Meeting Maggie Beer

One of the highlights of my week was having breakfast with Maggie Beer.

Maggie Beer is my hero.

Even sick as I was, I would not have missed it. And I managed to stay upright for a photo (bad as it is!) have my copy of ‘Maggie’s Harvest’ signed and personalised, and break bread, as it were.  Awsomely awesome.

Maggie Beer’s Constitution Cake


375 ml Verjuice
180 g Davidson’s plums , defrosted, sliced and seed removed
120 g Muntries, defrosted
120 g Quandongs, dried
120 g dried Currants
60 g Almonds, whole
50 g Caster sugar
120 g Dark-brown sugar
180 g Unsalted butter, chopped
4 Eggs
180 g Self-raising four
½ tsp Ground cinnamon
½ tsp Ground nutmeg
120 g Candied mixed peel
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

For the Nut paste
12 g Macadamia nuts
100g Icing sugar
1 Egg yolk


Reconstitute dried quandongs by soaking in 375 ml of Verjuice and 50 g caster sugar for 30 minutes, then boil for 5 minutes. Turn off, add currants, leave to soften for 1 hour. Drain and
reserve syrup.
Preheat the oven to 220°C and grease and line a 20 cm round spring-form cake tin with baking paper.
Dry-roast 120 g macadamia nuts and 60 g almonds (keeping them separate) on a baking tray for 6–8 minutes, then set aside to cool. Reset the oven to 170°C.
To make the nut paste, blend the roasted macadamias in a food
processor, then add the icing sugar and egg yolk and pulse
to form a stiff paste. Set aside.

In the cake mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter until pale and fuffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of four if the mixture curdles.
Fold in the four, spices, currants, quandongs, sliced davidson’s plums (seed removed), whole muntries, almonds and candied peel. Stir in the grated lemon zest and the reserved syrup, to give a soft batter.
Spoon half the batter into the prepared tin, then spread the nut paste over the mixture and top it with the remaining batter. Bake for 2.5 hours (or until a fine skewer comes out clean). If the top colours too quickly, cover with foil for the last hour. Leave the cake to cool a little in the tin before turning it out.

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