Crave brings your favorite sweet treat to BR
If you’re having a birthday, hosting a party, or just looking to munch on something sweet, Emily Hymel knows how to fill that craving. Since starting her business Crave Macaron, Hymel has baked the French cookie in every shape and size—ranging from minis to topped with spaghetti and meatballs to one giant macaron as a cake—not to mention a wide variety of flavors. With her out of the box creations, they almost look too good to eat…almost. To check out her sweet treats visit @cravemacaron on Instagram.
When did you make your first macaron and why did you want to start a business making them?
I made my first macaron 5 years ago as a dessert for my brother’s engagement party. I’ve always loved cooking and entertaining so the party gave me an opportunity to try out something new. It took me at least 3 trials to get a semi-successful batch, which made me want to perfect them even more. After about 2 years of making them for family and friends, I decided to turn a hobby into a business. It just made sense to make a business of something I enjoyed doing that not many other people were providing.
Where do you get your inspiration for unconventional macarons, like the football field or the rainbow on top of clouds?
I love being able to be creative with the macarons in not only flavor, but shapes. A lot of my inspiration comes from the current season, holiday, or pop culture. The rainbow on top of clouds came from my kids being obsessed with The Wizard of Oz and hearing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” every day. I also get a lot of inspiration from other bakers and popular food trends that I follow on social media.
Are there any flavor combos you’ve created that people really love?
I love coming up with unconventional flavor combinations and mixing savory and sweet like the pork rind macaron I just tested. I try to base my flavors on the season and what’s fresh. One of my most popular flavors is cheesecake that I fill with homemade fruit jam. Salted chocolate caramel, wedding cake, and key lime pie are other crowd favorites. Some of my personal favorites are bananas foster, banana split, turtle cheesecake, and s’mores. I also like getting new flavor requests from customers. I just did an Earl Grey tea macaron filled with a tea and lemon infused buttercream. As much fun as I have with shapes and decorating the macarons, flavor is even more important to me. Something can look pretty but if it doesn’t taste good then people won’t order again.
What are you doing when you’re not making macarons?
If I’m not in the kitchen baking or cooking, I’m either spending time with my family or in the gym. I love teaching my kids about cooking. Even though it takes a little extra patience, I love watching them learn (and hopefully they’ll cook for me one day)! Health and fitness are my other passions. I work out almost every morning before I get my workday started. It gets me mentally prepared for the day and I have to balance out all of those macarons some kind of way!
Are there any macaron trends right now that you really enjoy making?
I really love the number and letter cake trend right now. It lets me be creative with the toppings/flavors and is such a great unique party centerpiece. I also enjoy doing mini macarons as party favors or gifts and coming up with new ways to package them.
What are some things you’ve learned since you started baking?
I’ve learned patience and to learn from my mistakes. There are so many factors that influence the baking process. Over mixing, under mixing, humidity, not resting long enough, too much food coloring, etc. Baking is definitely a science, but it’s also learning as you go. I’ve also learned more about business. I’m not a business-minded person, but it is something that I want to continue to grow so I have to think about the business aspect of it as well.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to make their own macarons?
Practice makes closer to perfect. I read so many blogs about trouble shooting in the beginning. Measure everything, don’t take short cuts, and have patience. Read a recipe before starting any of the steps, especially when making macarons. It’s important to have everything prepared ahead of time so the process goes smoother. And if you mess up, then you can always use the leftovers for something else. I’ve over baked a few batches that I just ground up and used as a piecrust instead of graham crackers. There’s always a back up plan.
What can Baton Rouge expect to see from Crave Macarons in the future?
I love experimenting with new flavor combinations and would eventually like to get them into local grocery stores. I really want to do more macaron cakes, as well as practice different shapes. In the meantime, I plan to continue perfecting/refining my craft in order to offer the freshest, most delicious and unique macarons in the area!
Photos courtesy of Crave.