Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 50 minutes
Makes: One 9-inch square gingerbread
About 1 tablespoon softened butter, for greasing pan
2 1/2 cups flour
5 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of ground cloves or black pepper? Up to you
3/4 cup molasses
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
Whipped cream, optional, but very good
1. Prep: Generously butter a 9-by-9-by-2 (or 3) inch square baking pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and optional cloves and/or pepper.
3. Brown: Measure molasses into a quart-sized heatproof measuring cup. Heat butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Let sputter until nut-scented and the bottom of the pan is flecked with brown bits. Start checking at 5 minutes, but it may take as long as 14 minutes to brown. Whisk brown butter (and all those nice brown bits) into molasses. Whisk in milk.
4. Whip: Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip eggs until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Still whipping, cascade in sugar. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Whipping on medium speed, drizzle in brown butter mixture. Scatter on flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Scrapes sides and bottom again and mix in any recalcitrant streaks.
5. Bake: Pour into prepared pan. Bake until springy in the center and cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, 50-52 minutes.
6. Serve: Nice warm, with whipped cream.