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Pierre Hermé Macarons: The Ultimate Recipes from the Master Pâtissier Hardcover – October 6, 2015
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When I received this book as the first reviewer thought. This was a bigger book than I thought which may resemble to the ph10 which is similar in thickness and size. I was so excited about it as I glanced through the recipes, I found out the measurements are labeled in cups for the North American market and in grams. The author stressed using g is the most precise measurement you can use and is easier modifying recipe yields.
The book looks very elaborate, and is presented well from macaron recipes categorized in different groups: Introduction (History of the Macaron plus how Pierre Herme' learned the craft of making macarons from Pastry Chef Gaston Lenotre' in Paris at the age of 14 to his journey of making the traditional flavors of lemon, coffee, caramel and raspberry to his journey of making unique flavor combinations when he worked on his own and open his own pastry shops in mid-2000s.
I liked the book layout which introduces his personal stories and food experiences about making the macaron, the recipes, and the following pages follow colorful and stylish photography how each macaron is crafted and made. The recipes are written in a concise way to fit 2 to 3 pages, and they want to include stylish and stunning photography.
CONS: The one thing I don't like is when I read the recipes -- he combines the liquefied eggwhites to 220g, when it should be separated into 2 equal parts that are stated on his past books. Note: when you the recipes for making macaron shells. Always divide the 2 equal parts of 110g Liquefied eggwhites separately in 2 cups or bowls. In the instructions, when you read how the eggwhites are prepared. 220g of eggwhites are separated into 2 equal parts, Then it is refrigerated for 7 days prior to making the macarons. Second,there are only few ingredients that only available in France.
PROS: *Then at the beginning of the book, he states that he uses blanched almonds that need to be dried for 2 days at room temperature prior making macarons. Traditionally done in French pastry. Time and patience is an essence here when making stunning pastries.
Also, I noticed that some of the ingredients are only found on specific regions like olive oil, mandarin oranges, rose essence -- but the author also gives you other options to use other sources on what you may have available locally. So this is no biggie. The methods that are used are practical either for a chef and an experienced home baker.
The yields makes 144 1.5-inch macaron shells or 72 macarons. So this is pretty big for an experienced baker, and recipes can be decreased or increased depending on your desire to make these macarons.
There is also a kitchen step-by-step guide inserted at the back of the book.
The ganache recipes can be prepared using a bain-maire (double boiler), or a microwave.
This book features traditonal, Pierre Herme' Classics, and his own signature and popular collections. Some are old from his pastry books and there are others that are new especially the Infinitement Chocolate. Caraquillo, Jardin d' automne, and many others.
MY TIPS: Liquefied eggwhites means that if you used fresh eggs. You just have to separate eggwhites and eggyolks. Put 110g eggwhites in a cup or mug. Then cover them in plastic wrap tightly, and then poke holes on the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 7 days before making the macarons.
FINAL WORD ABOUT THIS BOOK: For those, who collect Macaron or Pierre Herme' books or who are experienced bakers who would like to refresh their flavor combinations of macarons -- this is the book for you. I am considered both and trying to find multiple flavors that go well together and are balanced in five tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami. This book is well presented in Pierre Herme's way as he is the architect of how unique flavors go well together with nuances coming from fruits, vegetables, spices and chocolate. His travels and the discovery of flavors from different countries has expanded his palate and resembles them making his pastry creations at his pastry shops. His regular customers wanted more and try out new flavors and pastries that he sells. He has an open mind, and is a modest pastry chef as he likes to entice his clients with flavors that are memorable yet different. But also teaches in international events, and writes books to pass down the knowledge for a generation that loves these little pastries. Pierre Herme does it in a fashionable way, yet the photography is absolutely stunning. The recipes are targeted for the experienced bakers, pastry chefs, food stylist and for foodies who like to engage on exploring more unusual flavor combinations and yet enjoy these little pastries called the macaron-- The Ultimate Macaron.
This book is full of beautiful pictures (which inspire me in my food photography), good recipes (as for me - clear written, and step-by-step guide to techniques is a good plus to those, who want to know how to do macarons right).
Yes, there are some ingredients which is not the regular one from your nearest grocery store, but on the other hand, macarons is something more complicated then regular sponge cake! And if you want some interesting, multi-sided taste - so you need something special inside (which you could always find on Amazon). And you could always replace some ingredients with another one, just google it for replacement, or find recipe for it! Also - grind your own almond flour gives you a little better taste, but if you take almond flour from the nearest store it will also taste great!
The art of cooking is not just mixing together ingredients, it is all about inspiration, new ideas, enjoyment of the process, new techniques and knowledges - this is all about this book and macarons.
I highly recommend this book!
P.S. Attached photos show recipes from the book - Chloe, Infiniment Mandarine, Chocolate
*This review was written by my wife