Elvish Hollandaise: Elrond's Weakness
by Gabbydriel, SuSu, GilArda
There are those who liked to make cutting remarks of certain pairings. Many simply didn't understand how a man like Aragorn -- though he turned out to be the lost King of men -- could command the love of a royal elf maiden like Arwen. Even her father, Elrond, was admittedly perplexed and hated the idea of their union, even though he himself was very distantly related to the human.
Some gossiped that Aragorn had cast a spell on her somehow; some knew that he possessed a mysterious Elvish artifact that many mistook for a wand. In fact, it was a common cooking implement -- a whisk -- but it was in fact crafted long ago by elves and fell into Aragorn's hands via his mother, with whom he grew up with in Rivendell. Even though she was a noble woman, she was often involved with domestic tasks, and he spent time in the kitchens with her. With it, he learned to almost magically whip up the smoothest egg-based sauces: custards, crème anglaise, and the best sauce of all, hollandaise. He learned the last one in the kitchens of Elrond's house -- and thus he knew Elrond's weakness for this fine, pernickity-to-make sauce.
Everyone else thinks Elrond finally gives his permission for the human to marry his beloved daughter, because Aragorn has reclaimed the kingship of all men of Westernesse. But in truth, it's because he made this hollandaise for Elrond the night before the Fellowship left Rivendell, and quietly pressed his suit as the Elf King dipped roasted asparagus, potatoes, and toast points into cup after cup of the delicious sauce. How could he say no to a man who would spend 15 minutes making such a work-intensive, perishable sauce for him, no matter how many servings he demanded? Elrond's protests after that were all just for show!
In the pot, whisk the yolks, water and lemon juice till well blended. Place over a very low heat, whisking constantly as it heats. You want the mixture to cook very slightly and gradually as you beat, so it gets fluffy and stiff, but do not let it curdle. Move the pot off the heat if it seems to get a bit dry around the edges. Keep beating as it cools. If you have not enough heat, the mixture will get too airy and not form the sauce properly.
You can stop beating when: 1) the mixture falls back in a thick, unbroken ribbon back into the sauce when it's lifted by the whisk and 2) when you can see the bottom of the pot when you scrape the sauce off it, and it doesn't close back.
Drip the just-melted butter a tablespoon at a time into the sauce and whisk it in completely, then drip in another tablespoon. When the emulsion forms -- meaning there is not splitting of the sauce -- you can slowly pour the butter into the sauce in a thin stream while you whisk the sauce continuously. Add till the butter has trouble incorporating into the mixture, or stop at about ¾ cups.
Serve immediately. This sauce does not keep, and will harbor bacteria if you try to keep it more than an hour. Throw away any leftovers. Makes just over a cup of Hollandaise.
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