Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Paris] Pierre Hermé Fetish Baba & More

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Pierre Hermé

Add: 72 rue Bonaparte 75006 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 54 47 77
Hours: 10am~7pm (7:30pm on Thu-Fri, 8pm on Sat)
Price: €4.50~7.30/individual dessert
Visited on: Mar 2013

Among all the patisseries in Paris, Pierre Hermé is probably my most frequented spot. Other than all time favorites like Ispahan, 2000 feuilles, and Tarte Infiniment Vanille, Pierre Hermé again and again lures me back with his seasonal offerings, such as the recent Fetish Baba. And what is Fetish Baba? Every year for about one month and half, PH offers a collection of babas in traditional and not-so-traditional flavors like Satine (orange & passion fruit), Mogador (milk chocolate & passion fruit), and of course Ispahan (rose, raspberry, & lychee). Now, I don’t usually like babas since these rum-soaked yeast cakes are often too tipsy for me, but I was curious to see if PH’s renditions would change my mind…

I had already tried Baba Satine (orange & passion fruit) on a previous visit and was put off by how strong the rum tasted (this is a personal thing – I’m not a fan of prominent liquor flavors in desserts). I was almost going to declare that I will shun babas forever…but decided to give PH’s signature flavors Ispahan and Mogador a try.

In the making of Baba Ispahan (€6.90), the brioche is soaked in raspberry syrup and wild raspberry eau-de-vie instead of rum, then topped with lychees, raspberries, and rose-flavored mascarpone cream. The pastry was overall very pleasant, especially because the liquor flavor was less pungent, though I have to say that I still wasn’t converted to a babas fan.

Baba Mogador (€6.90) is brioche soaked with passion fruit syrup and white rum, topped with caramelized roasted pineapples chunks, then a dollop of milk chocolate passion fruit chantilly cream. I liked the idea of this pastry, but either the passion fruit syrup or the white rum had a strong accent that reminded me of a cough syrup I used to drink as a kid…

Ok, I’ve tried, but I don’t like babas. Let’s shift focus to something I did enjoy – Pierre Hermé’s Désiré (€6.90), an adorable pastry with lemon and strawberries as the dominating flavors, complemented by a more subtle note of banana. It is composed of crumbly sablé pastry base, soft lemon biscuit, tender lemon cream, and a thin layer of strawberry and banana compote. Good looking and good tasting.

And of course, macarons – I could rarely leave PH without a box of these.

Other than the classic flavors I’ve already introduced last time, here are three seasonal teasers. Can you guess what they are from the looks?

Here’s Miléna, a refreshing fusion of mint and raspberry.

And Jardin du Maquis, chocolate mixed with Maquis honey. Maquis honey has a very particular flavor that can perhaps be described as woody and leathery, and it somewhat reminded me of the miel de châtaigne I tasted at La Pâtisserie des Rêves.

Lastly, chocolate with foie gras. Oui, foie gras macaron.

And just when you think it’s over, Pierre Hermé has already started his next seasonal collection. Fetish Céleste, a celebration for passion fruit, rhubarb, and strawberry – and all are flavors I adore – is now on until the 5th of May. Expect another update soon.

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Written by sugarednspiced

March 14th, 2013 at 4:38 am