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.

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