Melting chocolate on a bain marie

Bain marie

A bain marie is used as a method for heating or melting ingredients.  They are placed in a glass or metal heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan filled with a few centimetres of simmering water.  Tips:

  • The water shouldn’t touch the bowl sitting over it.

    Bain marie

    A centimetre or two of water

  • Make sure the bowl sits well on the saucepan so no steam is escaping from the sides (it burns).
  • The water should be simmering gently but not boiling.  If it boils or simmers too violently, take the saucepan temporarily off the heat till it simmers down a bit (hee hee.. before it starts a fight).
  • In the case of melting chocolate or gelatine (in a few spoons of water) you should stir with a spoon till you have it in a homogenous liquid form.
  • If you are whisking egg yolks and sugar over a bain marie, for a genoise sponge, keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t overheat and overcook or you’ll get sweet scrambled eggs.
Genoise sponge on a bain marie

Genoise sponge on a bain marie – the bowl’s a bit too big for the saucepan so it’s slanted to one side and occasionally moved around.

Bain marie for Lamington's chocolate icing

Bain marie for Lamingtons chocolate icing

 

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