Burger Macarons

29.8.12 - 14:00
We've just had a lovely bank holiday weekend. We were invited to a BBQ on Sunday, which ended up being a glorious day. Traditionally all bank holidays are soggy affairs leading to large queues at the shopping centre. So it was a nice to be able to eat and drink and chat in the sun. 

In fact, this is one of the reasons why I decided to embark upon the task of creating burger macarons. I thought if play was rained off we could still eat burgers! And I love making macarons. And people love eating them. 

Obviously I didn't invent the novelty macaron. They've looked like burgers forever and you can find a few pictures of other people's versions if you look for them online. I didn't use a tutorial or anything for these though, so I'm going to add a few tips for if you fancy having a go. 

Burger Macarons
The 'bread'

Just make the shells with your favourite macaron method/recipe. Personally I find the Italian meringue method easier to get the correct consistency. A lot of recipes seem to say it should be a magma like texture? That seems a rather bizarre thing to compare your cooking to. I think it looks more like melted marshmallow. It's shiny and pourable but not runny. 

I got the colour by adding some yellow colouring and a little bit of red. I was a pale orangey shade which went a bit darker when baked. I wouldn't add too much though, even plain macarons are quite burger bun like. After I'd piped them, but before they set I sprinkled on some sesame seeds. 

The 'burger'

For the burger I used a chocolate ganache. I left it in the the fridge to harden up a bit, but not completely. I piped globs about the size of a cherry tomato (or a large cherry I suppose?) onto a plate. Then I took each one and placed it between two pieces of cling film and squished it down with the bottom of a glass dish. Using something made of glass made it easier to see when the 'burger' was the right width for the shell. Pressing them down like that also made a nice uneven edge.

The 'cheese'

I didn't make fondant or colour it or anything. I just bought a bar of bright yellow ready to roll icing. I rolled it really thin and cut some squares. Make sure everything is covered in icing sugar or it'll all stick together. eugh. 

Didn't last long!
The 'tomato sauce'

These are pretty time consuming little things to put together so I didn't make this icing either. I used a little tube of writing icing. You know the kind they do for piping 'happy birthday' on a cake? I added a couple of 'drips' where you could see them from the outside of the burger and a little bit in the middle so you would see it when you bit though.

I also added a dab of extra ganache on top of the 'cheese' to make sure the lids stayed on. Once the lids were in position I popped them in the fridge for 24hrs.

Just before the BBQ I wrapped them individually in squares of baking paper so they looked like fast food burgers ready to go.

What do you think? Would you try one?  

Check out this amazing time lapse video my friend made of the BBQ.




Outdoor cinema

12.8.12 - 13:00

We went to see Jurassic Park ... in the park.

There was an outdoor cinema screen set up and when it got dark enough they projected the film onto it. We sat on the grass. We took a few snacks but usually you are not allowed to drink in the park, so we didn't take any alcoholic beverages. Some other people had beers, so I walked up to the pub and bought a bottle of wine. The guy behind the bar was very helpful and found me some paper cups to take back with me.

We should have brought some warmer clothes - it was quite chilly by the end of the film! Well worth it though.

Jurassic Park, it's a classic, isn't it?



Heston inspired turkey burgers

11.8.12 - 20:20
Hello, I am still alive! I've had a bit of a stressful month and I've been spending a lot of my time on another project I can't you about yet. But I really wanted to stop by and tell you about this 'recipe' I tried. The pictures are rubbish, I tried to get a tasty looking one when I was consuming the left overs for lunch but it is not pretty.

Now, I know you've heard of Heston Blumenthal. He cooks in some crazy ways, but what I find interesting is how he tests and tests things to find out the best way to do it. A little while ago he had a show on TV where he took one ingredient each week and explained some great, though unconventional, techniques for getting the best out of them.

The first week was beef and he got some guys to make their best burger recipes. Then he made this one using only beef and salt.


No breadcrumbs, no egg yolk, no onions, no herbs, no cheese hiding in the middle. It relies on the 'grain' of the meat created by keeping all the strands of minced meat going in the same direction.

I decided to give it a go with some turkey mince. Partially out of laziness and partially out of experimental spirit. And it worked great! I just added some salt, rolled up the mince and after a bit in the fridge, cut some slices. I made six from 500g of turkey and cooked them for about three minutes each side. Lovely and juicy and great in a squishy white bread cob with lots of salad. Yum.