coffee is a highlight of the week for me.
The whole experience is elevated when someone else makes brunch for you! The gesture of getting out of bed early to make a loved one food is lovely and the perfect way to say ‘hey, I love and appreciate you’ – especially for events like Mother’s or Valentine’s Day.
If you like your brunch to be savoury, then it’s likely to feature eggs Benedict (or Florentine). These classic dishes consist of a poached egg atop a bed of ham or spinach, respectively, on a halved English muffin. Both are finished with a warm, satiny emulsion called hollandaise sauce, which is poured over the top. It’s often thought that the luxury of proper, silky hollandaise is something exclusive to to restaurant dining, but it’s actually incredibly simple to make at home.
PERFECT HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
Start by separating the eggs – you’ll need two eggs. Crack the egg on the edge of a bowl and pass the yolk between the eggshell halves, letting the white fall into the bowl below. Place the yolks into a separate bowl.
Melt 100g of unsalted butter in a small pan – preferably one with a spout. If your pan doesn’t have a spout then transfer the melted butter to a jug.
Put the bowl of egg yolks over a pan of gently simmering water. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of mustard. Whisk together well.
Gradually add small splashes of butter to the bowl with the yolks, whisking well between each addition.
Tip: Keep an ice cube readily available at this stage. If you can see that the mixture is starting to split, drop in the ice cube and whisk it in. This can save the hollandaise sauce!
Once all the butter is incorporated you should have a smooth, thickened sauce. Loosen the mixture with some white wine vinegar if needed.
Spoon the sauce over the poached egg and serve immediately!
For more information on free-range eggs and welfare standards, check out the British Hen Welfare Trust