Tempering eggs is a technique used in baking to slowly raise the temperature of eggs so that they can be safely combined with a hot liquid without curdling or cooking. This process helps to evenly distribute the heat and prevent the eggs from scrambling when they are added to the hot liquid.
To temper eggs, you will need to have both the eggs and the hot liquid ready. Begin by whisking the eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Then, gradually add a small amount of the hot liquid to the eggs, whisking constantly to incorporate it. Continue adding small amounts of the hot liquid to the eggs, whisking constantly, until about half of the liquid has been incorporated.
At this point, the eggs should be at a similar temperature to the hot liquid. You can now safely add the egg mixture back into the remaining hot liquid, still whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking or curdling.
It's important to note that the hot liquid should not be boiling when you add it to the eggs, as this could cause the eggs to cook too quickly. Instead, the liquid should be hot but not boiling, around 180-190°F (82-88°C).
Tempering eggs is a crucial step in many baking recipes, including custards, sauces, and ice creams. By slowly raising the temperature of the eggs, you can ensure that they will be smoothly incorporated into the hot liquid without curdling or cooking.