Pierre Herme without the calories

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Before panic sets in, and a stampede starts, the bad news is that no, genius that he is, Pierre Herme has not worked out how to make a calorie free macaron. He has, however, teamed up with two amazing perfumers to produce two wonderful scented candles.

 

Herbe D'Amandes Scented Candle from Pierre Herme

I love a scented candle, and I think I would love these. Don’t go thinking sticky, sweet, sugary, these are proper, grown up, complex fragrances, in the best tradition of perfumery. “Sucre de Bois” (sugar of the wood?) has notes of muscovado sugar, maple, Bourbon vanilla and passion fruit. I imagine this one being sweet and warming, rather than sickly, possibly even some slight smoky darkness (oh yes, I worked on a fragrance counter in a past life).

“Herbe D’Amandes” apparently suggests a sophisticated bouquet of aromas. I can’t remember if Herbe is herbs or grass, but almonds and grass or herbs would be an interesting combination. The notes say it’s tonka bean with yerba maté, so creamy and grassy perhaps.

If you can’t decide then there is also a duo set with one of each in (UPDATE, sadly no longer available). And if you had stopped by the website to buy these, then a box of Christmas macarons might just need to fall into the basket too. Just don’t confuse what you’ve bought and burn or eat the wrong thing.

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What do foodies do in Spring?

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There are very vague signs of Spring: mornings are lighter, if I slink off sharpish it’s still light when I leave work, and there are some small green shoots in the garden.

 

Green shoots are coming!

 

And in the kitchen all sorts of things change for me. I know that it’s Spring when I start reaching for Bill Granger cookbooks and put away Delia’s Winter Collection. I start craving different things to eat, lots of South East Asian, lots of lighter stuff. What else might be going on?

1. The casserole might be heading back into the cupboard, and the wok might be heading out more permanently. Quick, easy and full of fresh flavours!

2. The grow your own foodies will be busy prepping their fruit and veg plots, as well as working out what seeds to order in. I am really keen on Seeds of Italy, and there are some really unusual varieties of tomatoes and basil, as well as things like spelt and garlic chives. I am told I should be chitting potatoes, but misheard that the first time. If you’re not great with seeds, then order in seedlings ready to go in the ground. I like Sarah Raven and Thompson and Morgan, and I won’t tell your more green fingered friends if you don’t!

3. The pancake loving foodie will be dusting off their crepe pan ready for Shrove Tuesday. The less well co-ordinated will be looking at their ceiling and worrying. The really inept amongst us might choose an electric crepe maker!

4. The globe trotting foodie will be lured around the world to track down a huge variety of flavours. They were probably in San Francisco yesterday at the Crab Festival, and next weekend they could be at Menton in the South of France for the Lemon Festival. And you could head anywhere with a Chinatown next weekend ready for Chinese New Year.

5. Those of us with just Oyster cards will be enjoying a Parisian experience in W1, by heading to Pierre Herme’s instore patisserie at Selfridges for some truly magnificent macaroons. These are exquisite looking, and taste as good as they look. If you want to try recreating them, his book is only avaiable in French through Amazon France, although I can recommend a read of the experiences over on the He Eats blog. I particularly want to give the Salted Caramel and Apple ones a go.

So, even if more snow comes, just hang on in there, the Spring is on it’s way along with all the bounty that will bring.

Interesting shot of shoots by sciondriver over on Flickr.

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