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Real Gingerbread

['2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour', '1 teaspoon baking soda', '1 teaspoon ground cinnamon', '1/4 teaspoon ground allspice', '1/2 teaspoon salt', '1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, well softened', '2/3 cup molasses (not blackstrap)', '2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar', '2 large eggs', '3 tablespoons finely grated (with a rasp) peeled fresh ginger', '2/3 cup hot water']

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl.
Beat together butter, molasses, brown sugar, eggs, and ginger in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture until smooth, then add hot water and mix until combined (batter may appear curdled).
Pour batter into pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool to warm in pan on a rack.

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