Dampening the cartouche helps to maintain a moist environment, e.g. sweating onions. Dry cartouches are used too, when baking pastry blind.

...Make a cartouche

Step by step

1 To make a cartouche, cut a square or round greaseproof paper and fold into segments, the shape of an elongated triangle. Trim the triangle to a fraction larger than the radius of your pan.

2 Unfold the paper into a circle that should fit snugly inside the saucepan on top of the onions.

3 Crumple the cartouche and dampen under cold water before use. The crumpling helps the greaseproof paper hold a little more water. Lay on top of the ingredient(s) to be cooked.

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