Not quite Pierre Herme’s, but close

The Foie Gras Macaron

So I had high hopes for this – Pierre Herme’s foie gras macaron. I tasted it when I took his class last year and if there was heaven in a macaron, this was it! The combination of foie gras and milk chocolate was pure genius and the balance of flavor and texture is like nothing I’ve ever tasted.
I should have tackled the recipe immediately while the experience was still fresh in my head. But you know them Frenchies, verboseness in instructions is not a trait. You’d do well to read between the lines. Just check out the recipe below and you will know what I mean.

I love a challenge anyway specially when it comes to these bite-sized pastry favorite. The biggest problem facing me was how to cook the foie gras. All the instruction I got from the class was “to cook it until you smell it.” I was even told that the temperature to use was 350 F. I did get advise from twitter (I forgot from whom, but thanks!) to cook it at 250 F if I did not want to see my foie gras dissolve into a puddle of delectable, albeit useless, oil. My foie was already cut into slices which was probably not a good idea to start with and it did shrink quite a bit and lost more than half of its original weight. It was then that I recalled another tidbit from a year ago…use a water bath!
Well, too late.
After I strained the foie gras through a sieve, I was left with 95 g of foie from 350g – yes folks, I was left with less than a third of what I began with. Pathetic, really and I had to reduce the recipe ratios accordingly. I wondered why PH did not just give it a whir in the food processor but I eventually figured he wanted to sieve out the stringy veins and come out with a very smooth puree. With the great Pierre Herme, it is not about quantity but quality.
To make matters more challenging, PH uses gellan – a gelling agent that I have had no success in using. I always ended up with graininess and the results were no different this time either. It said to boil the mixture which didn’t make any sense because wouldn’t that dissolve my foie further? Well, I went with blind faith and no, the foie didn’t disappear and my gelee set in record time …but … was … GRAINY! 😦

Times like these are when you want to cut your losses and forget about it. But I wanted to see how close (or how far) the taste was going to be so I soldiered on.

Place a dab of chocolate to attach gelee
Cover with more ganache!

Macaron Shells
See here for Italian Meringue version and here for the French Meringue which was the one I used. I used red powdered food coloring and gold shimmer dust for the shells.

Check out the impromptu video I made here about making macarons via the French Meringue method.

A cross section of the Foie Gras Macaron

Chicken Broth

500 g bottled water
1 cube chicken bouillon

Boil together and refrigerate.

Gelee de Foie Gras

125 g Chicken broth
250 g Foie gras mi-cuit
25 g Sugar
2 drops Tabasco
.4 g Black Pepper from Sarawak
4 g Gellan


Pass the foie gras through a fine sifter. Mix the hot bouillon with the foie gras puree, Tabasco, pepper and the Gellan. boil together. Add the sugar and emulsify.
Use right away.

Pour foie gras gelee in a frame. Spread flat and refrigerate. Cut 1.5 cm squares and freeze.

Milk Chocolate Ganache

125 g cream
125 g Milk chocolate

Boil the cream and pour a third over the chocolate. Stir from the center out. Repeat the process adding the hot cream in two more additions.
Keep refrigerated.


Cooking Notes:

Surprise! Surprise! All was not lost. I was expecting to bite into the horrible texture of the gelee but amazingly enough the texture must have transformed overnight and everything was smooth and creamy. The downside was it did not have enough of the foie gras punch that I remembered from my first taste a year ago. I knew, I should have put a bigger gelee in the macarons, but when I tasted the gelee by itself I thought it was too “chickeny” – probably from the bouillon – so I used half as much.
I should have trusted the “Picasso of Pastry.” PH is all about balance, I should have trusted that the milk chocolate ganache would round out the flavor of the foie gras gelee, instead I played it safe and ended up with a muted taste.
For the milk chocolate ganache I mixed Valrhona 75% Jivara and 25% Guanaja. Another winning combination and the best chocolate ganache I have ever made! Yes, those percentages were a tip from PH himself and I encourage you all to try it.

I will definitely make this again. Besides tasting delectable, it makes a luxurious gift too!

macgift 2
Macarons make great gifts!


