Bain-marie (Mary's bath) refers to the method of placing a pan of food in another pan with water in it to stabilize the heat reaching the food (water bath). The term was originally used in alchemy, and was named after Moses' sister, who was an alchemist.

This universally known cooking technique - used for slow or uniform heating, involves placing the container with ingredients in a larger pot of boiling water - is referred to as Bain-marie in Britain. Used in making cheese cakes, melting chocolate, thickening milk, rehetaing etc., or where direct heat burns delicate food stuff.

Also called a double boiler in Britain and Australia.



Also, in Australia, a large display case the bottom of which contains an electric element and is filled with water. When switched on, the element heats the water; stainless steel pans are then placed above the water and it is used to keep food hot. Can also be used (without turning power on) with ice to keep food cold.

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