Lexi Bechet is a fantastic confectioner. With a company called Ma Mére Maison – French for My Mother’s Kitchen – it’s obvious that her cooking talents are a result of many happy years in the family kitchen. That, and culinary training at Silwood Kitchen cemented Lexi’s love for confectionary.
I met Lexi at her retail and kitchen space at Salt Circle Arcade, a new development in Salt River across the road from the Old Biscuit Mill. Lexi and her assistant Brighton were hard at work. Cake pops, nougat, brownies, fudge, Florentines and macarons adorned a large table in pretty jars of all shapes and sizes with colorful twine and quirky, old-fashioned scales and egg timers for sale, too.
Lexi was about to get a batch of salted macadamia nougat on the go when I arrived. As she weighed out the glucose syrup and honey she told me that the nougat recipe came from her stepmother. It turns out that most of the recipes in Lexi’s collection are family recipes, and it became evident that this young lady’s roots are entirely family-based.
As the egg whites were whisking, Lexi told me that she had recently returned from a four-year stint in Durban. After a chance call from a property developer friend, Lexi fell in love with the premises at Salt Circle Arcade and signed a lease shortly thereafter.
As the macadamia nuts came out of the oven, they were seasoned with sea salt flakes, whilst sugar was added to the egg whites and whisking continued. Brighton all the while was methodically coating what looked like a mountain of cake pops in white chocolate and coconut flakes.
As the nougat came together and was poured into a rice paper-lined tray, Lexi’s mum Jennifer stopped in. It’s clear where Lexi gets her bubbly, warm nature from and also why her business is so named; Jennifer’s passion for food is wonderfully infectious. Find Ma Mére Maison at Salt Circle Arcade or at their stand at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Biscuit Mill each Saturday.
Salt Circle Arcade
19 Kent Road
082 445 2091