44 thoughts on “Not quite Pierre Herme’s, but close

  1. i’ve had my sister bring back pierre herme’s macarons before!
    havent tried his foie gras ones before though.
    yours look AWESOME!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous Veron – although I’m a little wary, since I’ve never even tried foie gras by itself! Again, love the mac video, and can’t wait to see an updated, in-depth version!

  3. that looks so gorgeous! A friend bought for me from London last week. Tasted sooooo goooood but so expensive. Cost Β£2.70 a piece!!!! You can count how much money you can make from this batch here…..hehe

  4. Thanks Abowlofmush – it was quite challenging specially not knowing how the foie gras will turn out.
    Thanks kissmyspatula – so flattered you think so!
    Thanks Rosa! I felt better after i tasted it. πŸ™‚
    Aw thanks Sophia! Pierre Herme is the inspiration for all this.
    Thanks Aparna! I really do love the red and gold combo.
    Thanks Aran! If I get it perfect, I’ll send you some :).
    Thanks Felicia! Yes, PH macarons are out of this world, texture and balance of flavor is spot on.
    Thanks Caitlin- I’d love to do another in-depth video on macarons, we’re still trying to figure out the settings on our videocam.
    Thanks MaryMoh – yes, they can be quite expensive. Someone told me that the foie gras mac was 8 euros a piece.
    Thanks Stephen! I get my food coloring from cake deco. It’s chef master powder food color.

  5. I’m sure Pierre Herme’ will be proud of you. These macarons look excellent. Well done! Many thanks for the macaron video.

  6. Who would have thought? These look amazing, and I will take your word for it on the flavour combination. I would have been sad when my 350g of foie gras reduced by more than half, but Pierre knows what he’s doing. These are very handsome macarons – wonderful.

  7. Thanks Lucy! I am definitely making this again.
    Thanks Dana! I do hope you give it a try.
    Thanks Kristen! Obsession more than courage I think was the driving force. πŸ™‚
    Thanks Jing! Glad that the video helps.
    Thanks Cakelaw! Ah, the reduction of the foie gras was more my fault than what Pierre Herme intended.

  8. Thanks Anh! I do love the new design.
    Thanks Mitos! Hahahaha you are so funny girl, let me know how your chai cupcakes turn out.
    Thanks Eugenio, yes these are one of the prettiest macs I’ve made.

  9. Nice Macs! I haven’t even tried a french method in the past several years. I’ll give it a go on the next batch I make. Cheers!

  10. Gotta admit, this flavor concept really horrifies me… But as always, your macarons are simply flawless- Definitely as good, if not better than you would find Pierre Herme making!

  11. You are so brave to forge ahead, Veron. Now me, well, I’m more of a stargazer than a solider. They look delectably “fine.” Thank you so much for sharing…

  12. Wow..those look delicious. Congrats Veron. I would like to make them some day but first I need to get them right.
    Could you help with some issues I’m having?
    I have tried the italian meringue vanilla macarons. The shells are ok on the outside, with feet but air pockets inside.
    I tried french meringue chocolate macarons but the shells turned out too moist almost wet, fragile and the feet extend sideways. Good news no air pockets.
    Thanks soooo much!!!

  13. Veron, FANTASTIC. Your macarons are just perfect. Which method did you use for the shells in this post? Which do you prefer? Must watch your video. Great idea. I have never thought about making a macaron with a savoury filling, though I do have a book which I bought in France which is split between sweet and savoury. You’ve inspired me to try something now!

  14. Veron,
    Wow those macarons looks super fantastic…you have really mastered the art here… if only i could pick them of my sceen and eat them……
    I also had a request for you…okay ,I have a plea….I am craving Ispahan and was wonderng if you could make some and walk us through how to make those……I just had them on my recent trip to paris and now crave it so badly.Please SOS

  15. Hi Julia – I used the French Meringue method here.
    Hi Renuka – Ah the Ispahan, I will try it soon. I’ve actually offered the rose-litchi combination and I love it.

  16. i used to love foie gras. but just thinking how the ducks were forced feed- I cant enjoy eating foie gras anymore- nor enjoying eating sharks fin soup. recently- the news showed a whale without fins- it just sucks.

  17. Love the look of your macarons with the shimmering dust. Did you brush on the food coloring first, then the dust?

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