Baking & Desserts

Why your guests will love dessert à la bain-marie

Berries with Sabayon<br />Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden Author: Canadian Living Credits: Berries with Sabayon<br />Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden

Baking & Desserts

Why your guests will love dessert à la bain-marie

This story was originally titled "Bain-Marie" in the June 2009 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

Bain-marie is a method of cooking in which a bowl or container is placed over or in a saucepan of simmering water to keep food warm or cook over gentle heat.

Food in a bain-marie cooks or heats by gentle heat without reaching too high a temperature. It is used to prepare delicate foods, such as sauces and custards, without splitting or curdling. Also used to melt chocolate without scorching or seizing.

A bain-marie can be done either on the stove top (using a double boiler) or in the oven. Oven versions have baking dish(es) placed directly in pan of hot water in the oven, a method often used for crème caramel and cheesecake. Stove-top versions are often referred to as double boilers.

Bain-marie how-tos:
• Choose bowl that fits securely over saucepan to prevent steam escaping.

• In saucepan, bring just enough water to not touch bowl to gentle simmer (not boil).

• Place bowl of food over water and regulate temperature to maintain simmer.

• Whisk constantly to prevent eggs from curdling or sauce from splitting.

Dessert recipes using a bain-marie:
Berries with Sabayon
Cardamom Chocolate Pots de Crème
French Lemon Tart
Berry Lemon Curd Trifle
Truffle Croquembouche

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Why your guests will love dessert à la bain-marie

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