La Cornue ranges have an amazing array of great tools to cook with, a gas oven for roasting and high heat bread baking, an electric oven to bake crisp light croissants, cakes and cookies, high heat gas burners for fabulous searing and best of all a French Top or Plaque.
The French Top is a cast iron surface that has several rings in the center that serve to diffuse the heat thereby creating variable heat zones.
The burner underneath the French Top heats the cast iron so instead of cooking directly on fire you are cooking on the indirect heat of the cast iron. This is a brilliant concept for several reasons…
The surface area easily accommodates 5-6 pans and because there is no flame directly on the pan the liquids in the pan do not evaporate as quickly which allows the food to cook gently and develop flavor. If you want to melt chocolate or keep foods at a gentle simmer simply move the pan to the back of the plaque and for foods you want to cook with a little more power move the pan closer to the center. I like to cook in saucepans that I can also serve from, not only does the food stay warm I don’t waste time transferring food to serving dishes which also cuts down on the clean-up.