Macarons are kind of a big deal in Paris, and one of the great debates of the city is LadurÃ©e vs. Pierre HermÃ©. We luckily were able to try a sampling from both places and in my opinion both were great. Joy said that she preferred Pierre, but i really couldn’t differentiate much difference. I guess it didn’t help since we got 3 different flavors from each place so there was no real baseline to compare, but Joy said that the texture from Pierre was better and it was also true that my favorite flavor was the Mosaic : Pistache, Cannelle de Ceylan & Griottine (Pistachio, Cinnamon & Cherry).
With a good foundation of how the French make their macarons, we took a class on how to make them at La Cuisine Paris. The two hour class had us go into group and go step by step of the baking process from measuring the ingredients, to making the chocolate ganche, mixing the meringue batter, piping, baking and finally filling them. After the cooking was done each person had a dozen or so personally made macaron to take home.
A few notes that we learned from our class is that there are two methods of making the meringue, an Italian (Pierre Herme & the one we were taught) and a French (Laduree) method. The guy who opened Pierre actually once worked for Laduree, and always opens a shop nearby any Laduree. The shells typically don’t have a difference in taste, and the color is purely for for identification of what type of macaron it is. It was a very fun class that we’ll try at home.