Culinary Arts

Béarnaise vs. Hollandaise Sauce: How to Turn Hollandaise Into Béarnaise Sauce With Chef Thomas Keller

Written by MasterClass

Apr 24, 2019 • 1 min read

Egg yolks, butter, and acid (like lemon juice or vinegar) are the foundation of French mother sauce hollandaise, which in turn serves as the base for endless variations. Béarnaise is the herb-and-allium version that you've probably found atop Eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, or roasted vegetables.

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What’s the Difference Between Hollandaise and Béarnaise Sauce?

Hollandaise is an egg yolk mixture emulsified with unsalted butter and acid. Hollandaise is what is known as a French mother sauce, meaning it can be used to make a range of other sauces, including béarnaise. Béarnaise sauce builds on hollandaise with egg yolks, butter, white wine vinegar, shallots, and tarragon.

Find Chef Thomas Keller’s hollandaise recipe here, then follow his method below to transform hollandaise into béarnaise sauce.

How to Make Béarnaise Sauce

You’ll start by making a reduction with your hollandaise, and then you’ll add egg yolks, heavy cream, clarified butter, and acid. If you are sensitive to tarragon, feel free to amend the quantities based on your taste. Also keep in mind that béarnaise is a looser sauce than hollandaise, so you may want to have more liquid on hand (water, cream) if adding the reduction doesn't change the texture enough.

5 Sauces to Make From Hollandaise and Béarnaise

Other sauces you can make from hollandaise and béarnaise include:

  • Choron. Transform your béarnaise sauce into sauce choron with the addition of a couple of tablespoons of tomato purée. Warm 50 grams of tomato purée and whisk into approximately 500 grams of béarnaise sauce.
  • Maltaise
  • Foyot
  • Paloise
  • Mousseline. Once you’ve made béarnaise, you can take it to a béarnaise mousseline by folding in whipped cream.

Béarnaise Recipe: How to Make Béarnaise Sauce From Hollandaise With Chef Thomas Keller

Watch Chef Keller demonstrate how to transform hollandaise into béarnaise sauce here.

For the béarnaise reduction:

  • 65 grams hollandaise
  • 75 grams shallots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 250 grams white wine
  • 50 grams champagne vinegar
  • 5 grams black peppercorn, coarsely ground
  • 30 grams tarragon leaves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf

For the béarnaise:

  • 85 grams egg yolks (approximately 4 each)
  • 85 grams béarnaise reduction
  • 25 grams heavy cream
  • 350 grams clarified butter
  • 5 grams lemon juice
  • 4 grams tarragon, minced
  • 10 grams shallots, peeled and finely minced
  • 5 grams kosher salt


  • 2-quart saucier
  • Mixing bowl

For the béarnaise reduction:

  1. Place all ingredients into a saucepan and reduce the liquids by one third. Remove bay leaf. Cool and reserve until needed.

For the béarnaise:

  1. Place the egg yolks, cream, and béarnaise reduction in a 2-quart saucier and whisk over low heat until egg yolks have expanded and reached a ribbon consistency. Constantly whisking and adjusting the heat as needed in order to not scramble the egg yolks.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the clarified butter while continuously whisking, making sure that an emulsion is forming.
  3. Once all the clarified butter is emulsified, whisk in the lemon juice, tarragon, shallots, and kosher salt.
  4. Serve warm.

Learn more about sauces with Chef Thomas Keller here.