Bain Marie is a large pan containing hot water in which smaller pans may be set to cook food slowly or to keep food warm. A form of poaching in which food is placed in a container which is in turn placed into another container (the bain-marie) half full with heated water.
A bain marie is used for many functions beacuse a large quantity of different foods can be held in each pan while staying at room temperture,this will allow you and your guest to have hot delicious food no matter how cold the weather.
The bain-marie comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and types, but traditionally is a wide, cylindrical, usually metal container made of three or four basic parts: a handle, an outer (or lower) container that holds the working liquid, an inner (or upper), smaller container that fits inside the outer one and which holds the material to be heated or cooked, and sometimes a base underneath. Under the outer container of the bain-marie (or built into its base) is a heat source.Typically the inner container is immersed about halfway into the working liquid.The smaller container, filled with the substance to be heated, fits inside the outer container, filled with the working liquid (usually water), and the whole is heated at, or below, the base, causing the temperature of the materials in both containers to rise as needed. The insulating action of the water helps to keep contents of the inner pot from boiling or scorching.When the working liquid is water and the bain-marie is used at sea level, the maximum temperature of the material in the lower container will not exceed 100 degrees Celsius (212 F), the boiling point of water at sea level. Using different working liquids (oils, salt solutions, etc.) in the lower container will result in different maximum temperatures.