Fetish Infiniment Vanille, Pierre Hermé

Last night I visited the Pierre Hermé store in Covent Garden for a sneak preview of their new Fetish Infiniment Vanille collection. A select group of food bloggers huddled around the counter, peering in at the immaculate rainbow coloured macarons. But though the rose, pistachio and passionfruit all looked very appealing we were here for the showcase of one particular flavour, vanilla.

Vanilla is a Special. A spice of multiple aromas depending on where it has been grown: overtones of chocolate, butter, fruit, wood, liquorice… A gem Pierre Hermé adores. An insatiable gourmand, Pierre Hermé couldn’t use just one variety of vanilla. And so Pierre Hermé composed his interpretation of the ideal vanilla flavour. A recipe combining different varieties from Mexico, Tahiti, and Madagascar that has become the signature “house” fragrance.

After a glass of pink fizz we tasted a selection of treats from the vanilla collection. The super soft macarons sandwiched together with a creamy buttery filling.  Then came shots of the warm, comforting vanilla infused green tea and a slice the white chocolate vanilla coated cake. Finally we tried vanilla scented rich dark chocolates and mouthfuls of Sablés diamant (a shortbread like vanilla biscuit). It was all delicious, and Pierre’s delicate treatment of vanilla brings out a unique warmth from this familiar flavour.

We stepped out of the sweet Parisian emporium with a new knowledge of vanilla and delightful goody bag to continue enjoying on the bus home. If this evening was proof of anything, it is that Pierre Hermé is so much more than just a master of macarons.

Discover the Fetish Infiniment Vanille collection from March 3rd to April 19th. See more here.

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Known as the ‘Picasso of Pastry’ Pierre Hermé is a master of macarons. I feel very lucky to work just round the corner from his only London shop on Lowndes Street and regularly peer in to see the coloured cakes while out on lunchbreak.

Hermé’s quest for the finest ingredients has led him to coffee and his latest special collection, Fetish Infiniment Café is a discovery and celebration of the best beans. It is the result of his meeting with Hippolyte Courty, founder of L’Arbre a Café, a gourmet coffee bar in Paris.

Together they sampled many coffees, of all origins, until Hermé decided to use mild but robust Iapar Rouge du Brésil and the very rare and delicate Bourbon Pointu du Piton des Neiges de la Réunion for his recipes. Hermé then sought to bring the intense and unique qualities of these beans to his collection of macarons, pastries, chocolates, nougat and cake.

Though I wasn’t crazy about the dense and plain pound cake or the wafer thin chocolates, the coffee macarons are sublime, true testament to the quality of the coffee and the skill of Pierre Hermé. Light, balanced and aromatic with a crisp outer shell and an indulgently creamy thick centre, his bitesize French fancies have never tasted so good.

The Fetish Infiniment Café collection is on sale until 20th October, get your caffeine kick quick before they sell out.

More information here.