Pierre Hermé Fall/Winter Collection 2005

Emotion Mahogany

Ah, fall is right around the corner and you know what that means: colder days, longer nights, and a new collection of pastries by Pierre Hermé. This new collection, which was officially presented to the press in Tokyo, appeared in Parisian stores this past Thursday, and Louisa and I were there to greet it (and no, we didn’t sleep on the doorstep).

Pierre Hermé’s range of products includes entremets, tarts and classic French pastries, layered desserts in glasses (the Emotion line), cakes on a stick (the Mr H line), macarons, chocolate bites, bars and truffles, fruit pastes, little cookies and travel cakes, a line of viennoiseries (croissants, etc.) and one of ice-cream. Not all of these change at every new collection of course, but twice a year a dozen or so new items are introduced, replacing creations from the previous season, or adding to the corpus of “classics”.

To make things easier for you when you step inside the boutique (dazed by the baking smells and confused by the multitude of items competing for your attention, waving their little arms and calling your name with their silent sugar voices), pastries from the new collection are indicated by blue labels. I am nowhere near having tasted all items from the permanent collection, but when I get a chance I like to taste the new creations because they’re what the chef spent the past months on, they reflect his current inspirations and interests, and they are usually more daring, on a trial run for popularity.

Louisa and I chose a few of those new items and walked out to the Café de la Mairie, which serves as the unofficial salon de thé for Pierre Hermé aficionados, since the waiters will let you eat your purchases at their tables, provided you order a drink of course. This is so un-French it never ceases to amaze me, but I guess those guys know which side their entremet is glazed on.

So we sat at the terrace, ordered our token coffee and tea with glasses of water (very important), and proceeded to taste our selection.

First, we tried the Dune entremet, biscuit dacquoise pistache, crème légère à la pistache, praliné feuilleté au maïs grillé: soft layers of pistachio meringue and cream with specks of caramelized grilled corn and almonds in the middle, and decorated with shards of meringue. We enjoyed this, the pistachio flavor was authentic and not too obvious (as pistachio things tend to be), and the crunchy praliné in the center made for a nice textural difference. It was a little too sweet for my taste (but that’s in fact a general tendency of Pierre Hermé’s pastries).

We went on to taste the Instant entremet, gelée de thé earl-grey pointes blanches, ganache au thé, mousse et biscuit moelleux au chocolat: in a thin chocolate casing, layers of chocolate cake and chocolate mousse interspersed with a tea-flavored chocolate ganache and topped with an earl-grey jelly. I really liked the flavors of this one, the bergamot from the soft jelly and ganache blending beautifully with the chocolate — the age-old citrus/chocolate pairing with a twist.

Then we moved on to the Emotion Mahogany (pictured above), compote de letchis, compote de mangues, biscuit dacquoise à la noix de coco, crème de mascarpone au caramel: layers of litchee and mango compotes, a soft coconut meringue, and caramel mascarpone cream topped with tiny coconut guimauves (the French marshmallows), in a little glass which (yay!) you get to keep. With every item from the Emotion line, you are instructed to dig your spoon all the way to the bottom of the glass to make sure you get a bit of everything in each bite. This was the definite winner in our selection, the flavors clean and fresh, the mix of textures subtle but successful, and the mini-guimauves delicious.

Finally, we tasted the new macaron called Plénitude (in reference to the same-name entremet), a chocolate macaron filled with a chocolate caramel ganache and specks of chocolate with fleur de sel. The innovative touch for this is that the macaron is bicolor, one side caramel, one side chocolate. This macaron was delicious (one can tell just from reading the description, no?) but we were not completely wowed: it didn’t seem to add much to the current line of macarons, which already features a caramel and a chocolate one (and you are very welcome to smooch both together into one bicolor, double-decker, chocolate caramel macaron). Another bicolor macaron is due out on December 10th, featuring chestnut and églantine (dog rose, a wild rose flower). This sounds more promising and I’ll be sure to try it and report back!

Previous Pierre Hermé posts:
Pierre Hermé Tasting Notes
Goûter (presque) chez Pierre Hermé
Galette des rois
Ceci n’est pas un macaron
Aztec entremet

Pierre Hermé
72 rue Bonaparte
75006 Paris
01 43 54 47 77
Also at: 185 rue de Vaugirard
75015 Paris
01 47 83 89 96
(Note that the Pierre Hermé website is scheduled to launch about a month from now.)

Things Clotilde Loves

Earlywood Utensils
Earlywood Handcrafted Utensils

Gorgeous wooden utensils to brighten your daily cooking

  • From $8 to $49
Danish Dough Whisks
Danish Dough Whisk

The tool that will revolutionize your baking life

  • $8.50
  • Why Pierre Hermé is so far from me ? I have never tasted one of his wonderful pastries. So sad. :)

  • Miam, cela donne bien envie, de la fraicheur, de l’audace, j’y accompagne un Moscato d’Asti, du Piémont italien, un vrai régal…

    Souple, aérien, gourmand, acidulé et confortable…

    Miam miam


  • Cindy

    Sounds so delicious ! I really should come to Paris.
    Well, thanks for this post, makes you happy for the evening :)

  • The words “food porn” somehow come to mind. Lucky you.

