Maggie Beer’s chocolate and beetroot cupcakes | Gourmand and Gourmet

Maggie Beer’s chocolate and beetroot cupcakes

Whether we’re digging into her burnt fig, honeycomb and caramel ice cream or cooking up a storm in the kitchen with one of her recipe books, we just can’t get enough of Maggie Beer. Celebrity cook, food philosopher, author and champion for local produce, Maggie is an all round legend in the foodie world, revered for her passion for food, her divine range of gourmet products and her warm smile. And somehow, in between cooking, writing, filming, gardening and philanthropy, she still finds time to put in an appearance at the Good Food & Wine Show every year. Gobsmacking – and great news for us! This year, she also found time to chat to us about the show, her delicious ice creams and her scrumptious recipe for chocolate and beetroot cupcakes. Describe what it is you do so well in a sentence, you’re allowed to be modest.  The chance to try what my mind’s tastebuds have dreamt up at any given point. It’s an endless stream of ideas, so I’m never short of a dish. How long have you been working with the Good Food & Wine Show? It’s been 6 years! How time flies… What’s your favourite part of the show? I love having the chance to meet so many people and chat to them about how they cook and what produce they love. So many people share so many great stories with me at the Good Food & Wine Shows. What’s the strangest thing you ever did to come up with a recipe? Well, none of them seem strange to me but I remember when I first made ice cream with extra virgin olive oil it raised a few eyebrows! How did your culinary journey begin? I guess the path chose me in that it was a necessity that turned into serendipity. When we first started breeding pheasants we could sell them for novelty value but no one knew how to cook them. Any written recipes that people might have tried were pretty horrific and would have resulted in dry, overcooked birds – so no wonder they didn’t try a second time. Cooking came naturally to me so that’s what I started to do – cook our pheasants and quail, pickle our quail eggs, make our pate and utilise every bit of the birds. We started the farm shop and sold fresh birds with instructions on how to cook them and offered roasted pheasant and stuffed quails as picnic food. I still wonder how I had the audacity, with no experience or training, to start a restaurant (the acclaimed Pheasant Farm Restaurant which closed in 1993) but I’m so happy I did. And today we’re a farm shop again, serving picnic fare, so we’ve truly come full circle. What does a typical week at work involve for you, besides “Full on!” Every day is different for me, I might be filming and cooking in an aged care facility to promote my latest project, the Maggie Beer Foundation, teaming up with my favourite side kick from our TV days, Simon Bryant, to cook on stage to a live performance by the WASO, taste testing and fine tuning my latest ice cream flavours, cooking for a photo shoot, or picking produce from my garden to cook for dinner – but always a common theme of food, food, food! Which Australian producers, suppliers or thinkers are inspiring you at the moment? All those with a vegetable garden! And that includes the growing trend of chefs utilising restaurant space for a veggie patch. It’s such an inspiration to me and a wonderful way for people to understand just how good fresh, seasonal produce can be. Where/what was the last great meal you ate in Brisbane? The last great meal I ate in Brisbane was a dish of octopus at Gerard’s Bistro. In your eyes, what is the key to a perfect meal? Fresh, seasonal produce, a genuine love of cooking, wonderful company and opera at full volume! You can get one-on-one with Maggie Beer for yourself at the Good Food & Wine Show where she’ll be whipping up three course tasting menus. If that’s not soon enough for you though, we have one of her scrumptious cupcake recipes so you can channel the master of homestyle food in your own kitchen. Maggie Beer’s Chocolate & Beetroot Cupcakes Ingredients:
  • 60g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tbspn unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 100g beetroot, grated and cooked
Icing:
  • 1 2/3 tbspn unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 14g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbspn icing sugar
  • 1 2/3 tbspn hot water
1. Melt the chocolate over a bain marie or on the lowest setting of your microwave. 2. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the sour cream and cooled melted chocolate, mixing well. 3. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder and then add the grated beetroot and mix well to combine. 4. Place spoonfuls of the mixture into muffin tin sized patty pans (placed in muffin tin) and bake at 180C for 15 minutes. 5. Beat together icing ingredients until smooth and spread over cooled cupcakes.