Pierre Hermé – 2017 Winter Collection

From their recent trip to Paris, my parents brought back a box of macrons from Pierre Hermé (first review). While Ladurée has solid macarons, Hermé’s macarons are on another stratosphere. This is where art is merged with food. There are a mix between classic items and new concoctions (I’m reviewing mostly seasonal items).

Through his partnership with Armen Petrossian I present the latest brainchild, caviar/walnut liqueur macaron. This is truly a one of a kind macaron, highly elusive and likely appearing only this season. Absolutely luxurious, it gleamed with the similar luminance of a black pearl. In terms of flavour, the green walnut liquor is predominant, with hints of umami in the aftertaste. There’s absolutely no traces of seafood (for those who are squeamish).

top clockwise: gingerbread spices raspberry, caviar, truffle

The white truffle usually appears on the verge of Christmas. This was packaged in a different container from the other macarons due to its overwhelming scent. There were slithers of hazelnut for texture. Its nutty taste paired well from the earthy aroma of white truffle. I find this scent is reminiscent of the forest, in a pleasant way similar to mushrooms and potatoes.

The only disappointment was the raspberry gingerbread spice. With the fruit and sweet spices, this was far too cloying. Unusually one-dimensional compared to other macarons in Herme’s collection. Perhaps this was made to appeal to those with a strong sweet tooth.

The chocolate foie gras is one of my favourites! It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, especially if you find sweet/savoury combination bizarre. Taste wise, there isn’t much similarity between chocolate and foie gras. However, they both possess this silky velvety mouthfeel. The foie gras added a hint of savouriness. Extremely decadent and rich. Another seasonal item.

chocolate foie gras

Marron, or candied chestnut is commonly used in the Mont Blanc recipe. I absolutely adore this! The marron cream was slightly smokey, with a subtle sweetness. Chestnut has a natural creamy texture, without the need to add a large dose of dairy.

top: marron

I find having a cup of coffee or tea, sans milk and sugar helps enhance the nuances of flavours. Not only does Hermé perfect the technical side of macarons, but his flavour pairings are unbelievable. His daring use of ingredients may initially sound shocking, but the end results speaks for itself. Sometimes his use of ingredients serve to act as foils between different flavours, while other times is meant to compliment or enhance tastes. Avant garde, creative, and unpredictable. Precisely, this is the reason he’s voted as the number one pastry Chef in the world.

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