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In the recipe that I used for raspberry semi-freddo, one beats the eggs and castor sugar in a heat-proof dish over simmering water until it becomes thick. Are the eggs actually cooked? What is the purpose of beating it while it is being heated?

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It is to create a custard or crème anglaise (I assume there is also cream/milk in the recipe).

If you do not beat the eggs, they will become scrambled eggs.

so the proper cooking term is "tempering" the eggs.

For example:

http://www.finecooking.com/article/how-to-temper-creme-anglaise

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    And yes, the eggs are cooked. – Captain Giraffe Nov 14 '17 at 1:11
  • Sorry, I see I mixed it. I should have asked "the pupose of heating it while beating" but I think your answer covers both. :-) – Igavshne Nov 14 '17 at 11:26

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