A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to sample some of Pierre Hermé’s new range at his shop in Lowndes Street in London. This was a preview for a range that won’t be launched until September. I’m not entirely sure why it’s being previewed in June, but I assume Pierre Hermé and his PR team are more used to dealing with old-fashioned print magazine journalists with long lead times than bloggers.
The upshot is that nothing I was shown is likely to be available for a while, and by the time September comes around, I will have completely forgotten about it. And this jar of “Pietra” chocolate and caramelised hazelnut spread will be long gone.
There were two main themes to the products I was shown; “lemon” and “breakfast”. I tried a rather nice lemon macaron that contained absolutely no chocolate, so I probably shouldn’t even mention that here.
Pierre is also launching a granola, which seems a bit of a strange thing for a patissiere to do if you ask me. It was nice enough, but not something I would buy myself. I did try a few chocolates – most of which weren’t part of this launch – but this jar of spread was was the only thing I really wanted to take home. Lucky for me, we were given a jar in the goody bag we received.
The thing that makes this a little different from post chocolate spreads is the hazelnuts. Not little pieces of chopped hazelnuts, but whole nuts. And plenty of them.
The problem with most chocolate & hazelnut spreads is that the main ingredient is very often vegetable oil. By contrast, the ingredients listed on this jar are:
Hazelnuts (31.3%), Sugar, Cocoa Beans, Hazelnut Paste, Grape Seed Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Natural Vanilla, Emulsifier
The result is that this is one of the few spreads that I actually like. The whole hazelnuts give a wonderful crunch to anything you spread it on, and you can actually taste both the hazelnuts and the chocolate. It’s really rather nice spread on brioche, and might even get me eating breakfast again.
The spread will be available from Pierre Hermé’s shops and online from 4th September. Which is unfortunate, as I’m going to need another jar a lot sooner than that.