Burger heaven

The weather in London has been terrible lately – rain, rain and more rain. (With a little bit of sunshine thrown in once in a while.) If I had my own way, I would hide indoors the everytime it rains, curled up in my duvet whilst drinking a hot drink of some sort. Unfortunately life can’t stop whilst the weather is miserable, which is why I turn to food to cheer me up.

I first came across these burgers in Donna Hay magazine – they were in a feature called ‘Posh Patties’, and I fell in love almost immediately. The burgers looked so good that I was almost salivating with hunger. Though to be fair, I love most of the photos in Donna Hay magazine, as it is the ultimate food porn. I mean, the photographers manage to make lemon slices look absolutely stunning. How ridiculous is that? :P

I love most burgers, and these are no exception. I especially like the vegetarian burger as it uses halloumi, which has a very meaty texture, and goes amazingly well with the grilled vegetables. I also decided to make the burger buns from scratch as I have this disease where I feel the need to use my beloved KitchenAid stand mixer at every possible opportunity. The buns came out really well and I was very pleased with how they turned out!

Burger buns
From the King Arthur Flour website

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I later felt this might have been too much, I’ll cut down on sugar the next time I make this)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
  • sesame seeds

1. Put the lukewarm water and sugar into a bowl of a stand mixer, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Sprinkle the yeast over the sugar and water mixture, and leave for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to “bubble”.
2. Add the bread flour, salt, egg, and butter to the yeast mixture, and mix on low speed (with a dough hook) for 8-10 minutes until the mixture forms a nice dough. If you find that the dough is too sticky, just add more flour until the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.
3. Pour oil into a large bowl; use a some kitchen roll to oil the bowl. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with clingfilm or a tea towel, and leave to rise until doubled in size. (usually takes an hour)*
4. Divide dough into 6 equal portions, and shape each portion into a burger shaped bun. Leave to rise again until they become very puffy (about an hour). **
5. If you wish, brush the burger buns with an egg wash, and sprinkle sesame seeds on the tops. Alternatively, just dust the buns with flour.
6. Bake the buns in a preheated oven at 190°C, for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool.

*It was at this point I left the house to do some shopping, and I ended up leaving the dough to rise for a good 3 hours.
**I only left it to rise for 15 minutes as I didn’t have enough time to wait a whole hour… or roughly translated as: I was getting hungry. :P

Roasted tomato, aubergine, and halloumi burger
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine
(Serves 2)

  • 1 tomato, thickly sliced
  • 2 burger buns, sliced
  • 1 aubergine, sliced
  • 200g halloumi, sliced
  • olive oil
  • harrisa mayonnaise (I added some harissa to Japanese mayonnaise, how much harissa you use depends on how spicy you want your mayo)
  • caramelised red onions
  • rocket leaves

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the tomato on a baking tray and brush with oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until cook. Set aside.
2. Brush the bun halves with oil, and place them (cut sides down) on a non-stick pan over a high heat, until the surfaces are golden brown.
3. Heat a grill pan (I use a Chasseur grill pan) over high heat. Brush the aubergine slices with oil, and grill for 2 minutes on each side. Cook the haloumi slices in the same way.
4. Spread the bun halves with the harissa mayonnaise. Top the bottom half of the burger bun with the tomato slices, aubergine, haloumi, caramelised onions and rocket leaves. And enjoy!

Cheeseburger

Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine
(serves 4)

  • 500g beef mince
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 portebello mushrooms
  • 4 burger buns, halved
  • olive oil
  • 200g sliced Swiss cheese
  • caramelised red onions
  • rocket leaves

1. Heat the oven to 180°C.
2. Mix the beef mince, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce in bowl, and mix to combine. Divide into 4 equal portions, shape into patties and wrap it in a slice of Swiss cheese. Place on a baking tray, and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted and patties are cooked through.
3. Place the mushrooms on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and roast for 8-10 minutes. (I cook the mushrooms and the beef patties in the oven at the same time)
3. Brush the bun halves with oil, and place them (cut sides down) on a non-stick pan over a high heat, until the surfaces are golden brown.
4. Top half a burger bun with another slice of cheese, beef patty, mushroom, caramelised onions, rocket leaves and top half of the burger bun. Sit back and bite into the meaty goodness that is this burger.