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Stout Spice Cake with Lemon Glaze
The rich, malty flavor of stout melds well with the molasses and aromatics in this moist cake, which is brightened with a lemon glaze.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon aniseed, ground in an electric spice grinder
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
a 12-ounce bottle of stout
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 cup milk
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted lightly
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350F. and butter a glass baking dish, 12 by 8 by 2 inches. Into a large bowl sift together the flour, the salt, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the spices. In a bowl whisk together the molasses, the butter, the brown sugar, the stout, the eggs, and the milk and add the mixture to the flour mixture. Whisk the batter until it is combined and stir in the pecans. (The batter will be thin.) Pour the batter into the baking dish, bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and let it cool completely in the dish on a rack. Turn the cake out onto the rack.
In a small bowl whisk together the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice, pour the glaze over the cake, and spread it with a metal spatula, letting it drip down the sides. Let the cake stand for 30 minutes, or until the glaze is set.