Bain-Marie: A Water Bath
A water bath is a technique used for cooking egg custards, some cheesecake recipes and delicate dishes like mousses.
The method, called bain-marie in French, prevents these dishes from cracking or curdling during baking.
How To Use A Bain-Marie
To cook using a water bath, place your cooking container(s) (i.e. custard cups, souffle dish, etc.) in a larger container partially filled with hot water.
The water will insulate the food from the direct heat of the oven by surrounding it with even, gentle heat.
The outer container should always be deep enough to hold water at least 1/2 to 2/3 the depth of the inner container(s).
Add the hot water to the outer container just before placing it in the oven and be careful not to slosh it over the top of your food when moving it.
Remove your food from the water bath as soon as cooking is complete because if left in the hot water, it will continue to cook.