Moto’s Banana Split Mini Cheeseburgers
For the macaron hamburger buns
2 egg whites
¼ c. granulated sugar
5 drops lemon juice
1 c. confectioners’ sugar
¾ c. almond flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. white sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Combine egg whites, granulated sugar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer and use the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until medium-stiff peaks are formed.
3. While egg mixture is whipping, grind the powdered sugar, almond flour, and salt in a food processor for about 1 minute.
4. Once egg whites are whipped, sift the sugar-flour mixture over the meringue, and delicately fold together with the whisk until fully incorporated.
5. Using a piping bag, pipe ½-inch circles of the batter onto parchment paper. (Note: Make sure not to let the batter form a peak like a Hershey’s Kiss. Keep the tip of the piping bag close to the paper, and when you pull it away, use the tip to cut off any peak.)
6. Sprinkle with pinches of sesame seeds and let stand, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.
7. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, rotating the tray after 5 minutes. The tops of the macarons should be crisp to the touch. If you notice substantial browning when you rotate the tray halfway through, reduce oven temperature to 300°.
8. Let cool for about 5 minutes, and then remove from parchment paper and transfer to a cooling rack.
For the milk chocolate hamburgers
8 oz. high-quality milk chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp. smooth peanut butter, room temperature
1. In a food processor, grind about 7 oz. of the chocolate until it starts to resemble cooked ground beef, 1-2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally so that the chocolate is evenly shaped. (Note: The individual pieces should be very small, but the longer the chocolate grinds, the warmer it will get, eventually melting.)
2. Chill the chocolate mixture in the refrigerator.
3. Melt the remaining 1 oz. of chocolate in the microwave and add to the peanut butter. (If you are using unsalted peanut butter, give it a tiny pinch of salt.) Mix until well combined, making sure to keep the mixture around room temperature.
4. Combine with the chocolate “ground beef” and form into little balls, like meatballs; flatten them by pressing them down on parchment paper. Adjust the size of the meatballs so they are about the same width as the macarons, maybe slightly wider.
5. Refrigerate the chocolate patties until the burgers are ready to be assembled.
For the maraschino cherry ketchup and banana cheese garnish
1 c. maraschino cherries, stemmed and strained from their juice
1. Blend the cherries in a high-speed blender until smooth. (If they’re too thick to blend, add a little bit of juice at a time until they’ve thinned.)
2. Thinly slice the banana for the “cheese” and assemble your burger.
Optional: To get really authentic, put a small piece of lettuce atop the banana — the nutty flavor and crunch of crisp lettuce go well with everything else.
Moto, 945 West Fulton Market, between Sangamon and Morgan Streets (312-491-0058 or motorestaurant.com).
Photo: Courtesy of Moto