I have some old recipes that call for cooking some of the ingredients in a double boiler. Can I get the same results using the microwave instead? If so, what is the conversion?
I guess the difinitive answer is: maybe.
Some things can be done in the microwave. I always use it for melting chocolate any more, for example. I've got that down to a science. But for things that need constant stirring--like custards, puddings, some sauces--I don't think the microwave is a good choice. The food tends to cook unevenly, and if you've got eggs in it (custards, sauces) you're much more likely to end up with clumps of scrambled egg than if you used a double boiler. And you have to go so slowly with the microwave for those things (heat 30 seconds/stir/heat 30 seconds/stir...etc) that I think it's really just as fast to use a DB, anyway.
Now, I wonder why you're asking? Because you want an easier method? or because you don't have a double boiler? You don't have to have a double boiler at all. Just put about an inch of water in a saucepan, and perch a heatproof mixing bowl (metal or pyrex) on top of the pan. The bowl needs to be a little wider than the pan, so it doesn't sink down inside. I've got a double boiler (maybe 2?) but I prefer the bowl method, because it doesn't have that ridge that you get in the top piece of the double boiler, so it's easier to stir, and much easier to clean the bowl.
Thank you, you've answered my question. I do have a double boiler, but because I haven't used it in years, it's packed away somewhere in my garage and I was looking for a way to use the recipe without having to go through a massive search of my garage.
You've been a real help.
You're very welcome. Glad my discertation answered your question.
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