Introducing – Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Have you ever considered putting together a lemon meringue pie (or tart) with a cupcake? It takes a little bit of extra effort, but our chefs took inspiration and decided to combine a lemon poppy seed cake with one of our old favourites – the lemon meringue tart.

The result? A delightfully light cupcake poppy seed base, with a tart lemon curd center and soft Italian meringue to top it all off. You get exactly what you need from a lemon meringue tart minus the pastry, and the poppy seeds add that little bit extra to every bite.

But don’t take our word for it – find them in our west London branches and let us know what you think.

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Discover more of Fait Maison cupcakes, available in Fait Maison traiteurs and for outside catering here


Courgette Fritters – Fait Maison Recipe

West London CateringAs one of our many talents here at Fait Maison, we also provide outside catering for events such as birthdays, business functions and weddings. And quite recently we catered for a beautiful wedding in Ealing town hall, which we were very proud of. The menu was tailored to meet the couple’s requests and the food went down so well, a few guests had put in a request for one or two of our recipes.

Naturally we obliged and thought it would be a great idea to share one such mini recipe with everyone. At the wedding, this dish was served as a starter, so were made fairly sizeable. If you want to turn them more into canapés, feel free to just make smaller patties.

We really love this dish as well, as it incorporates some of our favourite spices such as cumin, with every day vegetables. They’re also very quick and easy to make in large quantity.

Makes 20 – 25 fritters

Ingredients
5 courgettes
1 large sweet potato
2 large carrots

Batter
1 large egg
1tsp dry coriander
1tsp cumin
3tbsp plain flour
1tsp salt
½ black pepper

Peel and thinly slice each vegetable. We slice our courgettes to about finger length, and keep the carrots and potatoes much the same. Do avoid shredding the vegetables as they may end up too thin to hold together nicely, then mix into a large bowl.

For the batter, mix the egg, coriander, cumin, flour, salt and pepper together, beating the flour and egg well so that there are no lumps. The pour the batter into the bowl of vegetables, combing with your hands so that mixture comes together to hold the vegetables. Shape each fritter to your desired size, ours are about the size of your palm and not too thick. You can make them smaller to make more, but try to keep the courgette more prominent with each fritter.

To cook, shallow fry in vegetable oil on a medium heat until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Prepare a plate with kitchen towel to place the cooked fritters on, and allow the excess oil to drain.

Serve immediately or place in a warm oven until you need them.


Chargrilled Asparagus and Rocket Salad

At Fait Maison, we’re all about taking advantage of seasonal ingredients, especially vegetables. The moment the sun comes out and we know winter is behind us, the kitchen is on top of any vegetable that isn’t about ‘warming the cockles of your soul’. Now it’s about fresh, green and oh so good for you.

The month of April saw us embrace the asparagus and fashion a salad that can either be served as a main or a side. Our executive head chef agrees that it would be a great accompaniment to delicious new season lamb cutlets, grilled with salt, pepper and a touch of garlic and rosemary.

Fait Maison Salad recipeIngredients

4tsp sesame seeds
560g asparagus
200g frozen peas (petit pois)
300g courgettes
150g packet of rocket
80g feta cheese
Zest of half a lemon

Dressing

4tbsp Olive oil
4tbsp Lemon juice
1tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper

In a pan, begin by toasting the sesame seeds on a medium heat, until golden brown – avoid over toasting them so they don’t turn a darker shade of brown, as this will result in a more bitter taste to the salad. Prepare a sheet of baking parchment on a plate or tray, and when the sesame seeds are ready, pour onto the sheet and leave.

Steam the asparagus for about 3-4 minutes, making sure you have a bowl of ice-cold water ready to blanch them in when done. Blanching the asparagus in cold water will help keep their colour vibrant and green, and not turn dull and discolour.

With the same boiling water add the frozen peas then switch off the heat immediately, leaving the peas for about 8 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.

On a medium heat, pre-heat a griddle pan. Then slice your courgettes length wise to about ½ a centimetre in thickness, drizzling with a little olive oil before charring each one on the griddle – less than a minute on each side. You don’t want to over cook the courgettes, as you still want them to have a nice bite.

Finish off the asparagus in the same way, briefly charring on the griddle which adds a nice smoky taste to the asparagus and in turn, to the salad, without being bitter.

In a small, separate bowl, mix in the lemon juice and olive oil in equal quantities for a dressing, plus salt and pepper to season. To serve, mix the asparagus, courgettes and rocket together in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle over the lemon zest and mix with the feta cheese, which you want broken up into pieces. And lastly, sprinkle over the sesame seeds and give one last good toss together.

We like to keep our dressing on the side, but it’s up to you if you want to mix it into the salad itself before serving.

Discover more of our salads, available in our branches and for outside catering, here.


