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Pierre Hermé turns his gaze to Japan with a collection of new mochis, macarons, and cakes

June 25, 2021
Pierre Hermé turns his gaze to Japan with a collection of new mochis, macarons, and cakes
Jaume Cot

Under the title of “Japonisme” and referring to the Japanese influence experienced by the artists of the 19th century, Pierre Hermé has decided to turn his gaze towards Japan. It was precisely in Tokyo where he took his first steps alone 23 years ago, and now he collects everything that fascinates him about Japanese culture and gastronomy to give life to a summer collection of creations in a tart format, ice cream dessert, cake, and macaron.

In the repertoire, the first thing that stands out is the taste for the technical perfection of the finishes. Pierre Hermé also shows himself to be a good connoisseur of some of the most emblematic ingredients of Japanese pastry. Black sesame, yuzu, matcha tea, or even azuki acquire a renewed dimension in the hands of the great French pastry master.

Mochis by Pierre Hermé

To begin with, the French chef dares with the classic mochis, which is glutinous rice, although in his case he opts for the version with an ice cream interior. For this he displays three different flavors: black sesame, yuzu, and his classic Ispahan. The “Japanese Garden” cake surprises with its elegant presentation and by welcoming the warmest time of the year through one of its most emblematic ingredients: the cherry blossom. Along with this there are some tonka bean notes, a sponge cake, and lemon cream.

“Dépaysé” cheesecake by Pierre Hermé
Dépaysé cheesecake

Special mention should be made of the “Dépaysé” cheesecake, whose presentation is a tribute to the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The subtly savory touch of the cream cheese is subjected to an interesting alliance with the red bean paste (azuki), the rice vinegar, the ginger, and the green lemon peel. On the other hand, the Aka tartlet is a hymn to forest strawberries, which take on a more Japanese touch thanks to the green shiso cream inside. The Chado cake stands out as the absolute protagonist of matcha green tea, whose subtle touch of bitterness is perfectly offset by the yuzu.

Infinitement yuzu by Pierre Hermé
Infiniment yuzu

Yuzu is precisely the fruit that stars in the “infiniment yuzu” cake and that acts as a  tribute to this elegant citrus by making it the protagonist through a cream, a gelée, and a jam. The round trip that Pierre Hermé somehow makes with this collection ends with a short cake and a roll cake. Pierre Hermé explains that they were the products that he was obligated to produce when he opened in Tokyo 23 years ago but he refused at that time. He now creates this nod to these products with a Shortcake inspired by the flavors of his mythical Ispahan (raspberries, rose water, and lychees) while the rollcake combines a Madagascar dark chocolate with the intense aromas of the yuzu from the Kochi Prefecture.

The Japonismes collection is completed with two ice cream tubs and five more macaron flavors.