Thomas Sixt is a chef, food photographer, cookbook author and blogger.
Here he shares recipes, answers cooking questions and helps with cooking.
You can find my Bearnaise Sauce Recipe in this article.
Béarnaise sauce, also known as Béarner sauce, is a warm and smooth butter sauce from traditional French cuisine.
It is made from warm beaten egg yolks with a special reduction and clarified butter.
The sauce refines many dishes, especially steaks and fish, with its incomparable taste.
Today you can rediscover the sophistication and elegance of French cuisine!
Let us now accompany you in the kitchen and follow these instructions.
Table of Contents
1. Recipe Béarnaise Sauce
Béarnaise sauce is technically a derivative of hollandaise sauce.
Good to know! The two butter sauces are similar and yet a little different.
Now follow my cooking tips, cooking questions and nice kitchen gossip you can send me at the bottom of the page.
Cooked, photographed and written down by chef Thomas Sixt.
Simple instructions for preparing original Béarnaise sauce.
|2||tbsp||Vinegar (I use white wine vinegar)|
|1||piece||Bay leaf (Optional ingredient)|
|black ground pepper|
Prepare the ingredients for the reduction.
Please don’t let the many shallots irritate you.
The amount of ingredients above is correct. I simply cooked a larger amount of reduction.
Halve and peel the shallots, leaving the root attached to the peeled shallots.
Cut the shallot halves into very fine cubes.
You can now check the diced shallots and then put them in a pot.
Lightly pound the peppercorns with the back of a knife or in a mortar.
Add the diced shallots to the saucepan with the water, vinegar and peppercorns.
Add the dried chervil to the reduction ingredients.
Optionally add the bay leaves to the reduction ingredients.
Boil the reduction ingredients in the pot for about 15 minutes and reduce.
You will need 1-2 tablespoons of liquid at the end.
Pass the Bearnaise reduction through a fine hair sieve.
Provide the Bearnaise reduction.
Heat the butter and heat slowly.
The butter separates into three parts:
-> Whey and water at the bottom of the pot
–> butterfat in the middle.
–> Milk protein in the form of little clouds on the surface.
Carefully remove the milk protein clouds with a spoon or slotted spoon.
Pour off the pure butterfat without the whey through a fine sieve.
Prepare the clarified butter.
The distinction of:
–> nut butter
I will explain to you with the respective article.
The Bearnaise ingredients at a glance:
Wash fresh chervil, spin dry, pluck and finely chop.
Place the finely chopped chervil in a bowl.
Heat the stovetop to level 4-5 of 12.
Heat setting 3 of 12 produces a temperature of 56° C / 132,8 °F in my sauté pan
Level 4 of 12 produces a temperature of 69°C / 156,2 °F
Stage 5 of 12 produces a temperature of 76°C / 168,8 °F
Add the egg yolks and the reduction with starch (optional) to the saucepan.
Beat the yolks with the whisk.
My pot got a little hotter, so I left the stove.
Beat the egg yolks with the reduction in the saucepan on the stovetop.
You can also use the hand mixer instead of the whisk.
That’s a lot easier.
Seen here at the stove.
First add the clarified butter (75° C / 167 °F) in a thin stream to the beaten egg yolks and beat in.
The yolks and butter should emulsify and bond well together.
Beat the butter sauce in a figure of eight.
Add salt, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and chervil to the sauce.
Mix the sauce.
Finally taste the sauce and do not put it on the stove.
Top up the Bearnaise sauce and serve.
Keeping the Bearnaise Sauce Warm:
You can briefly keep the whipped sauce warm in the oven at 75 °C / 167 °F.
Put a knob of butter on top of the sauce to avoid a skin!
Spelling Of the Sauce:
Bearnaise sauce is often misspelled: “ bernaise ” is a misspelling.
2. Calories (kcal) And Nutritional Values
The béarnaise sauce Calories are calculated exactly in the table below.
Still easy for you: 100 g Bearnaise sauce, which corresponds to approx. 5 tablespoons, contains approx. 400 calories.
3. Bearnaise Sauce Ingredients
The traditional béarnaise sauce consists of a reduction and other ingredients.
Reduction is important and correct for the right and perfect taste.
Here is a first list for a better understanding:
Bearnaise sauce reduction
- white wine vinegar,
- bay leaves (optional)
Bearnaise sauce ingredients
- Reduction (cooked from ingredients)
- A little cornstarch (for safety)
- Clarified butter or
- Nut butter
- Egg yolk
- Salt, nutmeg, cayenne pepper
- Chervil or tarragon
The following pictures show the ingredients of the reduction and the prepared ingredients with clarified butter and prepared reduction.
