Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Word of the Week: Bain Marie
I didn't like the Word of the Week given by the school today so am introducing a different one to you. So far, I have shared with you Mise En Place, Barding and Rotisserie. Mise En Place is so commonly used in the culinary world and in the school that I hear it almost every day now. Have you done the mise en place for tomorrow? What is the mise en place for this dish that you are planning to make? You need to improve on your mise en place or it will affect the effectiveness of the kitchen. Simply, it means, putting in place or preparing the ingredients in advance.
The word for this week is Bain Marie, another French term to mean "water bath". There is a special bain marie kitchen equipment but I'm not showing here as I don't think you need another piece of tool in your kitchen, am I right? You can simply improvise and do as shown above. Bain marie is used to heat food gradually to a certain temperature or to keep food warm over a period of time.
In application terms, you can use bain marie to melt chocolates so as not to burn them directly under the stove. In food stalls, it is common to see bain marie being used to keep food warm through low heating of warm water underneath. I also read that some people use the bain marie method to bake cheesecake preventing the top from cracking in the centre.
Now, why are most culinary terms French? Besides their marvellous cuisine and sophisticated cooking, is it because they just want to give us a hard time pronouncing all these difficult words?
See the Bain Marie I set up at home in my oven.