French "Cheeseburger" Macarons

by Table 301, Tastemaker in Residence - recipe by Stacie Amesbury Pastry Chef, Soby’s on the Side/Table 301 Catering

“Hamburger meat” (Chocolate Ganache) 
Make the day before

1 pint Heavy Cream                    
1 lb. Dark Chocolate, 60-64%, small chop        
Splash Vanilla Extract        


  1. Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream starts to simmer.  
  2. Place the chocolate along with vanilla extract in a metal bowl, making sure the bowl is big enough to add the cream.  
  3. Pour the cream into the chocolate, let sit 30 seconds, whisk together until fully combined.  Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.


12 oz. White Candy Melts                        
1 tube Yellow gel food coloring, optional                
1 tube Orange gel food coloring, optional


  1. Melt the Candy, per instruction on packing. Leave white or use a mixture of yellow and orange gel food coloring 
  2. Spread onto a piece of parchment paper, making sure it is not too thick. 
  3. Let the candy harden and cut into 2.5” squares using a warm knife 


2 tubes Red gel food coloring        

Almond Macarons
Yields: Approximately 14 cheeseburgers
*Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller “Bouchon Bakery

1 ¾ cups + 2 ½ Tbsp  Almond Flour/Meal                  
1 ¾ cups + 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp Powdered Sugar
¼ cup + 1 ½ Tbsp Egg Whites, room temp                .        
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp Egg Whites, room temp
1 cup + 3 Tbsp, plus a pinch for egg whites Granulated Sugar            
2/3 cup Water                    
Sesame Seeds To Taste

Tools Needed
Candy Thermometer
Pastry bag with ½” plain tip
2 ¼ round cookie cutter
Fine tip sharpie
Parchment paper
Sheet pans
Rubber spatula


  1. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the work surface with a long side closest to you. Trace evenly spaced 2 ¼ “circles along the top long edge, leaving a space around them.  Continue doing so until the paper is filled. Turn the parchment over and lay it on the sheet pan. Repeat with a second sheet pan and piece of parchment paper. Set aside 
  2. Preheat oven to 400⁰F
  3. Place the almond flour/meal in a food processor and pulse to grind it as fine as possible 
  4. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a large bowl and whisk together. Mound the almond flour mixture, then make a 4” well in the center, making sure to leave some flour at the bottom.  Pour in the first egg whites and combine with a spatula, until evenly distributed. Set aside.
  5. Place the second egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Combine the granulated sugar and the water in a small sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat until the syrup reaches 220⁰F.
  6. Continue to cook the syrup, add the pinch of sugar to the egg whites, turn the mixer to medium speed, and whip the egg whites to soft peaks. * If the whites reach soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248⁰F, reduce the speed to the lowest setting, just to keep the whites moving.
  7. When the syrup reaches 248⁰F, remove the pan from the heat. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed, and slowly add the syrup, pouring it between the side of the bowl and the whisk; the meringue will deflate.  Increase the speed to medium and whip for 5 minutes, or until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks.  Although the bowl will still be warm to the touch, the meringue should have cooled; if not, continue to whip until the meringue is cool.
  8. Fold one-third of the meringue into the almond mixture, then continue adding the whites a little at a time (you may not use them all) until when you fold a portion of the batter over on itself, the “ribbon” slowly moves.  The mixture shouldn’t be so stiff that it holds its shape without moving at all, but it shouldn’t be so loose that it dissolves into itself and does not maintain the ribbon; it is better for the mixture to be slightly stiff than too loose.
  9. Transfer the mixture to the pastry bag with the ½” tip.  Hold the bag upright ½” above the center of the traced circles and pipe out enough of the mixture to fill the circle. Lift away the pastry bag and fill remaining circles on first pan.  Lift up the sheet pan and tap the bottom of the pan to spread the batter evenly and smooth any peaks left by the pastry bag. Sprinkle half the sheet pan with sesame seeds for the top of the bun.  Use as many or as few sesame seeds as you would like. 
  10. Place the sheet pan in the oven, immediately lower the oven temperature to 325⁰F, and bake for 9-12 minutes.  The tops will be shiny and crisp. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely. Preheat oven to 400⁰F again.
  11. Pipe the remaining meringue mixture into the circles on the second sheet pan and repeat baking process. Let cool completely

To fill the macarons: 


  1. Transfer the ganache into a piping bag with a ½” plain pastry tip
  2. Remove the macarons from the parchment paper and turn over the macarons without the sesame seeds.  Place the piping bag of ganache in the center of the upside down macarons and pipe ganache into a spiral but not quite reaching the edge. Place a piece of “cheese” on top of the ganache, slightly pressing down to help bring the “hamburger meat” to the edge of the macaron. Drizzle on the ketchup and place the sesame macaron on top and slightly press down.
  3. Repeat with the remaining macaroons and filling.
  4. The macarons are best if wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored in fridge overnight before enjoying. Bring to room temperature before serving.  Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days if wrapped properly.