KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Pierre Herme's Fall Fashion Line
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Saturday, September 23, 2006
Pierre Herme's Fall Fashion Line

Pierre Herme's moanable macarons - my favorite is the passion fruit, the three in the right column.

Twice a year the magnificent patisserie Pierre Herme introduces his new line of pastries, a la the House of Dior or Michael Kors. Just when you think he has done it all, Pierre Herme creates semething even more spectacular that his last seasons' jewels. The Fall 06 - Winter 07 line just came out so off I dashed to the 6th arrondisement, 72 rue Bonaparte across from St. Sulpice Church and was greeted by a line out the door - a common site since opening day.

The flavors of the macarons above are chocolate, raspberry, green tea, vanilla, chestnut-green tea, rose, olive oil-vanilla, chocolate-caramel, coffee, and three passion fruit-milk chocolate.

Here is a sampling of a few of the old and the new that sent me into a veritable sugar coma...

Emotion Garance - fig compote, caramelized cinnamon mascarpone, raspberry compote, bisuit in between layers, topped with a granola tuile. Paired with un coup de champagne!

These layered treats just came out when I was there a few years ago but they were in much shorter glasses. It always amazes me the way Pierre Herme combines, colors, flavors, textures, shapes, amd there is always a surprise inside all of these they you can't see whether it's a piece of cookie or nougat or berry.

in the box... described below...

out of the box... and ready to eat around the corner at Cafe de la Mairie.

fig compote-caramelized cinnamon mousse tart - my favorite of the day!

hazelnut biscuit (bis-kwee) filled with pistachio butter cream, raspberries and pistachios (I always got in trouble for putting too many pistachios on these...)

pate sable breton, lemon cream, strawberry and banana compote, soft lemon buscuit, country strawberries


this one was a bit of a disappointment. it's true we eat with our eyes first - I was so excited to dive into this alluring delight. True, the raspberry compote and glaze and berries were delicious but I couldn't determine the flavors in the top white pudding-ish layer and overall it was pretty flat. I also didn't like the sesame tart crust.

all hat, no cattle as they say in Texas...

I had many an "I Love Lucy" moment working in their chocolate room trying to shake powdered chocolate or the sparkly magenta or gold powder onto the little chocolates as they come out of the chocolate enrobing machine on the conveyor belt. The room was about 40F degrees and the vent was right above my head. The chef kept yelling "doucement, doucement" (softer) or "vite, vite!" (faster) at me. I was shivering, my neck and shoulders ached from the freezing air blowing down on me, exhausted from having to get up at 4:30am, and all I wanted to do was hurl myself off the top of the Eiffel Tower. It takes no less than six people to work the chocolate assembly line and every chocolate bar is hand numbered so next time you wonder why they are so darn expensive....think of the six people shivering on the chocolate line and the six to seven person afternoon shift dedicated solely to making macarons.

Left column (from top to bottom):
Ispahan - chocolate raspberry ganache, letchi rose pate de fruit enrobed in dark chocolate
Chloe - chocolate raspberry ganache enrobed in dark chocolate
Lou - milk chocolate and ginger ganache, ginger confit, enrobed in dark chocolate
Aztec - it's cut off in the picture but it's one of my favorites - bittersweet chocolate ganache, orange and balsamic vinegar pate de fruit, enrobed in dark chocolate

Center column:
Mathilda - almond praline and lemon zest and craqueline (those tiny little rice krispy things), enrobed in milk chocolate and roasted almonds
Azur - yuzu (lemon) and lime chocolate ganache, enrobed in chocolate noir sprinkled with magenta sparkly powder.

Right column:
Mogador - my all time favorite chocolate - passion fruit chocolate ganache enrobed in milk chocolate with dark chocolate powder sprinkled on top

OK, now I am officially in a sugar coma.

The rest of the Pierre Herme chocolate collection includes:

Intense - bittersweet chocolate ganache enrobed in dark chocolate
Almera - almond past, orange confit, Grand Marnier, enrobed in dark chocolate
Ouvre-toi - sesame praline, sesame nougat, enrobed in milk chocolate
Sensations - praline flakes, enrobed in dark chocolate
Makassar - salted butter caramel, chocolate mousse, enrobed in dark chocolate
Balthazar - caramelized cinnamon milk chocolate ganache enrobed in milk chocolate
Garance - fig pate de fruit, chocolate raspberry ganache with cinnamon, enrobed in dark chocolate
Choc Chocolat - bittersweet chocolate, chopped cocoa bean nougat, enrobed in dark chocolate

I don't know about you, but this alone is worth the trip to Paris!
Bon appetit et bon voyage!


Anonymous sam said...

Hmmm - lots of cinnamon this year. Not my favourite flavour. I think I am going to have to tell my brain that his collection is ALL cinnamon this year so I can completely dismiss his collection and stop myself getting on the next plane to Paris.

nice roundup.

9/23/2006 7:42 AM

Blogger cucina testa rossa said...

bonjour sam - these might actually change your mind. try the fig one and might just find yourself bathing in that cinnamon mousse ;-) L

9/24/2006 11:59 AM

Blogger Lulu said...

i love the names of the chocolates. great photos. thanks for sharing!

9/24/2006 2:23 PM

Blogger Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic said...

Aside from all the other deliciousness here, I just have to say how much I love that first photo. It's so unposed, so natural, so very like I just opened my own box of macaroons just as soon as I paid for them and got them out of the store. Like I couldn't wait. Simply beautiful.

9/24/2006 9:37 PM

Blogger cucina testa rossa said...

thanks lulu - glad you enjoyed it. you're just a quick eurostar ride away! if you get down here, let me know and i'll meet you there.

steph - thanks so much! i'm glad it looked so real as i did just sit down, open the box and start snapping. i almost turned the green cracked one around but thought it looked more authentic with the cracks. i wish they could weather the trip to the US but two flights, overhead storage, and security checkpoints would no doubt do them in. and i'm sure security would find way to link them to bio-terrorism and abscond them in customs.

9/25/2006 3:55 AM

Anonymous Julia said...

oh...amazing *drool, drool*
terrible I can't have it over here (and to make it worse; I just found out his books aren't even available here!) loved reading this round-up and your comments...=)

9/25/2006 8:00 AM

Blogger Sam said...

"i'm sure security would find way to link them to bio-terrorism and abscond them in customs." [CTR]

well, they are 'da bombe', what else could you expect?

I looked back through my macarons photos frm PH and found mine to be similarish to yours - i think you HAVE to photo them as soon as you open the box because they just are NOT going to last much longer than that!

9/25/2006 8:41 AM

Blogger shuna fish lydon said...

Hacing just come home from eating these treats I have to say that the cinnamon found in these pastries is not like the flavor we are familiar with here. It's spicier and more subtle all at the same time. Warmer.

Sorry to have missed you mon chere!

I have an entire series of photos I tool just of those sandwich cookies! Thanks for reminding us all about the fall collection.

10/05/2006 8:27 AM


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