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Bain marie

Baking crème brûlée in a bain-marie.

Steve Cohen / Getty Images

A bain-marie (pronounced "bane mah-REE") is a container filled with hot water that is used during the cooking process, as with baked custards like cheesecake or creme brulee.

The steam from the water fills the oven and keeps the custard moist, so that it doesn't crack while it bakes.

Examples: New York Cheesecake and Crème Brûlée Recipe.

A bain-marie can also be used for holding a finished product, as with a Hollandaise sauce.

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