I had wanted to make the Charcoal Burger Buns for a while, made famous initially by the Darth Vader Burger in France (though I’m not sure if they had used Charcoal powder or just food colouring but it was love at first sight), and then more recently by our very own successful myBurgerLab. Well, you know my obsession with black food already, from my previous Black Pizza post. Choosing to go with pork because it’s my favourite item in Sid’s Pubs and I’d just like to replicate at home
and outdo them (sorry Frank).
Many have asked me where I got my charcoal powder: My mum got it from Bintulu. I’ve checked Baking with Yen in Taman Megah and they unfortunately do not stock it (Edit: the one at Puchong does!). I heard you can get them in Daiso, and this place called HOI (House of Ingredients) in Sri Damansara, Kepong too. Now go forth and make black buns or pizzas!
I’ve used the same recipe for the Brioche Burger Buns that I made for my Beef Burgers last time (mmm those were awesome!) with some changes. Firstly, the addition of charcoal powder. I’ve also swapped half the flour to wholemeal. This time I didn’t use sesame seeds because I want the buns to stay completely black (perhaps I could get some black sesame seeds next time). The toppings are pretty classic too as I thought I’d save the experimental stuff to next time.
Charcoal Wholemeal Brioche Burger Bun (Adapted from Comme Ça restaurant in Los Angeles, via the New York Times)
Makes 6 burger buns
3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 cup Bread flour
1 cup Wholemeal Flour
1 teaspoon Bamboo Charcoal Powder
1 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.
In a large bowl, whisk flours and bamboo charcoal powder with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 6 equal parts (each should be roughly 100g). Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours.
Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Brush some melted butter on the buns. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
400g Minced Pork (I’ve gone with the leaner stuff, the liquid in this recipe kept the patties moist)
Half a medium onion, diced
3 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons HP sauce (or Worchestershire Sauce)
3-4 stalks Spring Onion, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 egg, whisked
1 tablespoon Wasabi (or Mustard if you prefer)
1 teaspoon Ground cumin
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
salt and black pepper, to taste
Butterhead lettuce, hand torn
Onions, lightly caramelised
Prepare all your ingredients before you begin. Place the pork patties ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with your hands or a spatula until evenly combined. Divide the mixture into 5-6 equal portions (I weighed out about 120g each). Shape each portion with your hands into a patty. Dent the middle part so the patties will actually cook ‘flat’.
Place the patties onto a tray lined with- greaseproof paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest. Chilling the patties will help them hold together when cooked.
Cook the patties for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through. In the last couple of minutes, Place the cheddar slices on top of the patties.
Meanwhile, butter the burger buns (I only butter the top part) then place them cut-side down on a hot pan for 1 minute. Or go without butter and just lightly toast.
To serve, top the bottom halves of the buns with tomato and lettuce, place the patties (and cheese), squeeze some ketchup on top then finish with onions, and beetroot. Close with the top buns.
Don’t you just love the brilliant colours? Of course, you can choose to use any toppings. Blue cheese, why not? Or go more Malaysian by adding Sambal. I think Pineapple would be really lovely too. You can also make it extra porky by adding bacon. Yummo.
Let’s take another look!
The Pork patty was juicy just the right thickness for me, I like how the beetroot gave it a much needed sweet and tartness. You can just taste the pungent Wasabi in the patty, I’d probably add more next time or just mix some mustard in. How about the buns? Well they are definitely buttery, while remaining soft and fluffy. Using wholemeal flour adds a somewhat nutty flavour with some textural contrast. Unfortunately Frank is not a huge fan of pork so I made him vegetarian version, and he was very happy with that (he’s such a cheap date, isn’t he?).
So what are your favourite burger ‘toppings’? Do you stick to classic flavours (nothing wrong with that at all, they are after all tried and tasted recipes for many years) or are you a sucker for unusual flavours?