On the following pictures you can see tarragon fresh and tarragon dried.
The demand for fresh tarragon is relatively low and my supermarkets only had dried tarragon.
I discovered the fresh herb at the weekly market and in the hardware store in the herb department.
You can use dried tarragon without any problems. In combination with vinegar, the dried leaves develop an excellent aroma.
4. Béarnaise Sauce Recipe Original
We know the classic preparation with a bowl on the hot water –> water bath.
However, the bowl in the water bath should be above steam and not touching the hot water!
But before you start whipping the sauce, please prepare the reduction first:
Prepare Bearnaise reduction:
The preparation is very easy and brings the typical taste to the sauce.
- Peel and finely dice the shallots,
- Mix with water,
- white wine vinegar,
- Crushed peppercorns,
- tarragon and
- bay leaves (optional)
… put in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Let the reduction boil down over low heat for about 15 minutes.
Boiling down liquids to create flavor is what cooks call reducing.
Hence the word “reduction”
After boiling down, 1-2 tablespoons of liquid should remain.
Please pass the reduction through a fine sieve.
Prepare the butter:
Cut the butter into cubes and place in a clean saucepan.
Heat and cook the butter slowly.
The butter separates into its components:
–> whey and water on the bottom of the pot,
–> butterfat in the middle,
–> Milk protein as a cloud on the surface of the butter.
You can now remove the protein clouds.
Use a spoon or slotted spoon for this.
Then pour the pure butterfat through a sieve.
The whey (white) and the watery residue remain in the pot for disposal.
Prepare the pure, clarified butter for further preparation.
Prepare the water bath for Béarner Sauce :
Boil the water in the pot.
Pull away from the stove.
Then place a suitable stainless steel bowl in the pot.
The bowl should not touch the water.
Prepare Bearner Sauce:
Put the egg yolks and the reduction in the water bath bowl and beat immediately.
You can do this with a whisk, you can also use the hand mixer with a whisk 🙂
When the egg yolks are cracked, they are not only beaten from left to right, but in the shape of an eight.
The sauce gets its volume from the heat and the blowing in of the air.
The yolk should be creamy and firm, but not scrambled!
Now slowly add the 75°C 167 °F warm butter.
First in a thin jet, please continue beating vigorously with the whisk.
Then gradually stir in all the butter.
The beaten egg yolk and the added butter should combine homogeneously.
The pictures below show the preparation of the sauce on the water bath.
I have included the Sauce Hollandaise pictures because the steps are identical.
Water Bath Method for Bearnaise Sauce:
5. Béarnaise sauce quickly
In general, I tend to simplify.
If you have never made a butter sauce yourself, you can fail brilliantly.
Even acclaimed chefs sometimes struggle with homemade Béarner sauce.
For the home it should work and be sure to succeed:
Implements Quick Béarner Sauce:
- Small knife and cutting board
- A hand mixer with whisk or
- A Kitchen Aid or similar appliance
- Suitable stainless steel bowl or a sauté pan
- Your oven
- A small pot for the reduction
- A small pot for preparing the butter
- Warmed plates or a gravy boat for serving
Your asparagus, potatoes, meat or fish should be almost done.
Prepare the reduction and the butter, keep both warm.
Prepare Blitz Bearner Sauce:
- Preheat the oven at 90°C / 194 °F.
- Heat the stainless steel bowl or a sauté pan for 15-20 minutes.
- Prepare the Bearnaise reduction, strain, have ready.
- Beat the egg yolks in a clean, greasy bowl.
- Prepare and strain the butter, this must have a temperature of 75°C / 167 °F.
- Prepare your asparagus and potatoes ready or warm.
- Provide: Hand mixer or food processor with whisk.
- Remove the 80°C / 176 °F stainless steel bowl from the oven.
- Add tempered reduction and egg yolks to warm bowl.
- Add egg yolks and reduction fluffily to hot bowl.
- Whisk the egg yolks.
- Slowly add the hot butter, about 75°C / 167 °F , to the whipped egg yolks.
- Season the Bearnaise sauce with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Finish with freshly chopped tarragon or chervil and serve.
Keeping the sauce warm at 80°C / 176 °F in the oven works without any problems for 15 minutes.
–> The preparation only works in a good oven.
–> If the temperature in the oven deviates too much, the sauce may fail.
