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Béarnaise and Hollandaise are sister sauces being both emulsions of butter in egg yolk and acid. The only real difference between the two is the acid used. Hollandaise uses lemon; béarnaise uses vinegar and/or white wine. The method of construction however, is identical.


  • 1/4 cup Tarragon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Dry white wine
  • 2 TB Shallots, minced
  • 1 1/2 TB Chervil, Chopped (Substitute: 1 TB Celery Leaves, 1 tsp Italian Parsley, 1/4 tsp Fennel or Anise Seeds, crushed)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Peppercorns, crushed
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup Egg Yolk
  • 3/4 cup Clarified Butter
  • 2 1/2 TB Fresh Tarragon Leaves, Chopped Fine; Divided


  • In a small saucepan, combine Tarragon vinegar, white wine, shallots, 1/2 TB Tarragon, Chervil, 1/4 tsp salt, and peppercorns over medium heat.
  • Bring the mixture to a to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 3 TB.
  • Strain into a bowl and let cool slightly.
  • In the top of a double boiler, whisk egg yolks with the reduction, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of cayenne until the yolks become thick and pale.
  • Place the bowl over barely simmering water and continue whisking until the mixture becomes smooth, creamy and thick enough to leave a clear line in the bottom of the bowl when the whisk is drawn through.
  • Do not heat the yolk mixture too much or you will end up with scrambled eggs; the proteins will re-bond with each other if the yolks get too hot.
  • Begin drizzling in the butter a little at a time, continuing to whisk until each addition emulsifies.
  • Once all the butter has been added, stir in the tarragon and serve.
  • Place in a thermal carafe to keep warm.

Categories: Condiment, Sauce  Savory Sauce 
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