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Cook Loose Definitions/Temper?
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Search

Item or Recipe name

May 06, 2021


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Getting Around

Temper

Tempering is a method of mixing eggs with a hot liquid without having them clump and cook too soon. The trick is getting eggs used to the heat so they don't cook before mixing them into the main batch.

If eggs are dumped into a hot liquid they turn into scrambled eggs, ala Egg Drop Soup. This is fine if you are making Egg Drop Soup, but is nasty for custard, where a smooth consistency is what you want.

To temper eggs, make sure they are well beaten. Whisk some of the hot liquid into the egg mixture, a little at a time. Once you have about a third hot liquid to your eggs (1 cup total, 2/3 C eggs, 1/3 C hot liquid) you can go the other way, whisking the now tempered egg mixture back into the remaining hot liquid.

Important points

  • Whisk constantly when going in either direction. The goal is to make sure that no part of the eggs gets heated hot enough to cook until they are fully incorporated.
  • Take the hot liquid off the heat. You don't want the liquid to get to cooking temperature while you are doing this process or you will waste all of your effort.
  • Make sure your eggs are well beaten. If you have clumps of white or yolk, they won't blend and will cook beautifully...if what you want is scrambled egg guck in liquid. Unlikely.

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