Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Parisian Pastries a la Pierre Herme

Christina talked about her thoughts on Pierre Herme a couple weeks ago, now check out what hkLifestyleGeek thinks about this famed pastry chef.

The macaron craze has officially hit Hong Kong now that the "Picasso of Pastries" Pierre Herme has set up shop in ifc mall. It's impressive when a French patissier makes his mark in Japan before establishing himself in Paris -- 15 years ago. And now goodies are finally flown into Hong Kong. Sadly, not all of them are available in the Hong Kong, particularly the ice cream sandwiches which I hear are to die for...

In any event the Pierre Herme Paris boutique carries the signature chocolate and macarons as well as teas and scented candles. And the verdict on the prized macarons? Some are good, some are not too special. We love the Mogador -- milk chocolate with passion fruit that is dusted with cocoa. It's not too sweet and has a nice thick jammy texture in the middle. For the sweet tooth, it has to be Infiniment Caramel, a salted-butter caramel macaron that is dreamy.

More sophisticated tastes will probably enjoy the complexity of the Huile d'Olive & Vanille, a macaron made with olive oil, vanilla and slices of green olive in the middle. It's a subtle delicate flavour.

Of the four I tried, I didn't like Infiniment Rose, made of rose and rose petal. While the shell is a gorgeous shade of brilliant pink, the filling is like butter cream and not very pleasing for the taste buds.

Other flavours that will be available in Hong Kong include: Arabesque (apricot and pistachio), Creme Brulee (vanilla and caramel pieces), Imagine (matcha green tea and black sesame crisp), and Celeste (passion fruit, rhubarb and strawberries).

"I approach my work based on the combinations of flavours, in the same way a perfumer would," explains Herme. "I pick up associations of fragrances to turn into flavours, but it is never a literal translation, it's an interpretation. The perfumer uses his nose, the patissier his nose and mouth."

For chocolates, some creations include: Makassar (salted-butter caramel mousse ganache, covered in dark chocolate), Ouvre-toi (sesame praline and sesame nougat in milk chocolate), and Lou (ginger and milk chocolate ganache with gandied ginger).

"I wanted to go further in exploring the playful side of chocolate," adds Herme. "I enjoy a special relationship with chocolate, both physical and passionate. It is a substance that is not easy to domesticate. It is a particularly complex, sensitive ingredient."

Check all these delicious goodies at Shop 1019C in ifc mall. But beware the prices aren't cheap -- a box of seven macarons will set you back HK$210 and for a dozen it's HK$330.


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