By Madelaine Wood, Photos courtesy of Michelle Adams
Columbus, Ohio might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of wonderful French macarons, but baker and entrepreneur Michelle Adams is working to change that. Michelle owns and operates Michelle’s Macarons, a small in-home company dedicated to creating unique, made- to- order macarons. With both classic and specialty flavors such as peanut butter and jelly, buckeye and sugar cookie, she is certainly pushing the boundaries. In addition to selling tasty treats on her Website, Michelle has also developed an online instructional course for bakers looking for a little guidance. I spoke with Michelle to learn more about her blossoming macaron business.
Q. What was your motivation for starting Michelle’s Macarons?
A. I like the way someone’s face lights up when they try a great dessert. So I wanted to create a great dessert and make that happen. I know sugar is unhealthy, but I think the happiness it provides is worth the calories.
Q. What makes your French macarons unique? How do you use local ingredients and who are your local suppliers?
A. Fun flavors—these aren’t traditional French macarons. I like to dip them in chocolate, roll them in sprinkles and paint them with edible glitter. The possibilities are endless. I just moved to Columbus so I’m on the hunt for a local egg supplier and local jams!
Q. What do you love about baking French macarons?
A. It’s still rewarding when they’re finished and the colors are always so pretty. The shells are very versatile. I love how they work with pretty much any flavor. Ooh! And I just successfully made vegan macarons. Now there’s even more options! I’m very excited to test out some vegan flavors.
Q. Tell me about the origins of the instructional course and how it’s been received.
A. I spent so much time learning to make macarons, and people are always telling me about their failed attempts. I finally figured out a recipe and method that works for me. I follow the exact same steps every time— I still count how many times I fold the batter. So when my friends were successful with the recipe, I filmed the tutorial of me teaching my sister how to make them. So far, everyone who has tried the tutorial has been successful; I think one of my students is even selling them on the side! It’s especially good for people who want to learn to make macarons but don’t live in a city where they can take a class. It’s a good way to learn at your own pace in your home.
Q. Where do you do your baking/recipe development?
A. My house, usually late at night. Recipe development is done anywhere. I usually think of new ideas when I’m out doing something else, then I make a note in my phone to make sure I don’t forget. I have so many weird recipes saved in my phone.
Q. Do you see yourself expanding to a brick and mortar operation in the future?
A. Definitely. I’m hoping to build something that can support other local businesses and really focus on a personal experience with the customers and employees, connecting with the customers and giving them a great product using real ingredients that have real flavor. Macarons aren’t cheap, so I like to make sure they’re really getting what they pay for. I also want it to be a place where all the employees can grow with the business and really be a part of the decision making process. And I want to start making macaron ice cream sandwiches!
Examples of Michelle’s work and her contact information can be found on her website: www.michellesmacarons.com