For those who are just beginning to explore the world of cooking, certain terms used to use some techniques, various cooking tools and even foods that they did not know existed because they never had the need to use them will surely be very unfamiliar. .
Surely at least sometime in your life you have heard the term Bain Maria and, obviously, you couldn’t help but get out of the loop because surely you imagined thousands of things, like a lady named Maria taking a bath, a lady named Maria who cooks while taking a bath and many other things, but we must assure you that none of this is related to what this culinary method actually means.
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What is the Bain Marie?
This is the name given to a method of cooking food slowly and uniformly with low intensity of heat, which consists of bringing the water to a boil so that it gradually transfers the heat.
How is the water bath done?
To carry out this method, a good-sized heat-resistant container is required that will go directly to the stove fire, filled with approximately ¼ of its height with water, which must be allowed to heat previously and then place inside another container that contains the food that you want to heat, melt or cook using this technique. The container that goes inside the other can be made of plastic or silicone, since it will not melt with the heat.
The water bath can be done in the microwave oven or directly on the heat source, you only have to be careful with the containers that you get to use and the amount of water that you will put in the large container, since if the water is boiling or For any reason it splashes the food, it could spoil the food. A clear example is that of chocolate, since this ingredient is very delicate and if it is splashed with water, its texture is ruined.
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What is the Bain Marie used for in the kitchen?
- This method is more used for baking than for anything else, especially it is very common when melting chocolate, since in this way it melts little by little without burning.
- There is no better way to curdle a flan or pudding than with the Bain Marie, but this procedure is carried out in the oven, so the heat is distributed evenly.
- The Bain-marie is essential for preserving, since in this way the heat is able to eliminate the microorganisms contained in the food; Also, through this heating and cooling process it is possible to close the container hermetically, thus generating a vacuum seal that prevents the new entry of microorganisms.
Types of water bath
Dry: This is when the small bowl does not come into contact with the water and the temperature is lower, which is ideal for melting the chocolate.
Contact: In this case the small container comes into contact with the boiling water and the temperature is higher; It is used to heat ready-made food or to make sauces.
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NOTE: This procedure is usually used when the recipes require a slow and very controlled cooking, since the food is never in direct contact with the fire.
As you can see, the Bain Marie seems to be very easy to do, but the truth is that it does require a lot of care and attention so that a bad step does not spoil our food.