From my story, “Merry Christmas, Margaret Mead.”
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup molasses
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8” x 8” square baking pan by greasing thoroughly and lining the bottom with parchment.
1. In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. In a 1 cup glass measuring cup dissolve the instant espresso powder and vanilla extract in the boiling water. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and molasses on medium speed until well blended. Mix in egg.
4. Add flour mixture alternately with water mixture, stirring just until mixed (You can finish off the mixing by hand with a rubber spatula.) Pour into prepared baking pan.
5. Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack to cool completely.
Yields 8 to 16 pieces, depending on size of slice.