Pastry provocateur Pierre Hermé has delighted consumers in France, Japan, the USA and beyond with his bestselling macarons since 1998. Being no stranger to the macaron-making process myself, I wanted to explore these tasty treats beyond the classic chocolate, vanilla and raspberry flavours.
Pierre Hermé is a macaron maestro, known for turning classic flavours on their head with constantly changing additions like vanilla and olive oil, orange & carrot or even fresh mint.
I knew that chocolate or caramel just wouldn’t cut it. So I ventured out to Pierre Hermé’s boutique in Opéra to sample some of the more unique editions. Because Pierre Hermé doesn’t just rest on his laurels, the selection of macarons on display is always updating so I wasn’t actually sure what would be available for me to test. All I knew was that I wanted to try the flavours that were the most unique, or that I hadn’t tried before. I managed to get my hands on a mix of macarons with a vast array of ingredients, some I could see working really well (like jasmine) and others I found harder to get my head around (like olive oil!)
1. Huile d’Olive à la Mandarine
First up was the Olive Oil macaron with Mandarin Orange. I was instantly drawn to this macaron when I approached the display in the boutique because of its fun mix of orange and green colours. Biting into the macaron I was surprised by the runny orange centre, which gave a unique texture to the treat. You can certainly taste the olive oil, but it really works, and again adds another texture to the macaron, making the filling almost waxy. Eating this was certainly an experience I would try again…7/10!
In the Macaron Arabesque fruity apricots blend with a crunchy pistachio praline. Pistachio macarons are actually my favourite, so apricots were a welcome addition to this quintessential flavour. The Arabesque was certainly sweeter than its predecessor, but I was a little disappointed by the lack of pistachio flavours coming through, they felt a little overpowered by the apricot. On the other hand, my boyfriend said he could definitely discern the nutty praline, so perhaps you’ll have to try it for yourself to decide…8/10!
3. Infiniment Jasmin
This jasmine flavour was so delicate and creamy that it was my favourite of the whole tasting session. The floral perfume and taste evoked a warm cup of jasmine tea in an elegant Chinese cup. There was something infinitely feminine about this macaron, which was topped with silver dust that gave it a beautiful pearly sheen…10/10!
The Mogador is an immensely popular macaron choice, from Pierre Hermé’s “365 ways to love chocolate” range. The Mogador is an adventurous mix of passionfruit and milk chocolate, which to me was reminiscent of a black forest gateau with its tangy combination of chocolate and fruit. This was my boyfriend’s favourite of the bunch, the ganache was firm and the passionfruit really cuts into its sweetness. I would have preferred a slightly sweeter taste so I give this one… 6.5/10!
With a name meaning “frivolity” I couldn’t wait to try this amalgamation of apple and salted-butter caramel. I feel that Pierre Hermé certainly creates macarons for all the senses and each one had a unique texture that wasn’t typical. For example, biting into the frivolité, you could feel the crunch of apples against the cakey outer shell. This was a warming, autumnal macaron that I give…8/10!
6. Jardin de Lima
I decided to try the limited edition Jardin de Lima, from the “Garden Collection”. This was certainly the most unique of all the macarons I tried that day. It stood out purely for the fact that it wasn’t sweet at all. Indeed, Pierre Hermé has been noted saying that sugar should be used as a “seasoning and not a principal ingredient.” The Jardin de Lima consists of Lucuma (a South American fruit that I had not heard of before) and candied ginger. The notes of ginger were very strong, and both my boyfriend and I felt that there was almost a curried quality to this macaron. As crazy as the flavours sound, of course the macaron master made it work. If you’re looking for something new from a dessert that is so often entrenched in tradition, the Jardin de Lima is the way to go…7/10!
7. Infiniment Rose
Ok so this may not be an entirely unique macaron flavour, as it is a stalwart of Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, but I just had to order it because of its beautiful pink colour, and the fact that I love anything rose! The macaron itself was crammed with a very soft, creamy filling. This classic macaron texture was definitely a hit with me. The taste of rose fills your mouth, and being made with “rose and rose petals” it had a very fragrant taste. Although the perfume flavour may be an acquired taste, I would give the Infiniment Rose…9/10!
The research for this blog post was SO fun, so let me know in the comments below if you would like me to do more Pierre Hermé macaron reviews in the future, or even if you would like to see a Ladurée versus Pierre Hermé showdown!