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!

Pierre Herme’s Fall Fashion Line 23 September,2006Cucina Testa Rossa

  • sam

    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.

  • cucina testa rossa

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

  • Lulu

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

  • Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic

    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.

  • cucina testa rossa

    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.

  • Julia

    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…=)

  • Sam

    “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!

  • shuna fish lydon

    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.


Cucina Testa Rossa

After a decade in Silicon Valley, Laura traded her keyboard for a cutting board and moved to New York City to immerse herself in food and wine studies and restaurant operations. She graduated from the French Culinary Institute where she studied under Master Chefs Jacques PĂ©pin, AndrĂ© Soltner, Alain Sailhac, and Master Sommelier Andrea Immer. While in New York, Laura cooked with some of the world’s most highly acclaimed chefs including Mario Lohninger (Danube), Morimoto, Mark Franz & Emily Luchetti (Farallon), Michael Romano (Union Square CafĂ©), Mario Batali, Marcella Hazan, Jonathan Cartwright (White Barn Inn), Martin Heierling (Bellagio), Dave Pasternack (Esca), Richard Reddington (Redd, Auberge du Soleil), and the legendary Alice Waters (Chez Panisse).

After working as the Back Kitchen Chef of Jacques PĂ©pin’s PBS cooking show, “Fast Food, My Way”, Laura moved to France to cook her way around the country. She cooked at the Cannes Film Festival, then to the northwest corner of France, to Britanny, to cook on a lobster boat, then east to Paris to the world famous Pierre HermĂ© Patisserie where she made thousands of his macarons every day! Laura cooked for the fabulous Olivia de Havilland and interned at 3 Michelin Star Le Cinq under Chef Philippe Legendre and Pastry Chef Fabrice Lecleir. Laura was the executive chef and cooking instructor at the DaVinci Code chateau outside of Paris where she was on set during the filming of the movie.

In Fall 2007, Laura worked on Jacques Pepin’s most recent PBS television series as prop and food stylist. “More Fast Food, My Way” should air in the Spring of 2008. “My Keyboard for a Cutting Board ~ Adventures in a French kitchen v1.0”, Laura’s first book highlights her first three months cooking in France, was published in Summer 2006. ConvivialitĂ© is her second book and will hopefully be published in the fall.

Laura now splits her time between Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area doing private chefing, teaching cooking classes and leading market tours when in Paris. Bon Appetit!

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