Chocolate and Hazelnut Cupcake

Chocolate CupcakeWe’re hoping that the winter months are behind us. With that hope in mind, one of our pastry chefs in our West London Fait Maison kitchen has brought out a deliciously light chocolate cupcake. The cupcake itself has been kept simple and plain, though the indulgence comes with a thin drizzle of chocolate and scattered hazelnuts for crunch.

So whilst the sun is still shining, this little cupcake is the perfect accompaniment to a fresh salad box and an excuse to find a break in your nearest park.

A lot more of our desserts can be found here and are also available for outside catering.


The Art of the Coffee

Great Coffee

The world of latte art is a growing and increasingly creative bubble, sprouting from the skills of the humble barista. It used to be that we were quite satisfied with just a really good quality coffee, and whilst that is definitely still the case – especially in Fait Maison, we’ve also become a little obsessed with our coffee’s appearance.

More specifically our latte.

As well as great food, the baristas in our West London cafes have also fine-tuned the quality of our hot drinks. And satisfied that we are producing some great tasting coffee, their talents have now been turned to the world of art.  After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Though the skill in which they use perfectly formed foam to create various shapes and forms on the surface of the coffee itself, is one that takes a great amount of patience and practice.

Take a look at the kind of art our cafes are pulling out of their hats.

Great Coffee Great CoffeeLatte artFait Maison barista skillsGreat latte

Post Easter Detox

Days after the Easter indulgence, and we’ve all put on a sufficient enough of weight – it’s about the perfect time for a little internal detox. And whilst at Fait Maison, we do love our cakes and buttery croissants, we’re also completely into our freshly squeezed juices.

At this time of the year, you wouldn’t think you’d be needing to fight of a cold, but with such unseasonal weather it seems the perfect time to give your body a bit of a boost. And a carrot, orange and ginger juice will do just that.

fresh juicesCarrots are a great source of Vitamin A, which is an anti-oxidant that has great benefits for your skin. Combined with oranges gives the juice an extra boost of some much needed Vitamin C. And if you’re not adverse to a little ‘kick’, then a bit ginger will round everything off – well known to be an anti-inflammatory and a great soother for headaches and stomach upsets. All of which will have you set to fight off the unseasonal April blues.

fresh juicesAll of our branches in West London offer a variety of fresh juices, so if you’re in the mood for something different, don’t be afraid to ask one of our lovely members of staff.


Panettone Pudding

Panettone puddingThe panettone pudding is a much loved and hearty pudding in Fait Maison, one that our executive head chef, Mohamed El-Banna, is very proud of.  It all started over a year ago in Miller of Kensington, just across the road from our Kensington branch.  Every year for Christmas, our executive head chef orders boxes of panettone and pandoro to sell across all our branches. However, one year he realised he had over ordered by about 15 boxes, which weren’t going to be easily shifted.

Incidentally, whilst flicking through an Anton Mossiman recipe book, he had come across a beautiful and deliciously creamy recipe for a bread and butter pudding. So it was a natural conclusion that if the stale bread could be substituted with the panettone and the recipe mildly adjusted, the end product should be an equally deliciously creamy take on a bread and butter pudding.

What you’ll need:

Oven proof deep dish (30cm x 8cm)
10 whole eggs
2 extra egg yolks
450g caster sugar
500ml whole milk
1.1 litres double cream
1 vanilla pod
A pinch of salt
750g of panettone or pandoro
(if using pandoro you will need the following extra ingredients)
A handful of raisins
A handful of caramelised orange peel
And a handful of cracked mixed nuts

Pre heat the oven to 170oC or 160oC if fan assisted.

Grease the oven proof dish with olive oil or butter, then slice the panettone so that it’s about the same thickness of thickly sliced bread. Lay out each slice within the dish so that they stand and over lap each other. Heat the milk, cream, vanilla and salt in a saucepan, making sure you don’t bring the mixture to a boil. In a bowl, mix the eggs and sugar until both are combined well, the sugar’s dissolved and the egg takes on a paler colour. Gradually begin to add the heated milk and cream, a bit at a time time, mixing as you go. At this point you want to be vigilant, as adding too much too quickly could scramble the eggs.

Once combined, pour the mixture carefully over the sliced panettone. Fill a separate roasting dish with hot water, one that’s bigger than the dish you’re baking your panettone in so that it can sit inside (a bain marie). Then put the whole dish with the panettone into the bain marie and place in an oven for 55 minutes.

When ready it should have a slight wobble to its’ consistency and should firm up a bit more as it cools down. Let it rest for ten minutes before brushing the top with either apricot jam or marmalade, which incidentally can be bought home-made at our Fait Maison branches.

A note: Heat the marmalade or jam first with a little hot water to give it a little slip when brushing over the pudding.

Panettone pudding

Two a penny hot cross buns!

Hot Cross BunsSo whilst no longer two a penny, but having long been an Easter tradition, the hot cross bun has finally arrived in all its’ spiced and fruity goodness. The traditional recipe of hot cross buns can be dated as far back as the 18th century in London. Unfortunately we can’t date ourselves back that far but we’re certain our chef’s skill and experience count for something.

