1. A cooking technique in which the temperature of a cold/room-temperature ingredient is slowly raised by adding small amounts of hot/boiling liquid. The hot liquid must be mixed in gradually to prevent the cool ingredient, for example eggs, from cooking further. This process is commonly used when making ice cream or custards.
2. A process used in chocolate candy-making that involves slowly raising and lowering the temperature of melted chocolate while constantly stirring. Tempering chocolate causes the cocoa butter crystals to break down and reform. After the tempered chocolate is cooled, the end result is a super smooth, shiny, chocolate that makes a snapping noise when broken.