Sam’s winning macarons
19th May 2011

Sam’s winning macarons

By Kate Photography by Adam

In December last year, we ran a bake-off down here in the Dunedin product development office. First place went to Sam, one of our electronics engineers, for his amazing chocolate macarons. We have been meaning to share this recipe with you for some time, but with all the work that went into creating our beautiful new site, some things got left behind! Macarons are a hot topic at the moment though with the final of Masterchef New Zealand screening last weekend. The final challenge, a macaron tower, ended in tears when Jax’s creation crumbled and fell apart at the last moment. Death by macaron! You can read Emma’s thoughts on the series here, but anyway, over to Sam and his winning recipe (and strategy):

            “I’m the first to admit I’m not much of a baker but when the office bake-off was announced I thought I would give it a go. I decided the key would be to bake something a little bit difficult and fancy yet just within reach of my beginner abilities. After looking through several recipe books and consulting with more experienced bakers I decided chocolate macarons struck this balance perfectly. I love macarons but before this I never thought to try making them myself. It takes a bit more effort than other baking options but I definitely recommend them if you want to impress. The following recipe is the result of a few hours of trial and error the night before the competition and earned me 1st place as well as a reputation as a bit of a “dark horse” when it comes to baking.”


makes about 14 biscuits
  • Macarons
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 5 tablespoons plain sugar
  • Chocolate Filling
  • 125 ml cream
  • 3 teaspoons golden syrup
  • 120g chocolate, finely chopped (I went for darkish chocolate – about 60% cocoa)
  • 1 tablespoon butter


    • Macarons
    • Preheat oven to 120º C on Bake
    • 1.Cover two baking trays with baking paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
    • 2.In a food processor, blend together the icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa. This makes the ground almonds a little finer.
    • 3.Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites while gradually adding the plain sugar until the peaks hold their shape.
    • 4.Use a spatula to fold the cocoa mixture into the egg whites. Stop as soon as there is no longer plain egg white visible.
    • 5.Using a piping bag (or one improvised from a plastic bag) pipe the mixture onto the trays. Form circles about 2.5cm to 3cm in diameter.
    • 6.Bang the tray against your bench top several times until the peaks on your macarons flatten.
    • 7.Bake the macarons for 15 – 20 minutes. This is a delicate process and will take a bit of supervision. If the tops of your macarons crack your oven is too hot and if your macarons stick to the baking sheet then they have not been cooked for long enough.
    • 8.Once your macarons have cooled remove them from the baking sheet.
    • Chocolate Filling
    • 1.Warm the cream in a pot then add the golden syrup. Just when the cream starts to boil take it off the heat and add the chocolate. Once this melts stir it though then add the butter and stir again.
    • 2.Once your macarons and filling are cool combine them. This is pretty easy. Just grab a macaron biscuit, spread on your desired amount of filling and sandwich another biscuit on top.
    • I served mine simply stacked in a heap with icing sugar dusted on the top. Enjoy!


      1. notAnn

        That looks like a really good recipe! I should point out, though, that what you’ve made are not “macaroons.” What Sam has done here is the infinitely more trendy (and delicious) macarons (one “O”):

      2. Lauren

        Hi there
        You are quite right – these are in fact macarons, not macaroons! There has been a little confusion around the spelling here lately, with several newspapers referring to the ‘macaron’ challenge in New Zealand Masterchef as the ‘macaroon’ challenge. But we should have known better – it is all corrected now though so everyone knows what we are talking about here :) I do hope you try them. I made a batch yesterday and suffice to say there are none left today. Yummy! – Lauren

      3. Patty

        that looked good! By the way, if the macaron cracks, aside from too much heat of the oven, it could also be because the egg whites were over whipped. And to get rid of the peaks, you can use your fingertip, wet it w/ little bit of water and tap the peak gently.

      4. Lauren

        Thanks Patty those are some great tips! I have tried the wet fingertip trick and it works a treat. I think macarons are fast becoming my new obsession. I made some rosewater ones this weekend, coloured them the most gorgeous blush pink.

      5. Dolli Cohen

        Wonderful blog!!! Thank you everyone who contributes to this site.

        I am a bit intimidated by the Centegrade measurements however, only being used to Farenheit myself. How do I compensate for this I wonder?

        Again thanks for this marvelous blog. I love it!

      6. Lauren

        Thanks Dolli, A lot of love (and hard work) goes into the site; we are very proud of it!

        As we are based in New Zealand, we use the metric system, hence the use of Centigrade for temperatures rather than Fahrenheit. I find Google is great for converting, but here are some quick reference temps for baking:
        120ºC = 250ºF; 150ºC = 300ºF; 180ºC = 350ºF

        Happy Baking!

      7. Kaye

        I have an OB60SDTX2 F & P oven, what baking setting do you recommend for macarons?

      8. Lauren

        Hi Kaye,
        Always great to hear from an F&P customer! I would recommend you use Bake for single shelf cooking, or, if you want to bake a couple of trays of macaroons at once, I would recommend Fan Forced. A top tip from our product evaluation team – pipe a tiny bit of macaron mixture onto each corner of your baking trays, and use this to ‘glue’ down the baking paper – this way the baking paper won’t slide around on the tray, and there is no danger the fan will blow the corner of the baking paper over onto one of your precious macarons! Happy Baking :)

      9. Aubrey

        You need to let the macarons sit for at least a half hour to an hour before baking them so that they get the feet that macarons are known for. They need to have an outer shell when you touch them before you put them into the oven. I am excited to try this version of macarons! I just made vanilla and caramel tea macarons with a tea infused butter cream frosting, and I am excited to try a different kind of macaron!

      10. Lauren

        Hi Aubrey, Wow vanilla and caramel tea macarons sounds amazing! I hope you enjoy Sam’s chocolate ones too :) Happy Baking!

      11. Liz

        My sister has made these for the past couple of Christmases and they are always a big hit!!!!

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