Anyone who wants to avoid serving curdled eggs needs to pay close attention to today’s word of the day. This technique will also enable you to make a killer hollandaise sauce without disappointing guests excited for tasty asparagus or Eggs Benedict.

When cooking, it’s imperative to remember that cold and/or room temperature ingredients can’t be added to hot ingredients willy-nilly. Instead, you must temper the cold ingredient (say eggs) by mixing in small amounts of hot liquid into it before you add it to the hot ingredient. If you add the hot liquid too quickly to eggs they will start to cook and if you forget to temper the eggs altogether the silky sauce you envisioned will turn into a lumpy mess.

Tempering is also used in chocolate candy-making, where the melted chocolate is heated and then cooled so that the cocoa butter crystals become stable, resulting in a firm and sheen chocolate shell.

Use today’s Word of the Day: Best Basic Hollandaise Sauce