  • emi

    Ahh… that looks so wonderful! Out of curiousity how expensive was it there? I’m going to be in Tokyo in December and was thinking of going to their store there.

    Thank you for the links to the other Herme posts. Very thoughtful : )

  • Clotilde,

    I love the little arms waiving at you and calling you in sweet voices..You cracked me up. I have to pay a visit to Peirre Hermé next time I am in Paris.

  • Alisa

    I gained weight just reading this post.
    I swear.
    And I loved every minute of it.

  • Melanie


    I love each of your entries, but this one makes me want to be in Paris right now! Oh, it all sounds to divine.

    I am also commenting to mention that you’ve received a nod from Domino Magazine (A new magazine here in the US that I just love – it’s a version of Lucky Magazine “for the home”, if you’ve ever heard of it). Chocolate & Zucchini is listed as an “instant bookmark” under “sites we love”, because one of the editors of the magazine happened to taste your sticky toffee pudding recipe at a dinner party! The link is here:


    As a long time reader (but shy commenter) of your blog, I was so excited to see you linked there today :-)

  • Melanie

    (silly typo causing excitement! that should have been *too* divine!)

  • Miss Lisa

    aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!!!! that was great!!!!! thanks so mcuh!

  • Wow! I am so jealous that you had actually tried the new collection of PH. Iam a big fan but unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to try his creations. Thanks for all the PH and other experience that you share with us.

  • It’s a post like this that reminds me that there is so much out there in the world that I will never get to experience. *Sigh*

    Sweets are my favorite…this post was heavenly!

    Keep up the fantastic entries!

  • reading about Hermé is like gaining weight without eating…aah. you say you’re nowhere near having tasted all the confections from his permanent collection…the vintage line? when you do, please share…it’s a vicarious, wonderful experience, merci.

  • I tried one of their Miss Gla’Gla Isaphans recently- simply divine.

    Now I can’t wait to try some of their new items, thanks for the heads-up!

  • I must go visit! Your article was great.

  • And of course you will need a set of those glasses Clotilde.

  • Catherine

    That pastry looks so delicious and sinful! I really have to go to Paris… :)

  • Joy

    That looks so delicious that I am actually in pain thinking about it. And while we definitely have a visit to Paris etched in stone for September 2006, those marshmallows are enough to make me pull out the Visa and book a ticket for tomorrow.

  • Clotilde,

    Wait a second, is it true that people sleep outside and wait for the doors to open on the day the new collection is unveiled?

  • I have both herme cookbooks, but havent made anything yet. What are the prices for those desserts? Are they reasonable?

  • :) The thing about sleeping in front of the door was a joke — from what I know at least! Regarding the prices, the individual entremets cost 6 or 7 euros each…

  • Fabienne

    Pierre Hermé is also one of my favorite pastry shop in Paris, also I think that since he opened, his collections tend to become less inventive, I guess because everybody is not ready to eat parmesan raspberry tart or olive oil macaroons … But I keep trying every new creation.
    Anyway, one other problem is that he makes huge boxes of truffles, rochers, tuiles, pates de fruits, etc. So would anyone be interested in sharing the content and price of any of these, to be able to taste but not to eat them during weeks ???

  • Patricia Borg

    I have most recently lived in Paris-6th Arrond. for several months. Pierre Hermes has come out with a new cookbook titled PH10. I cannot locate it in USA-Chicago. Can someone help me locate this and if so, does it only come in french literature/grammer? Please advise. Found at a bookstore on Rue de Rivoli,next to Angelina Tea Salon.

  • Your papounet

    You can buy this book (title is PH 10, not PH10) online, using one of those two sites for instance :




    (Price is the same, 123.5 euros, + shipping)

    As for the “bookstore on Rue de Rivoli next to Angelina Tea Salon”, it is none other than the famous Galignani, the first English language bookshop on the Continent (in the 18th century), and one of what I call “the Big Four” if one’s looking for books in English in Paris. The other three are
    WH Smith on rue de Rivoli (very convenient, that’s 200 yards from Galignani)
    Brentano’s , on avenue de l’Opéra
    and the weird, astonishing, fantastic, incredibly amazing bookshop known as Shakespeare & Co, rue de la Bûcherie, facing Notre-Dame, at “kilometer zero” (all distances from Paris are measured from this spot…) This bookshop has never closed one single day since the end of WW II. Worth visiting, it is incredible…

Get the newsletter

Receive FREE email updates with all the latest recipes, plus exclusive inspiration and Paris tips. You can also choose to be notified when a new post is published.

View the latest edition of the newsletter.