Browsing Tag

Pierre Hermé Macarons

Afternoon tea, London, Patisserie, Stores

Pierre Hermé Paris Fetish Infiniment Vanille

Pierre Hermé’s creativity never fails to amaze me, but his innovation goes far beyond presenting unexpected new flavour combinations.  Even classic tastes are elevated to divine new levels.

Last week, I visited the gorgeous new Pierre Hermé store on Covent Garden’s Monmouth Street for an exclusive preview of the new Fetish Infiniment Vanille collection.

Vanilla often undeservedly has the reputation for being safe and unadventurous, but Pierre Hermé sees vanilla as a ‘diva’.  When done right, vanilla can be indulgent, sensuous and very luxurious.  It is the second most expensive spice after saffron, of course.

Fetish Infiniment Vanille celebrates the fragrant spice with an extensive collection of gourmet vanilla treats.  The tasting started with examining the appearance, textures and aromas of three different vanilla pods from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico.  Vanilla from these three origins make up Pierre Hermé’s ideal vanilla flavour (his signature ‘house’ fragrance).

The most striking use of this specially composed vanilla is in the macarons.  The delicate yet robust flavour is intoxicating and the macaron is punctuated with tiny, crunchy vanilla seeds.  This is pure, velvety luxury and I’ve never tasted any vanilla macaron as exquisite as this.

I’m always a fan of Pierre Hermé’s delectable pound cake and the new Cake Infiniment Vanille is very satisfying with subtle flavours of almond and vanilla.  I liked the sweet vanilla ganache studded with crunchy pieces of almond and the decorative vanilla pod on the top.

We also tried a rich and mellow Bonbon Chocolat Infiniment Vanille with a velvety vanilla-infused ganache and a buttery little Sablé biscuit left a pleasant sea salt taste in the mouth.

The star of the collection for me is the green tea fragranced with vanilla.  I’ve tried black tea with vanilla before, but the green tea had a fresh, clean flavour and worked perfectly with the vanilla.

Also in the Fetish Infiniment Vanille collection is a glazed croissant filled with almond paste, Paris Brest, millefeuille, Rum Baba, tart and choux.  Pierre Hermé’s signature vanilla flavour is a sensation that all pastry lovers should try at least once.

The Pierre Hermé Fetish Infiniment Vanille collection is available now in-store and online until 19th April.  For more information, visit: www.pierreherme.com

Patisserie, Stores

Pierre Hermé Easter Collection

Pierre Hermé brings a touch of elegance and fun to Easter with his festive chocolate eggs and adorable chocolate bunnies.

Not only is the Easter collection a feast for the eyes, but in typical Pierre Hermé fashion, the chocolate is out of this world.

I was delighted to attend a special chocolate tasting at the Pierre Hermé store in Belgravia this week to try a selection of dark and milk chocolate from around the world, alongside new macarons flavours.

The Oeuf Galets is the ultimate Easter egg made with Pure Origin Peruvian Dark Chocolate and studded with Pierre Hermé’s signature galets in flavours such as yuzu, raspberry, intense chocolate, vanilla, passion fruit and salted caramel.  The delectable chocolate is known for its citrus notes and contains 64% cocoa.

Interestingly, we were told to forget the notion that the percentage of cocoa content reflects the quality of the chocolate, as the flavours and notes can also affect the taste.

The Oeuf Mendient is another grown up Easter egg, made with Grand Cru Caraïbes Dark Chocolate (66% cocoa) or Hermé Milk Chocolate (45% cocoa) and covered with layers of chunky hazelnut, almond, pistachio, candied ginger and orange.  The Oeuf Dentelle, made using the same choice of chocolate, is chic and delicate with a pretty lace pattern.

Most charming, of course, are the Lapin de Pâques and the Famille Lapin adorned with orange or yellow ribbons.  All of the Easter products come garnished with a selection of delicious mini filled easter eggs in colourful foil wrapping.

We also had the chance to try some of the limited edition Fetish Satine collection.  Perfect for spring, Satine combines silky cream cheese with juicy orange and tart passion fruit.

The Macaron Satine consist of a soft mousseline cream and an orange and passion fruit compote packed inside a crisp meringue shell.  It brings to mind the zesty, indulgent flavours of a fruit cheesecake and ideal for those who can’t decide between a fruity or creamy macaron filling.

The Fetish Satine collection includes a wide range of products such as the Cake Satine, Saint-Honoré Satine, Baba Satine, Brioche Satine, Confiture Satine, Calisson and Thé Satine.

Another exciting new flavour from Pierre Hermé is the Jardin des Huit Trésors macaron, inspired by Hong Kong’s art of tea.  The rich, fragrant macaron is a curious mix of lotus seed, red date, wolfberry, rosebud, dried orange peel, dried longan fruit, chrysantheum, osmanthus.

It’s a complex, intriguing flavour that is sure to delight fans of the experimental Pierre Hermé Les Jardins collection.  With the jewel-like colours and exotic notes, it’s definitely one of my favourites.

