Pierre Hermé needs no introduction, having been coined the “Picasso of Pastry” (Vogue Magazine) and the “King of Modern Pâtisserie” (The Guardian) . He reinvented the macaron from the classical flavours – vanilla, chocolate, raspberry and coffee by pushing boundaries and creating out of the world macarons like Eden (Peach, Apricot and Saffron), Huile d’Olive a la Mandarine (Olive Oil with Mandarin Orange) and Metisse (Orange and Carrot with Ceylon Cinnamon).
I thought that he only had stores in Tokyo until I did a search and discovered that he has a store in Osaka, only a few floors down from Ladurée. I own Pierre Herme’s macaron cookbook and after drooling over the pictures for years I was going to go no matter what.
Macarons (2226 Yen ~ $27 AUD, about $3.40 each)
Oh how do I even begin describing these macarons. The first one I tried was Pléntitude, a chocolate and caramel macaron. There were so many different textures, biting through the soft macaron shell into a chewy, intense chocolate ganache and then a crunch from a chocolate piece layer.
Pléntitude (Chocolate and Caramel)
The creme brulee macaron had a vanilla and caramel macaron with a smooth creamy vanilla filling and a caramel layer smeared onto one of the macarons. What a great recreation of the classical creme brulee dessert.
Creme Brulee (Vanilla and Caramel Bits)
The Jardin Oriental macaron was supposed to have rose, orange blossom and ginger flowers but for me, it had a very strong sweet orange taste with a subtle hint of perfume.
Jardin Oriental (Rose, Orange Flower and Ginger)
I love vanilla and Pierre Herme does EXTREMELY GOOD vanilla. He has a range of vanilla desserts but the store in Osaka doesn’t sell these cakes. The vanilla macaron melted in my mouth :D It uses vanilla from Tahiti, Mexico and Madagasca which results in a strong punch of flavour. Ah just look at the smooth perfect top!
Infiniment Vanille (Vanilla from Tahiti, Mexico and Madagascar)
The Imagine macaron had crunchy black sesame in the middle, surrounded by a matcha filling. Getting the right balance with savoury flavours for a dessert is a very very difficult thing to achieve, even though it tasted alright it was still pretty weird for me.
Imagine (Matcha and Black Sesame)
I was extremely disappointment in the salted butter caramel macaron. One of my all time favourite flavours and I could not taste anything but salt, yuck. [I tried another one and Pierre Hermé is redeemed – wait for my second review of Hermé]
Infiniment Caramel (Salted Butter Caramel)
The Agape macaron was supposed to have lemon and spice bread flavours. It did have a very strong citrus, lemon flavour but that was all. I was under-whelmed with this :/
Agape (Lemon and Spice Bread)
Infiniment rose consisted of rose macarons and a rose petal cream. Although the rose was a lot more intense with Hermé’s, I find Ladurée’s flavours to be more light and refreshing, and thus I prefer Ladurée’s version as it is more unique.
Infiniment Rose (Rose and Rose Petal)
Pierre Hermé – you have won my macaron heart. Even if some flavours didn’t work out, the ones that did were one of the best macarons I’ve ever had. Crisp, soft and chewy macaron shells, perfect presentation and very unique fillings – there is nothing I could ask more for.
JR Osaka Mitsukoshi Isetan
B2F, 3-1-3 Umeda