Pierre Hermé: his infallible tips for perfect macarons

It is one of those cult treats that many delight in. Alone or with a hot drink, the macaroon is the guilty pleasure of many of us. A symbol of refinement and French pastry know-how, the macaron nevertheless originates from the Middle East. Continuing its path in Europe, it was then popularized during the Renaissance when Catherine de Medici imported it from Italy on the occasion of her marriage to Henri II. Also called “maccherone”, the recipe is spreading throughout the country where it is adapted and reinvented depending on the region. It was not until the 19th century that the macaron, as we know it today, with its butter cream or jam between two shells, was born in Paris.

King of tea rooms, this little cake presents a beautiful paradox: easy to enjoy, complex to make! However, the composition of its device is simple: almond powder, sugar, egg whites, water… Basics which however require the right actions to achieve the desired result. Whoever wants to be a “macaroon king” isn’t the one who wants to be. This is why ELLE à Table invited Pierre Hermé to share his best advice, in video.

Also read: How to make an original macaron?

The art of the macaroon by Pierre Hermé

Coming from a family of pastry chefs spanning four generations, passing through Ladurée and Fauchon at the start of his career, everyone is aware that Pierre Hermé made macarons, the specialty of the Maison de Haute Pâtisserie that he founded in 1997. From the “Infiniment” range to the “Incontournable” collection, the round of perfumes and flavors continues to seduce all over the world. Thanks to its sophisticated texture and the power of its fragrance, Pierre Hermé's macaron is a sweet Eldorado that we dream of reproducing at home. Good news: from cooking to resting time and the actions that allow for optimum results, the chef shares his secrets with us so you never miss his macaroons again!

Recipe for Infiniment Chocolat Paineiras macaroons by Pierre Hermé

For 35 macaroons


For the ganache
300g liquid crème fraîche
300g of dark chocolate (pure Brazilian origin, Paneiras plantation 64% cocoa from Valrhona)
88g of Viette butter at room temperature

For the hulls
60g cocoa paste (or 100% cocoa dark chocolate)
150g of almond powder
150g of icing sugar
55g liquefied egg whites (weigh 1)
0.5g liquid carmine red food coloring
150g caster sugar
32g of mineral water
55g liquefied egg whites (weigh 2)


For the ganache
Cut the butter into pieces. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream to the boil then pour it in 3 batches over the chocolate. Mix between each operation.
As soon as the temperature of the mixture is 50°C, gradually add the pieces of butter. Whisk until the ganache is smooth then pour into a gratin dish.
Stick in contact with the ganache of the transparent film. Keep in the refrigerator, or at room temperature for 30 minutes, until the ganache is creamy.
Trick : it is normal for the ganache to slice when the cream is poured. It is the fat molecules contained in cream and chocolate that break down. Simply continue to mix following the recipe to obtain a beautiful, shiny and creamy ganache.

For the hulls
Sift in the icing sugar and almond powder. Place the chopped cocoa paste to melt at 50°C in a bowl in a bain-marie.
Mix the coloring into the first weight of whites then incorporate them into the icing sugar/almond powder preparation, without mixing them.
Boil the water and sugar to 118°C. As soon as the syrup is at 115°C, simultaneously start whipping the second weight of egg whites.
Pour the sugar cooked at 118°C onto the whipped egg whites. Whisk then let cool to 50°C before incorporating them into the icing sugar/almonds/egg whites mixture.
Mix and add the melted cocoa paste while letting the paste fall. To book.

Dressing & cooking
Shape rounds of dough approximately 3.5 cm in diameter, spacing them every 2 cm on the baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Be sure to arrange them staggered to prevent them from touching.
Tap the plates on the work surface covered with a kitchen towel then sprinkle with cocoa powder. Leave to crust/dry for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat the oven, fan-assisted, to 180°C. Slide the trays into the oven then cook for 12 minutes, quickly opening the oven door twice. Remove from the oven, slide the shells onto the work surface and leave to cool.

Pour the ganache into a smooth no. 10 piping bag. Generously garnish half of your shells with ganache. Sprinkle with Paneiras chocolate chips with fleur de sel. Cover with the other shells.
Store the macarons for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Take them out 2 hours before tasting.

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