A Classic Cooking Trick: Bain-Marie

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Making DessertsPudding, custards, and all those soft delicate food are perfectly made because of one simple cooking trick. The double-broiler trick or more commonly known as bain-marie is the classic step in making rich desserts the way they are. Shops, even online shops like hostservice.co.nz sell bain-marie food warmers. Don’t have time to buy one for tonight’s dinner? Here is a simple trick to make your pudding the perfect dessert even without your food warmer.

Bain-marie trick

BBC’s Good Food defined bain-marie as the process of cooking delicate dishes like creams and mousses without curding or breaking them. This is made possible by surrounding a container in a shallow pan of warm water and letting food slowly cook with the heat.

Sauces, gravy, pudding, custards, and mousses are effectively cooked using this method. Bain-marie is common in baking as it often allows even distribution of heat (i.e. melting chocolates). However, the method is also adopted by buffet services to keep their food warm without the need to cook it on a stove over and over again.

How to make your own bain-marie

Whether you are in need of an emergency bain-marie equipment for cooking, or you simply want to have one to keep your food warm, making one is easy. Use a large saucepan as the base and place a metal, glass or ceramic bowl. Have 2-3 inches of newly boiled water (or your desired temperature) in your saucepan and place your bowl on top.

The food on your bowl will slowly be heated. For custards and desserts, submerge your small custard containers in a pan of hot water allowing it to slowly simmer and cook your dessert.

There are many ways to use a bain-marie, all you need to do is be creative. When all else fails, go to the nearest store and grab a classic double broiler and you are good to go.