Why do these Orange Pudding Cakes get a hot bath?
To cook them slowly and gently. When you put a container of food (here, the batter-filled custard cups) in a larger pan filled with hot water, it allows delicate things to cook without curdling or separating. The French call this hot-water bath a bain-marie (Mary's bath), allegedly after Moses' sister, Miriam, an alchemist.
Copyright 2004 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.