–> Select the temperature range of 75°C / 167 °F
–> The clarified butter should have a temperature of at least 70°C / 158 °F, otherwise the sauce will cool down too much during production.
6. Thermomix bearnaise sauce
Some time ago I worked as a recipe developer for a Thermomix cookbook.
Preparing Bearnaise sauce in the Thermomix works great!
This works the same with similar Wunderkessel devices, but our German Supermixer is still the first choice!
Tools Thermomix Béarnaise Sauce:
- A small pot for the preparation of the clarified butter
- A pot for the pot for the Bearnaise reduction
- A knife and a cutting board
- Your Thermomix with mixing paddle
Preparation of the Thermomix Béarnaise sauce :
- Prepare the ingredients for the reduction.
- Put the ingredients in a pot and cook the reduction.
- Provide the reduction strained.
- Next, cook butter in a saucepan and prepare clarified butter.
- Crack the eggs and add the separated yolks to the Thermomix mixing bowl.
- Add two pinches of cornstarch to the yolks for good measure.
- Insert the mixing paddle into the Thermomix mixing bowl.
- Add the prepared reduction to the mixing bowl.
- Now it’s time to start: whisk the egg yolks and reduction for 5 min./ 75 °C / counterclockwise rotation with volume.
- Provide the tempered, clarified butter at 75°C / 167 °F .
- Set Thermomix to counterclockwise speed for 5 min / 75°C / 167 °F / speed 4.
- Add the clarified butter to the blender jug in the first 40 seconds.
- Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to the bearnaise sauce.
- Set the temperature on the Thermomix to 75°C / 167 °F and blend for another 12 minutes.
- Finish the butter sauce with chopped chervil or tarragon.
- Serve the sauce bearnaise or keep warm stirring at 75°C / 167 °F
The miracle cauldron is the perfect choice for preparing the butter sauce.
If you want to go even deeper:
You can find a Thermomix Sauce Hollandaise recipe here in the cooking blog.
7. Refine the Finished Béarnaise Sauce
Would you like to quickly prepare a Bearnaise from a ready-made hollandaise sauce?
Refine your shopping list for ready-made Bearnaise sauce:
–> A pack of Hollandaise or Bearnaise sauce
–> Fresh chervil or tarragon, alternatively cress or parsley
You can slowly heat the finished sauce directly in a small saucepan or use a water bath.
The constant stirring of the sauce has proven its worth, because the ready-made sauces get a lot of strength and burn quickly.
To refine the Bearnaise sauce, I recommend:
- Cayenne pepper -> Provides special spiciness
- White pepper -> Provides balanced spiciness
- Nutmeg -> Freshly grated for a subtle taste
- Butter -> Stir into the hot sauce for more butter flavor
- The appropriate Bearnaise herbs are fresh tarragon or chervil
Here are some pictures of the “refine” campaign:
8. FAQ Bearnaise Sauce
The most relevant questions and answers I have been asked so far are listed below:
What are the most common mistakes when whipping bearnaise sauce?
most frequent sources of error are:
The water bath is too hot –> Optimal temperature 75°C / 167 °F
The clarified butter is too hot –> Optimal temperature 75°C / 167 °F
The water bath bowl or the whisk are not grease-free and dry –> Whipping can fail
The clarified butter is added too quickly to the whipped egg yolks –> Add the liquid butter slowly to the whipped egg yolks
I usually supplement the cold egg yolks additionally with very little cornstarch, the starch keeps the sauce more stable.
What herbs are right for original Bearnaise?
For the reduction you need tarragon fresh or dried, to complete the sauce Bearnaise freshly chopped chervil or tarragon.
How can I prepare the water bath with the right temperature?
The water bath bowl should not touch the water.
Bring the water to a boil and pull the pot from the heat.
Adjust the bowl and wait a short time.
Additionally, you can measure the temperature of the bowl, 75°C / 167 °F is the ideal temperature range.
Are salmonella and germs in egg yolks dangerous when whipping butter sauces?
Salmonella and germs contained in the egg yolk are only rendered harmless at a temperature above 70°C / 158 °F.
The sauce must be kept at a minimum of 70°C / 158 °F for a period of 10 minutes.
What can I do if I notice that the butter sauce is getting too hot while whipping.
Unfortunately, by then it is usually too late.
You can find help in the article: How to save Sauce Hollandaise.
9. Even More Recipe Ideas
Even more ideas for the asparagus season and asparagus recipes
More sauce recipes
You will find many basic recipes for sauces and broths on this page.
Here is a small selection:
Comments, Cooking Questions and Answers
Below you can write to me directly.
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