Fait Maison tends to stick to tradition on this one, meaning we bring them in in the few weeks leading up to Easter; generally lingering no longer than the week after. That way they stay something of a treat.

This year, we did toy briefly with the idea of trying out different flavours in our buns. But decided that since every other place is adding their twist – from adding apples to chocolate – we’d stick to what we know works best.

Hot Cross Bunsimage(3)

Pistachio Meringues

Meringues

Since the day they first came out of our ovens and into the Fait Maison cafes based in West London, the huge tower of meringues have been a great success. A definite feast for the eyes, they’ve tempted the inner child from even the most astute individual. The most popular of which are the luscious looking green pistachio meringues.

The basis to a meringue is fairly straightforward. In our kitchens we use a ratio of 1 part egg white to 2 parts caster sugar. The actual amount depends, of course, on how many meringues you actually want to make. So for this quick recipe, we’ve set out the ingredients to make ten large pistachio meringues.

You will need:
500g caster sugar
Egg whites from 6 large eggs
Juice from half a lemon
Green food colouring
200g of crushed pistachios

Pre heat your oven to 90oC. Meringues cook at a low heat and for a long period of time, so patience is the key as these take about 3 hours.

In a free standing mixer, you’ll want to add the egg whites and set the mixer to a medium speed. As it’s mixing, slowly add the lemon juice. Then carefully add the sugar, a bit at a time as the meringue starts to form. At this point you can add the food colouring. Start off with a drop and let the mixer combine the colour with the meringue for a minute. If you want a darker shade of green, add another drop – though at this point the colour of your meringues are completely up to you. Carrying on mixing until the meringue is forming soft peaks.

Lay two baking trays with baking parchment, and with a large metal spoon, scoop out the meringue to form fairly roundish shapes so that you have at least ten across both trays. Finally, sprinkle the crushed pistachios along each meringue, be as generous as you want. In our kitchens we like the irregular peaks and sizes, so don’t worry about uniformity – there’s no fun in that!

The meringues are now ready to bake, so place in the pre-heated oven for at least 3 hours. Keep the temperature at a low 90oC as you don’t want the meringues to burn. When the time is up, switch the oven off but leave the meringues inside to cool – leaving the oven door slightly ajar.

Your meringues should be crunchy on the outside and slightly sticky on the inside – just how we like ours!

Inside Meringues

A note: The meringues in our shop don’t last very long before our customers swoop them up, but just in case you can’t finish ten meringues within a day, rest assured they’ll last up to two weeks.

If you would like to see all dessert variety Fait Maison could offer, please check out our dessert menu.


Recipe of the month: Curly Kale and Celeriac

saladsCurly kale and cerleriac has been one of this month’s favourites here at Fait Maison, and certainly turned a few heads with both the staff and our customers.

As one of the most nutritionally rich vegetables grown in Britain, curly kale has a rather earthy flavour that works exceptionally well with roasted celeriac, and provides a delicious winter alternative to soups.

So here’s what you’ll need:

1 whole celeriac (medium sized)
Curly Kale 400g
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp of finely ground white pepper
1 tbsp of herbes de provence
2 tbsp of corn oil (or sunflower oil)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp of light soya sauce
1 tbsp white sesame seeds

Pre heat your oven to 180oC, it will need to be adjusted to a higher temperature later for the kale.

Start with the celeriac, which you’ll want to wash and peel first. Then cut it into half, then each half will need to be cut into three wedges, so that ultimately you can thinly slice each wedge to about a half cm thickness. This is so that the celeriac is in bite sized pieces and will cook evenly in the oven.

In a mixing bowl, add the salt, white pepper, herbes de provence and oil, whisking well as this will be the marinade for the celeriac. Then add the celeriac to the marinade, tossing together and making sure every piece is coated. You’ll want to leave it for about five minutes before laying each wedge out onto a roasting tray. Place in a pre-heated oven for ten minutes or until the celeriac has a light golden colour to it.

Once the celeriac is ready, set aside to cool and turn the oven up to 200oC.

Next, rinse the curly kale thoroughly and make sure to pat them dry before cooking. If your curly kale is not already sliced, you’ll want to slice them up into about 5cm strips.  Lay on a baking tray and sprinkle the soya sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds over the strips so that they’re nicely seasoned. No extra salt or pepper is needed at this point. Bake in the oven for about 2 minutes. We want the kale to keep its shape and not wilt at any point, so that it still has a nice bite to it.

When both are cooked and cooled completely, take a large serving bowl and mix both the kale and celeriac together. Serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready.

Being an experienced London caterer, Fait Maison offer an extensive choice of salads and vegetables as part of their catering menu.

saladssaladsYou can find more of our salads that are also available for outside catering here.