by Pierre Hermé (Hardcover—2011)
Pierre Hermé is universally acknowledged as the king of French pastry, with shops in Tokyo, Paris, and London. He is the best, and has even been described as a couturier of pastry. This is a man at the top of his art and there is no question his macarons are in a league of their own. Macarons are the aristocrats of pastry; these brightly coloured mini meringues, daintily sandwiched together with gooey fillings, have become a holy grail for cookery fanatics—and there are even food blogs dedicated to them.
Now, for the first time, all the macaron recipes from this most celebrated French pâtissier are published in English. The French-language edition has been one of the most sought-after cookbooks of recent years. And just like Pierre Hermé's famous macarons, it would be difficult for any macaron book to surpass this one. There are 200 pages of recipes and beautiful food photography, and because making macarons is mostly about technique, rather than just a standard recipe, readers will appreciate the 32-step-by-step photo-illustrated instructions for making shells and fillings. All the classics are here, like dark chocolate, praline, coffee, and pistachio, but others feature the more unusual macarons that Hermé is justly famous for: Ispahan is one, with lychee, rose, and raspberry, Arabesque with apricot and pistachio, Satine with passion fruit, orange, and cream cheese, Mandarin and pink pepper, black truffles, balsamic vinegar, as well as a bright-green macaron filled with fresh mint. Anyone interested in making macarons will find Pierre Hermé's the best book in print.