My last post on Paris :*( will be all about the most amazing macarons in the world.
OK so I know I’ve blogged about Pierre Herme before and not too long ago at that during my Les Lapins trip with A but .. this was K’s virgin experience trying them out and I need to put it down here for posterity. Not because I’m totally obsessively in love with him or anything (cough cough) but because my husband has the memory of a goldfish and if he doesn’t have all these laboriously long, detailed entries to refer to, he would have forgotten all about our trip in months. 😦
So.. here goes !
First off, I just need to say how much I love that crazily luxe looking metallic sheen on PH’s macarons – it makes them look so expensive and like so much work has gone into them you (almost) can’t bear to pop them into your mouth. It was especially the case of that beautiful sunset ombre (left) coloured one on the left, which, btw, was his Foie Gras and Chocolate limited edition offering that winter.
The verdict was mixed. There being only two of us, it meant one of us loved it and the other hated it. I liked it, K went puce.
Reglisse & Violette, Foie Gras & Chocolate
Firstly, not all PH macarons are for the faint hearted. the maestro’s specialty is in creating unexpected flavours – blending the savoury with the sweet, the rich with the tart. I felt that he hit the right notes with the Foie Gras Chocolate macaron – the smooth liver melding with bitter cocoa notes for a really complex and strangely addictive mix. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out if I was eating something savoury or sweet – something that made me giggle.
K on the other hand, loves things clean cut. Meaning he was flabbergasted in the wrong way. He said it tasted like pork. Go figure.
However, the Reglisse and Violette was enjoyed tremendously by the both of us, it being a very straightforward and familiar flowery, sweet surprise.
Reglisse is licorice – and we both don’t like it’s herby flavour, but it was really good in a macaron – it felt much like eating a very pretty and fragrant flower.
K’s general thoughts on PH macarons are that they are very obviously, taste wise, a few notches above Laduree and therefore a mile ahead of what other macaron makers are offering. Pierre Herme is like a Parisian Willy Wonka – and his quirky flavours and aesthetically beautiful creations such a joy to eat.
For one, the shell has the best texture of all macarons we’ve tried. It’s just the right mix of airiness and nutty crunch, and never stale (even after we left one on our hotel dresser for two days!)
One possible gripe I might have (and what right do I have to complain) is that in some flavours, the buttercream to shell ratio can be overwhelming, i.e. there’s too much of it. For example, I loved that the buttercream was so generous in the foie gras macaron because the taste was so complex I wanted more, but in his bestselling Caramel au Beurre Sale (Sea Salt Caramel) macarons, it was almost too much and too cloying.
Here are some other flavours we tried out:
From left to right
Creme Brulee, Mogador (Milk Chocolate and Passion Fruit), Infinement Rose (Rose and Rose Petals), Huile D’Olive A la Mandarine (Olive Oil and Mandarin Fruit), Caramel au Beurre Sale, Marron
Creme Brulee : I completely fell in love with the color of this macaron. It’s the palest silvery grey – like the reflection of a moon at night and it makes me think of swans, Midsummer’s Night, and a Winter Wedding. But I still ate it anyway. And it was the most fun macaron of the lot – we could really make out hints of burnt sugar and the buttercream was smooth, milky and lightly sweet. My current favourite.
Mogador: K’s favourite! He loves Passionfruit (although the seeds in the actual fruit make him shudder in disgust) and the macaron was a really nice symphony of the tart juiciness of Passionfruit and the sweet milkiness of chocolat lait. I bet kids would love this. Pierre Herme must have been Japanese in his past life – he has the magic flavour engineering ability of them wizards.
Infinement Rose (Rose and Rose Petals): This was .. nice. It’s definitely better than Laduree’s Rose Macarons in that the flavour is more delicate yet more intense, and the buttercream was perfumed just right with a hint of rose and looked extra whipped – like a silky rose mousse. Very pretty.
Huile D’Olive A la Mandarine (Olive Oil and Mandarin Fruit): Such yummy colors! The yellow was deep and rich and buttery looking and the green was slightly pastel – I had no idea the two could look so good together. Taste wise, it was bright, fresh and citrusy, which we could really appreciate, being rather over stuffed and over exposed to too many flavours at this point. However, we found the buttercream to be less like a cream and more like a emulsion – too sticky and melty.
Caramel au Beurre Sale: Always good, the perfect marriage of salty and sweet, smooth and sticky. But stop at one for maximum enjoyment. May be too rich for some.
Marron: Chestnut, or marron, was a Christmas limited edition and the only exception to an otherwise treasure box of macarons. The macaron shell was strangely flat and stodgy, the filling was pasty and tasted like chestnut flavoured play doh in the mouth. What a disappointment. 😦
Still, Pierre Herme’s macarons and other sweet treats are an absolute must try in Paris – an institution!
Hope you enjoyed this last intensely piggy entry !