Adjust rack to center of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square pan. Dust it lightly with fine, dry bread crumbs.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, mustard, and black pepper. Set aside.
In large bowl of electric mixer beat the butter to soften it a bit. Add the sugar and beat for 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Use a rubber spatula all through the beating to help mix ingredients. Add molasses. Beat until smooth. Dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water. On low speed alternately add sifted dry ingredients in three additions and coffee, which will be hot, in two additions.
Beat only until smooth. Mixture will be very thin. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 minutes. Cover with a rack and invert. Remove pan and cover with another rack to invert again. Serve warm or let cool.
10 to 12 portions
Reprinted with permission from ©Maida Heatter, Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts, (Inducted into the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame), published by Andrews McMeel click for book review
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