Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Macarons, macarons, macarons!

Pierre Herme macarons

I have the best friend who brought me the best souvenirs! After a month-long honeymoon hopping across Eurasia from Russia to France, E.’s final destination was Paris. The morning before her flight back to Seattle, she rushed over to Pierre Hermé to buy one of every macaron available that day. After a trans-Atlantic flight with a brief layover in Iceland, a collision in the X-ray machine (the macarons, not the people), 90 degree weather in Seattle, E. and husband E., and a dozen of the prettiest macarons made it back home, well-traveled, tired, and a little sweaty.

That night, we hung out, drank French wine, ate French almond cakes and French rum cakes. Before Steven and I overstayed our welcome, we left the weary travelers and drove home with twelve macarons nestled in my lap and an obligatory mini Eiffel Tower.

ohhh yess...
I am one lucky gal! Just look at those beautiful colors!

I saved the Pierre Hermé plastic bag, Pierre Hermé decorative paper bag, the two macaron guides, and yes, even the napkin (unused!). Obsessed? Maybe.

First up
set 1
Top: CELESTE: Strawberry, Passionfruit, & Rhubarb
passionfruit cream mousse with rhubarb and strawberry compote

Bottom: Grapefruit
grapefruit and Campari cream with candied grapefruit pieces
A seasonal flavor I believe. Very grapefruit-y without being overly bitter.

Right: MONTEBELLO: Pistachio & Raspberry
pistachio cream with raspberry compote

Fast forward through eyes rolling back and guttural moans to the second set.
set 2
Top: MOGADOR: Passionfruit & Chocolate
passionfruit and chocolate ganache
This one was E.'s favorite and definitely one our favorites as well. The combo of passionfruit and chocolate is eye-opening.

Middle: Olive Oil & Vanilla
olive oil and vanilla bean cream
This one did not tolerate the heat very well. It started looking a little greasy but surprisingly didn't taste greasy at all. We were a little skeptical about this one but the flavor was very delicate.

Bottom: ARABESQUE: Apricot & Pistachio
apricot cream with praline and pistachio
This was probably my favorite. Both the apricot and pistachio flavors were so strong!

set 3
Left: Blackcurrant
Blackcurrant cream

Middle: Chocolate
pure origin chocolate from Venezuela ganache

Back: Rose
rose cream
Another one of my favorites, I can only imagine how delicious the Ispahan is (wasn't available that day).

By now Steven and I were faced with a dilemma. We were absolutely stuffed and couldn't eat another macaron. But what if they didn't keep well in the fridge?! The last thing we wanted was to wake up the next morning to find our beloved, flown-in from Paris macarons soggy! We probably could have googled for proper macaron storage but after spending a night in the fridge, they were as good as new.

set 4

Right: Fleur de Sel Caramel
caramel macaron with grains of Fleur de sel, salted butter caramel cream
Oh my god, it tastes like I died and went to heaven. I didn't want to part with this one but I had to give Steven his half. The things the French can do with sugar, butter, and salt amaze me.

Middle: Chocolate

Left: Fresh Mint
mint macaron, fresh mint creme
I'm normally not a fan of mint flavored sweets, which usually taste disturbingly like toothpaste. But this was totally different - it tasted minty and green (like fresh peas). It tasted just like how my Aerogarden mint smells.

Steven and I are two very happy people right now. Even though the macarons had rich fillings, they all tasted luscious without being heavy. Each flavor tasted as delicious as they sounded. Pierre Hermé is a friggin magician.


Yes, I specifically requested the mini Eiffel Tower.


la takahashi said...

How Yummy! Have you tried the macarons at the Essential Bakery Cafe? I'd love to know how they compare with Pierre! :O)

Dewi said...

What a wonderful gifts. Must tasted heavenly.

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Ooh lucky you!! They look so inviting.

I somehow managed to take a package of Luxemburgerli from Zurich to my parents in country Western Australia, though I perhaps wouldn't do it again without a very sturdy box. The stress of possibly getting them crushed was a little too much!

Protocol Snow said...

Hrm... I should try Pierre macarons next time I'm in Paris. When I traveled to Europe this summer, people recommended that I try Laduree macarons because they're famous apparently, but I didn't think they were that great.

Amy said...

I didn't know Essential Bakery sold macarons but I would guess to say they can't even compare. I tried the macarons from Le Panier and they were unimpressive, overly sweet, and tasteless.

E. is the best of the best. :)

It was very high stress for E. as well. There were people and things bumping into her left and right.

I think Pierre Herme worked at Laduree before opening up his own boutiques. I am obviously biased at this point. :)

Anonymous said...

oh.my.heavens! those are the most amazing macaroons i've ever seen!!! and they are so beautiful, i would have had trouble eating them (okay, no i wouldn't have, but they are really pretty!)

such fabulous flavor combinations - thanks for sharing your treat with us.


veron said...

simply envious! YUM!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What a wonderful friend to bring home such a treasure trove of macarons for you! Thanks for virtually sharing them - each one is a masterpiece.

Angie McCullagh said...

Those look incredible! I would lie and say I dropped the caramel one down the garbage disposal, then gobble up the whole thing in a dark corner.

Angie (from over at www.HalfAssedKitchen.com)

(Also based in Seattle :) )

Ann Martin Photography BLOG said...

The caramel macaron is calling my name. Yummy

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, Pierre Herme. How I love his macarons. :) The raspberry/pistachio one looks really interesting, I really wish I could try that one!

And I agree that the passionfruit/chocolate one is heavenly, although you'd never think it'd go well together!

casablanca68 said...

A month in Europe? Must have been wonderful!

Mixed Drink Recipes

Unknown said...

How yummy! I never tried them but they seem to be popping up on blogs lately. I think that will have to be my next review.

vanillasugarblog said...

ohhh lucky you!

amanda said...

So lucky!
I first had macarons on vacation in san francisco and fell in love. too bad i have such a hard time finding them here in vancouver. i would love to sample pierre hermes'...they look divine

Udaya said...

These look fantastic! My husband bought few from Patisserie Poupon in Baltimore and I've been hooked onto the flavor & texture of French macaroons since. :)

VANGUARD said...

looking very beautiful..... a treat to watch...yummmmmy..
i must try this thanx for posting..

Phuoc'n Delicious said...

Luckiest girl indeed! What a lovely friend you have. These look beautiful and sound bloody awesome!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin