Macarons are the aristocrats of pastry; these brightly coloured, mini meringues, daintily sandwiched together with gooey fillings, have become a holy grail for cookery fanatics and there are even food blogs dedicated to them. Like Pierre Herme's famous macarons, it would be difficult for any macaron book to surpass this one and indeed the hardback edition has been a universal bestseller (still in print 978-1-908117-23-6). There are 208 pages of recipes and beautiful food photography, and because making macarons is mostly about technique, rather than just a standard recipe, readers will appreciate the 32-step-by-step photo-illustrated instructions for making shells and fillings. All the classics are here like dark chocolate, praline, coffee, and pistachio, but others feature the more unusual macarons that Herme is justly famous for: Isfahan is one, with lychee, rose and raspberry, Arabesque with apricot and pistachio, Satine with passion fruit, orange and cream cheese, Mandarin and pink pepper, black truffles, balsamic vinegar as well as a bright-green macaron filled with fresh mint.
Pierre Herme is universally acknowledged as the king of French pastry with shops in Tokyo, Paris and London. He is the best, and has even been described as a couturier of pastry. This is a man at the top of his art and there is no question his macarons are in a league of its own. A fourth-generation pastry chef from Alsace, Pierre Herme began his career at the age of 14 with Gaston Lenotre. His extraordinary creativity and desire to pass on his knowledge of 'haute patisserie' have won him the respect and esteem of all his fellow pastry chefs and the admiration of connoisseurs. For his universally acclaimed talents, Pierre Herme has become famous the world over and achieved recognition as the French chef who brought baking into the 21st century. Using meticulously selected and applied ingredients, as well as precise, detailed methods and simple, unostentatious presentations, Pierre Herme, guided 'by pleasure alone', has invented a unique world of flavours, sensations and delight.