Cocoa in burger buns? Seems a little odd to you? Not to me, it doesn't. The thought of adding some chocolate flavour in buns without the sweetness and fat, seemed too good to pass up when I first saw them at Palachinka, Marija's beautiful blog. And when she describes these buns as "incredible", I have to agree.
They do really well (in my opinion) as burger buns also, if you're willing to take a chance and do a bit of "out of the box" thinking where burger buns are concerned.
I have made Marija's Whole Wheat Cocoa Buns a couple of times now. The last time I made them, I slightly tweaked (which is the one on this post) her recipe and I liked this version too. While she suggests trying the buns with dulche de leche, I thought this tweaked version would make good burger buns.
As for the patties, I just put together what I had on hand the particular day I made them as a snack for tea. Whenever I soak chickpeas, I always add a little more than I need. I cook them, then drain and freeze the extra chickpeas for later use so I almost always have some in the freezer.
I also froze the left over patties and used them with these buns to make vegetable burgers. Use whatever you would like inside your vegetable burgers. My burger has some lettuce (surprisingly, considering we don't really like lettuce but I had some I needed to use up), onion, tomato, sweet and sour mango chutney and cheese. This makes my vegetable burger reasonably strong in the "healthy" department too.
Whole Wheat Cocoa Buns (adapted version):
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
3/4 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbsps milk
flax seeds for sprinkling
Dissolve the honey and yeast in 1/2 a cup of warm water and allow to prove.
Mix all the other ingredients, except the milk and flax seeds, in a bowl or food processor bowl. Add the yeast mixture and enough water to mix into a smooth and elastic dough. Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, coating the dough with the oil, and cover. Allow to rise till double in volume.
Gently deflate the dough and divide into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion of dough into a bun. Brush the buns with milk and sprinkle with flax seeds. Cover wit a towel and allow the buns to rise a bit, for about 20 minutes.
Bake at 190C for 35 minutes till the buns sound hollow when tapped. Since the cocoa would give the buns a brown colour, it would be a bit difficult to judge how brown the buns would have become.
Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) and Vegetable Patties (Cutlets/ Kebabs):
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/4 cup finely shredded cabbage
1/4 cup grated carrots
a small hanful of sweet corn (frozen)
1 big boiled potato
1 1/4 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tsp coriander powder
3/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste
a little oil for pan frying the cutlets/ patties
Mash the cooked chickpeas and boiled potatoes very well, so no lumps remain. Keep aside.
Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a pan, and sauté the ginger and garlic pastes and the onion till it turns translucent and soft. Add the spice powders and 2 tbsp of water and continue cooking over low to medium heat, for a minute. Now add the cabbage, carrot and sweet corn and sauté for another minute, on high heat. Turn down the heat to medium and add the mashed chickpea-potato mixture and salt. Mix well, and finally add the chopped coriander leaves. Take off the heat, and make sure the kebab/ cutlet/ patty mixture is well mixed.
Once the mixture has cooled a bit, divide it into 8 equal portions and shape each into kebabs/ cutlets/ patties. If you feel the mixture is too crumbly and difficult to shape, you can add a tbsp of chickpea flour (and a tsp of water, if required) to the mixture and mix well. These kebabs/ cutlets/ patties will be slightly soft, but should not fall apart easily.
If you use a non-stick heavy pan, you just need to lightly grease the pan to cook the cutlets/ patties. Cook them 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown and slightly crisp. Then turn them over and similarly cook them on the other side too.
You can also lightly brush the cutlets/ patties with oil and either grill or bake them. Use them in vegetable burgers and serve with oven baked potatoes (optional) for a filling meal. They can also be served as a side dish to a main meal.
If you make the kebabs/ cutlets/ patties slightly smaller, you can serve them as appetizers or a snack, with tomato ketchup or coriander-mint and sweet and sour tamarind chutneys.
This recipe makes 8 patties, approximately 2" each.