So my Amer-she-can Week celebrations are about to reach their crescendo, so I needed to up the stakes as I made my way to the finish line … and there is no one more bad ass than my second favourite triple-barrel – RBG.
Yep – yesterday I caught up with the dominant force of nature who just so happens to be a close personal friend, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
I first connected with RBG in the ‘60s while I was working at Lund University. She was in town learning Swedish and researching for a book on civil procedure, while I was in town trying to woo myself a Swedish husband and fell into my first academia scam.
Despite only knowing the Swedish equivalent to the lyrics to Lady Marmalade, I took RBG under my wing and was able to teach her enough to write the book and for that, she has always been grateful.
RBG has been super busy lately dominating Texas’ moronic abortion laws, so it was such a treat for her to take the time out and catch up over a big fat piece of Ruth Bader Gingersbread.
While I’m not exactly sure of where to geographically place this delightful cake, it was inspired by a recipe I made from Nigella’s Kitchen so I sold it to Hizza as a firmly, pre-Brexit British dessert.
I used to hate ginger and gingerbread, probably due to the awkward combination of my child tastebuds in the ‘90s and a bad experience with a hard, gross bakery gingerbread. Either way, Nige opened my eyes to the wonders of ginger with this soft, spiced cake.
Then I tinkered with it, slathered on some cream cheese icing and made something as beautifully notorious as RBG.
Ruth Bader Gingersbread
Serves: 8-12. Or two hardcore pals.
150g butter, plus some for greasing
1 cup golden syrup
1 heaped cup muscovado sugar
1 cup Guinness
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cups sour cream
225g cream cheese, at room temperature
150g icing sugar, sieved
80ml thickened cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 160°C and grease a large square pan (about 25cm x 25cm).
In a large pan over low heat, melt the butter, syrup, sugar Guinness and spices together. Remove from the heat and whisk through the flour and baking soda thoroughly.
In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and eggs together before whisking through the spicy, liquored batter.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until risen, dark and starting to come away from the sides. When done, move the cake to a cooling rack.
While it is cooling, whisk the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about a couple of minutes. Beat in the icing sugar, in three parts until fluffy and smooth. Add the cream and vanilla, beating a further minute and cool in the fridge until the cake is completely cooled.
Then, you know the drill, cover the cake with a thick smear of icing and devour.