While the popular double-sided Parisian macaron was invented back in the 1930s, Pierre Hermé is famous for taking the delicate meringue confections to a whole new level of sophistication.
The celebrated Parisian pastry chef and chocolatier is known for his exotic macaron flavours, both sweet and savoury.
The author of several books on French pâtisserie and chocolate, Hermé, who has been making macarons since 1976, has also published a guide to mastering these delicate pastries.
The long-awaited English-language edition of Macarons was released last fall, making Pierre Hermé’s macaron secrets available to the growing legions of macaron lovers in the English-speaking world.
The book is well laid out, with dozens of recipes and beautiful full-page colour photographs. The recipes are divided into three categories: classics, fetish flavours, signature macarons and made-to-order, the latter being “haute-couture” macarons Hermé created for individual clients.
They range from traditional flavours such as bitter chocolate, black currant and salted butter caramel, to Pierre Hermé’s signature creations like Isaphan (lychee, rose and raspberry), Plenitude (chocolate and caramel) and Inca (avocado, banana and chocolate).
It should be noted that Pierre Hermé’s macaron recipes are all based on the Italian method. That is, they all involve working with hot sugar syrup when making the meringue.
Those who have never attempted the Italian method before may find it more complex, initially, than the French method. But Hermé’s illustrated step-by-step instructions are clear and easy to follow.
I had never tried the Italian method before, but the coffee macarons I made for this review turned out impeccably on my first attempt. In fact, they turned out better than any macarons I’ve previously made with the French method: shinier, firmer shells and more evenly formed feet.
A sleek hardcover volume filled with useful tips, fabulous recipes and gorgeous photographs, Macarons is the perfect guide to macaron making.
(French-language edition: FR)
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