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Spicy Gingerbread

 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (more for greasing pan)
 2 cups all-purpose flour (more for pan)
 1 3/8 teaspoons ground ginger
 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
 1/2 teaspoon cocoa
 1/4 teaspoon ground anise
 Pinch ground cloves
 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 1 cup milk
 2/3 cup light molasses
 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
 2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 325F degrees. Grease and flour one 9-inch round cake pan. Sift
flour, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa, anise, cloves, cayenne and salt and baking soda
into a medium bowl, and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan combine milk and molasses, and warm over low heat,
stirring occasionally, until molasses dissolves into the milk. Remove from heat
and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed
until light and fluffy, about 40 seconds. Scrape down bowl, add brown sugar, and
beat until smooth and light. Add eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.

4. With machine on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts and milk mixture
in two. Turn batter into the cake pan, smoothing top. Bake until gingerbread tests
clean with toothpick, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, cool in pan 5 minutes,
turn out onto a rack and cool completely.


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