The French call this technique bain-marie which refers to the method of placing a pan of food in another pan with water in it to stabilize the heat reaching the food. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is used to cook delicate dishes such as custards and sauces without breaking or curdling. The term was originally used in alchemy, and was named after Moses's sister, who was an alchemist.
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