Friday, November 06, 2009


Everyone has been asking about flavors: can we do whatever flavor we want, any filling we choose? Or are we all doing the same? We decided to allow everyone to do as they please this time for 2 reasons:

First, I had asked everyone to make coffee macs the first round and only a few did. Others used their imagination and went their own way which gave us some very exciting macs!

Second, to tell you the truth, Deeba and I were so excited about and busy with our new Mac Kitchen blog that we skipped over this point completely. Yikes! Next time we might have everyone make the same recipe just to compare results and have something to check our own results by. This would help us all understand the complexity and the very nature of these elegant creatures.

We would like to offer a few flavorings to those with little or no mac experience just to help you on your way. The recipe we offer you here, Helen’s recipe, is the simplest basic recipe going. She makes hers with violet sugar, as Jamie did on her first mac try.

Here is the basic recipe with some changes Jamie made.
Basic mac shell recipe:
90 gr egg whites (about 3) *
30 gr (1 oz, 2 Tbs + ¼ tsp) granulated sugar
200 gr (7 oz, 1 ½ cups + 1 Tbs + 1 tsp) powdered sugar
110 gr (3 7/8 oz, 1 cup + 1 Tbs + 1 tsp) ground almonds

* personally, I have never weighed my egg whites. I use large eggs.

Jamie has graciously done the dirty work for those who do not have scales, and has converted the gram measurements into ounces as well as cups/ tablespoons/teaspoons.

If using flavored sugars such as violet, maple, vanilla etc, just replace 1 tsp of the granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of your flavored sugar then use about 1 teaspoon of the flavored sugar to sprinkle on the shells just after piping.
Coffee shells: stir 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder into the powdered sugar/ground almond mixture.
Chocolate shells: Stir about 1 tablespoon (15 g) unsweetened cocoa powder into the powdered sugar/ground almond mixture.
These are pretty simple and delicious flavors to start with.

If you want to make basic unflavoured yet colourful macs, then add 2-3 drops of liquid colour after the batter is mixed. Gently mix though till no white streaks are visible, and then fill in bag & pipe.

Fillings can be simple ganache, buttercream, jelly or jam, fruit compote, whatever you like that can hold up to being sandwiched in between layers of macaron shells.

If you use a different flavoring for the shells, then we'd love to hear your story. And of course, we will be able to discover your recipes after the round up!

Follow us and all the Mac Attack Buzz on Twitter @lifesafeast and @vindee


  1. How about flavors "native" to our area, in my case, salty country ham or peanuts. Just kidding.... I am looking forward to this challenge, but tiny bit scared too. I know it will be fun!!

  2. Bethie! We'd love for you to be that creative and use those flavors for your macs. But if you are a tiny bit scared, start simple... and may the Mac Force be with you :-)

  3. Great advice. Thanks. Can't wait... as soon as i get a mo. i'm aging egg whites!

  4. Well then i guess we all can go wild again with our colours.
    I must say after the disaters i had with macs i did way my egg whites, but then that also failed :-)
    I sometimes think macs are like winning lotto, you get it correct sometimes and then it goes horribly wrong another time.
    Fingers crossed.
    Ofcourse i am not talking aobut the Mac specialist.
    I am talking aobut me the mere mortal in making macs.

  5. Thanks for clearing that up :) Am currently collecting egg whites, trying to make as many egg yolk heavy things as possible - hard when the family hates custard!

  6. Yes agree with Jamie. For the macvirgins, always better to keep it simple the first time around.I did an egg white batch at a time eventually after I was stuffing boxes of failed macs under beds and into cupboards. 1 egg white quantities gave me about 8 macs & disaster didn't hurt as much!

  7. We are preparing a post dedicated to egg whites and meringue, so if you have doubts or questions, we'll post today...

  8. Macarons are coming.... Macarons are coming, la la la la la la laaaaaaa.....

  9. I like the idea of all of us making the same thing .. that way it is easier to compare notes, etc. Maybe next time?