Just look at these lovelies.
No wonder Pierre Hermé has been called “The Picasso of Pastry,” “The King of Modern Pâtisserie,” “The Pastry Provocateur,” and “The Magician with Tastes.” He’s the rock star of the French pastry world.
Pierre was the fourth generation of his family to make magic in the kitchen At the age of 14, Gaston Lenotre of the famed Lenotre Patisserie (a post to come in the not-too-distant future, bien sur), asked Pierre’s father if he could apprentice Pierre. So at about the same age that I started my illustrious career at Dairy Queen, Pierre began his in the French pastry world.
Five years later, he was the head pastry chef at Lenotre. Then he went on to Fauchon, and later still, he opened the Ladurée location on the Champs-Elysée. Not a bad CV. Now Pierre Hermé has seven boutiques in Japan and three here in Paris, one of which I became intimately familiar with last summer.
Everyone adores his macarons. With flavors like Campari and grapefruit and vanilla and olive oil, I am a fan, too. But given the choice of a Saturday afternoon indulgence, his cakes are just too exquisite to bypass.
This time, I got the La Maude Individuel.
I was seduced by the creamy-looking pillow atop the crunchy-looking shortbread. The creamy appearance was actually caramelized crème chiboust, which had a custardy taste and texture. Between it and the crust were some wonderful roasted peaches.
The use of cinnamon throughout was a little heavy-handed and overpowered the dessert for me. But of course I ate the whole thing.
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