For months I have been obsessed with the idea of a Parisian macaron (gerbet) that looks like a burger. I finally got around to making some just in time to celebrate the upcoming Father's Day, a day typically associated with the outdoors and firing up the grill, on June 19th. And what is more father- and grill- friendly than burgers?
The macarons that I make always seem to look like little burgers. So instead of fighting my macaron's burger-like quality, I decided to embrace it fully with these whimsical "burger" macarons. I sprinkled some sesame seeds on my macaron shells before baking them so that they would look like burger buns.
For the burger patty, I felt a ganache or buttercream would be too smooth. I wanted something that had the texture of a real burger. So I made a chunky sesame butter by grinding sesame seeds with a bit of oil and salt. I combined that with some melted milk chocolate. I used milk instead of semisweet or bittersweet since its mild chocolate flavor would not overwhelm that of the sesame. I formed the chocolate sesame mixture into patties.
To complete the burger theme I had to come up with a couple garnishes. I didn't want to use colored fondant since that would be just for looks and not flavor. I wanted to use ingredients that would complement the milk chocolate and sesame filling as well as the almond shell. I like the combination of sesame with coconut, so I tinted some dried, shredded coconut with a tiny bit of green food dye. Voila - lettuce! And for those that like a little tomato on their burger, I thinly sliced sour cherries.
I haven't quite gotten the hang of making a good looking macaron shell yet. I keep trying but my shell is not correct. It's always smooth but very tissue thin instead of delicately sturdy. But at least my shells are not wrinkled. And I still haven't eliminated that air pocket under the shell. Oh, and that foot. The ruffled foot is never quite right. It sticks out beyond the border of the shell.
I've been using the French meringue method where the granulated sugar is beaten in with the egg whites. After so many not quite successful attempts using the French meringue method, I think I should explore other ones like the Italian meringue method where a hot sugar syrup is added to the egg whites. All in due time.
But in the meantime, please enjoy the cuteness of my "burger" macarons.
Macarons Shells ("Buns")
Makes about 60 shells (enough for 30 "burgers")
90 grams egg whites (about 3)
40 grams granulated sugar
110 grams almond meal
200 grams powdered sugar
About 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (for decoration)
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until it begins to foam. Then gradually add the granulated sugar and continue whisking until you obtain a glossy meringue that holds medium stiff peaks. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will become dry and separate into chunks.
Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. The mixture should look fine and powdery.
Add your almond-powdered sugar mixture to your meringue and using a large rubber spatula fold until the ingredients are well incorporated and the batter "flows like magma". You can test the batter by making sure a ribbon of batter drizzled on top of the rest of the batter disappears within 30 seconds. The whole mixing process should take less than 50 strokes.
Spoon the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a plain pastry tip (I use Ateco #804). Pipe out 3 cm diameter rounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with silicone liners (or parchment paper) spacing them about 1-2 -inches apart. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to make them look like burger buns.
Let the macaron shells sit at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 315F. (I set my oven's analog dial to somewhere between 300 and 325). Then bake the shells at 315F for about 15 minutes. Let shells cool before filling.
Milk Chocolate Sesame Filling ("Burger")
8 ounces high quality chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/3 cup sesame butter (I made my own chunky version but store bought is fine)
1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar (optional)
Mix the melted milk chocolate and sesame butter. If the mixture is too runny, add some of the powdered sugar until you get the consistency of molding clay. Form thirty 2.5 - 3 cm diameter "burger patties".
"lettuce" = dried, shredded coconut tinted with a tiny bit of green food coloring and "tomato" = pitted sour cherries, sliced thinly