culinary review

Bain-Marie (Double Boiler)

Last Modified: 09/06/10
First Published: 09/06/10
Views: 605
Views: 605
A Bain-Marie is the French term for a double boiler. In other words it's a water bath used to cook foods very double boilergently by surrounding the cooking pot or bowl with simmering water. You traditionally use a double boiler when melting chocolate, as direct heat wouldn't do a good job melting it. Other recipes that frequently call for a bain-Marie include seven minute frosting, delicate sauces, souffles and custards.

One thing you have to be careful when utilizing the double boiler method is to not let any of the simmering water enter your cooking vessel. If for instance you're melting chocolate and you get some drops of hot water into the bowl, then the whole attempt will be destroyed. Therefore take precautions: don't have too much water simmering, use a big enough bowl, and if you're cooking custards or souffles in a water bath in the oven, make sure you don't pour too much water in the pan.

A Bain-Marie can also refer to a set of nesting pots with single, long handles used as a double boiler.