Fetish Satine is available at Pierre Hermé stores and online until 27th April.  The Jardin des Huit Trésors macaron is also available until the end of April.

Afternoon tea, London, Patisserie

Pierre Hermé Paris – Les Jardins Macarons 2013

A few weeks ago,  I had the pleasure of meeting the legendary Pierre Hermé, as he visited London to present an exciting preview of his new Les Jardins collection for 2013.

Les Jardins is a collection of 12 limited edition macarons inspired by the sensory delights of a garden – flowers, fruits, spices and herbs.  Pierre Hermé also explores fragrances blended by master perfumers and incorporates them in his macarons.

Every month of the year, a new macaron will be unveiled at Pierre Hermé stores and at the end of the year, all of the flavours will be available to purchase individually or in one pretty presentation box.

The macarons were beautifully presented under glass domes in a lush mini garden of roses, freeze-dried moss and twigs.  The colourful display looked good enough to eat, however, we were brought our very own plate of 12 macarons and every flavour of the new chocolate collection, Les Galets.  Pierre Hermé sat with us to answer questions and chat about the new flavours – I was impressed to see him casually enjoying his own macarons.

Les Jardins 2013 has flavours to suit all tastes – subtly floral, rich and seductive, intensely complex and refreshingly zingy.  A good introduction to Pierre Hermé’s creations is the mellow and fragrant Jardin Sucré (February) – Caramel and Rose.  Another dreamy macaron is the Jardin Japonais (April) – Morello Cherry, Lemon & Tonka Bean – which captures the taste of an imaginary Sakura blossom fresh from Japan.

Chocolate macarons are made more exciting with the smoky Jardin dans les Nuages (October) – Chocolate and Smoked Salt and the warm, earthy Jardin du Maquis (March) – Chocolate and honey from the Maquis Shrubland Region of Corsica.

As a perfume enthusiast, I was intrigued by the Jardin d’Ambre (May) – Rose & Ambregris, which also happens to be released for my birthday month.  Pierre Hermé told me that because ambregris is waxy and inedible, he had to work closely with master perfumer Jean-Michel Duriez to adapt the essence of ambregris for a macaron, and with spectacular results.

I loved the idea of starting the New Year with an explosion of zest and spice in the stunning Jardin Pamplemousse (January) – grapefruit, clove, nutmeg and candied grapefruit.

It’s hard to pick a favourite, which Pierre attested to himself, but the macaron that I enjoyed the most was Jardin Andalou – Mandarin Orange Olive Oil & Red Berries.  Paying tribute to the sunkissed climate of southern Spain, Jardin Andalou bursts with luscious fruit and is filled with both smooth cream and a red berry pâte de fruit.  Pierre Hermé told me that the olive oil and mandarin are fused together to create a more intense flavour.

The Valentine’s Day flavour is the very special Macaron Yasamine – Jasmine Tea Cream, Mango Compote, Candied Grapefruit.  Pierre created this macaron personally for his wife, handbag designer Barbara Rihl, however the macaron was such a favourite that they decided to share it with us.  I didn’t manage to try this romantic macaron, however, I like that the flavours are not typically what you might associate with Valentine’s Day – Pierre Hermé continues to surprise us!

Another new arrival for 2013 is a new collection of chocolate, Les Galets.  The elegant, glossy wafer-thin discs come in Pierre Hermé’s much-loved flavours including Mogador, Pietra, Azur, Chloé and Infiniment Citron.  Les Galets would make a fabulous gift and are a lighter version of his Chocolate Bonbons.  I particularly enjoyed the Galet Chloé, made with rich, bittersweet dark chocolate and intense raspberry.

Pastry and perfume fans are in for a real treat with Pierre Hermé’s new book written with master perfumer and friend Jean-Michel Duriez.  The beautifully-illustrated book features recipes based on the blends of classic perfumes and discusses the similarities in approach for patissiers and perfumers.

Pierre Hermé fans will no doubt be delighted with this intriguing garden inspired collection.  If you are yet to experience the magic of Pierre Hermé, treat yourself to a new flavour each month…you might just get hooked.

For more information, visit: www.pierreherme.com

Patisserie, Stores

Pierre Hermé Launches Breakfast & Lemon Fetish Collections

‘Picasso of Pastry’ Pierre Hermé brings the decadence of his exquisite treats to the breakfast table.  Granola Ispahan (£13/300g) is a reinterpretation of a classic with the elements that make up Hermé’s signature Ispahan pastries and macarons.  The crunchy breakfast cereal includes oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, puffed rice, grated coconut, pistachios, pecan and almonds, flavoured with honey and rose, dried raspberries and lychees.

Nutella fans will be excited by the Pâte à Tartiner Pietra (£15/200g) – hazelnut praline spread with bits of caramelised hazelnut.  Inspired by Herme’s Pietra praline, the smooth pâte à tartiner is punctuated with crunchy praline and has a fruity underscore from the bitter chocolate – perfect for slathering on toasted baguette or brioche.

