Pierre Hermé as “Roi du Macaron”, i.e King of Macaron and many people in the industry still called him as “The Picasso of pastry-making; a Virtuoso of sweets; an Architect of emotions or the Dior of desserts! And he is often asked how he get the ideas for taste, for texture and especially for flavor combination…His answer is always simple – the inspiration comes from his weakness for sweets, pleasure, sensations, fragrances, textures…Pierre Hermé is curious about everything and everything inspires him.
Back to 1986, when Pierre Hermé began to seek inspiration from the cycle of the seasons to invent new sweet pleasures, he chose the path of Nature – the freshness of the seasonal fruits, the flowers, the climate…Finally he came up with many different unique combinations of authentic flavors. In 1998 Pierre Hermé opened his first Pâtisserie boutique in Japan and creating a new concept “Pâtisserie Haute Couture” with several collections and it was a big success in Japan.
Pierre Hermé has several collections and one of macaron he named “Coing à la Rose”, i.e “Quince with Rose”. Back to his student time, while still living in Issenheim (North-eastern France), during his morning walk around his boarding school garden, our future “King of Macaron” has been obsessed with the flavor of yellow pear-shaped fruit – Quince together with the fragrance from the rose bush nearby, the combination of these two flavors – rose and quince one day became the reality – Coing à la Rose!
One of his first creations was Macaron Infiniment Rose. Back to 1980s, when Pierre Hermé was traveling to Bulgaria and he noticed Rose has been added to many special local recipes – for both sweet and savory. Back home, he created Macaron Infiniment Rose and later – another recipe – Macaron Velouté Ispahan – the combination of lychee, raspberries and rose.
Pierre Hermé has a special collection “Les Jardin”, i.e The Gardens. Some of them like “Jardin de Valérie” – the combination of the famous flower oil “L’immortelle du Corse” and the citron, or “Jardin d’ Automne” (Garden of Autumn) – a unique combination of pumpkin, corn, ginger and cinnamon. And the idea for the Garden of Autumn came to his mind after he tried a dish, made of pumpkin and corn, in some French restaurant in Macao.
The filling for macaron “Jardin d’Automne” (Garden of Autumn) made of pumpkin puree seasoned with fresh ginger, cinnamon from Sri-Lanka together with white chocolate, cocoa powder from Valrhona brand.
Another one in “The Gardens”, “Jardin dans les nuages” (Garden in clouds), the filling for this macaron made of smoked salted butter together with Valrhona dark chocolate Manjari. He decided to create this macaron after tasting the smoked salted butter by a famous cuisine-chef Jean-Yves Bordier in Saint-Malo.
The smoked salted butter seasoned with black pepper and curry and I’m curious how it goes with the other flavors? The dark chocolate is too strong and could dominate other flavors in smoked salted butter, anyway I should taste it some day!
One lovely macaron in “The gardens” – “Jardin sur la Baie d’Along”, as some of his friends living in Vietnam, asked him to create some macaron for their fund to support Vietnamese kids. By somehow he came up with the filling cream which includes white chocolate, coconut puree, lime zest and lime juice.
After filling the cream on one piece of macaron biscuit then some drops of coriander juice are added to enhance the oriental flavor. The coriander juice is a mixture of coriander, lime juice, fresh ginger, pepper from Sarawak and gelatin.
Coriander is very popular herb in South East Asia but mostly has been used for presentation, decoration…or added to the soup at the end, the coriander flavor is strong. To be honest, many people can’t eat coriander, but using it as a part of macaron filling – very impressive!
Whenever you come to Paris, besides your favorite brands, please do try macaron at Pierre Hermé boutique and make sure to bring back home a few boxes of macarons made by “The Picasso of pastry-making”. Never regret!