The Breakfast products are rather decadent for everyday munching (unless you have Marie Antoinette aspirations), but they are a great Sunday morning treat as part of a big brunch or a lazy breakfast in bed.

Pierre Hermé’s Lemon Fetish collection (which makes me want to sing Serge Gainsbourg’s Lemon Incest) brings intense citrus zest to the entire range, including the Infinitement Citron meringue cake, baba cake, cheesecake, millefeuille, chou, emotion, tarte, ice cream, macaron, bonbon de chocolat, waffle, pound cake and biscuits.   Pure lemon is a world apart from the typically wild flavour combinations that we’ve come to expect from Pierre Hermé, but perhaps the secret is in simplicity.

Breakfast and Lemon Fetish collections are available now at all Pierre Hermé stores and online at www.pierreherme.com

Accessories, Beauty, Fashion, Patisserie, Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day Gifts!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so if you need to drop some helpful hints or are still looking for gift ideas, here are some Chérie City favourites…

Vivienne Westwood Cheeky Alice, £31.50-£54.50 The Perfume Shop

Bath Oil for Glowing Radiance, £45.96, ila spa

Baby Bee 22ct Gold Plate Necklace, £132, Alex Monroe

Hélène Zubeldia Ornamental Earrings, £46, SWAROVSKI CRYSTALLIZED

Animals Party Letter Set, £1.99, Artbox

Hermès 1985 Military Print Silk Scarf, £230, Atelier Mayer

Harriet Shoulder in pebbled beige spongy patent, £695, Mulberry

Stella McCartney Pink Days of the Week Knickers, £130, Liberty

J’aime Les Macarons Gift Box, €26.50, Pierre Hermé

Beauty, Christmas, Shopping

Last-Minute Christmas Shopping Dash

Stuck for last-minute Christmas ideas or need a few suggestions for your own Christmas list?  Here are a few Cherie City favourites that will make it a super glam Christmas…

Fleur Chérie and Pivoine Flora are two of my favourite L’Occitane scents, but you guess why the Irresistible Fleur Chérie Collection (£63 £46, L’Occitane) is top of the list!

Resembling a stunning stained-glass window, Stila Dream in Full Colour Palette (£25, Look Fantastic) is not only beautiful but excellent value, as it includes 29 eye shadow shades, 7 cheek colours, a Smudge Stick waterproof eyeliner and a 16-page artistry book.

Christmas lingerie can be a minefield for well-intentioned partners, but the Etti satin longline bra with matching high-waisted or Brazilian style briefs are both girly and seductive (£45, Playful Promises).

I’m not usually a pink handbag kinda gal, but there’s something about the new Mulberry Effie satchel in fuschia with spongy pebbled leather that gets my heart racing (£495, Mulberry).

This adorable retro tin from Covent Garden-based Hope and Greenwood is filled with sweets, a colouring book and pencils – not just for kids! (£17, John Lewis)

Indulge in a selection of 12 chocolate and classic macarons by Pierre Hermé, presented in a sweet Chat Roux box, designed by Nicolas Vial (€26.50, Pierre Hermé).

Balenciaga L’Essence is the vivid, more lucid interpretation of the original eau de parfum with flashes of violet, vetiver and moss and the stunning gift set is hard to resist (£63, Selfridges).

Every year, we kick off Christmas Day with a breakfast of panettone and coffee.  Carluccio’s Panettone Tradizionale is a real favourite and I love the red and gold festive packaging (£16.95, Carluccio’s).

books, Christmas, Shopping

Beautiful Books For Christmas

Finding a book under the Christmas tree is an absolute delight, but the thrill of receiving a beautifully-designed book just makes the words even sweeter.

Here are a few top picks to ask Santa/grandma/boyfriend for…

Pierre Hermé released the English version of his magnificent Macarons book just a few months ago, so now we can share the secret to creating the perfect macarons (Grub Street, £17.04, Amazon).

Edited by Purple’s Olivier Zahm, Carine Roitfeld: Irreverent is a the kind of stunning coffee table book that you might not go out and buy on a whim, so why not put it on your Christmas list? (Rizzoli, €82, Colette)

Viktor & Rolf’s first work of fiction, Fairy Tales, features a lonely disco hedgehog, a magical golden dress and a little girl with flame-red hair – all charmingly illustrated by the Dutch design duo (Hardie Grant, £7.22, Amazon).

Culture To Catwalk is the second book by Kristin Knox of The Clothes Whisperer.  Read about how traditional dress and street style from around the world have influenced designers’ collections (£17.85, A&C Black, Amazon).

LUXE City Guides may be slim enough to slip into the tiniest of handbags but they are filled with enough juicy tips to have the best city break possible.  The luxurious new Black Box is hand-crafted in black linen with a crimson interior and gold logo and can be filled with five guides of your choice (£38, www.luxecityguides.com)

Mark the 70th anniversary of the great F. Scott Fitzgerald with one of these exquisite hardback editions that are just as decadent as the novels themselves.  Tender Is The Night is a Chérie City favourite, but you might be tempted to collect the whole set! (£11.99, Penguin Classics, Waterstones)