200g unsalted butter, cold and coarsely grated
100g cream cheese, broken into small pieces
2¼ cups plain flour
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
¾ cup molasses
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp almond essence
Double cream and caramel sauce, to serve
Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced (200°C conventional) and put an oven tray on centre rack.
Put 100g of the butter, cream cheese and 1 cup of the flour in a bowl and mix with fingertips, until shaggy and just holding together. Knead gently until a dough forms, roll out on a lightly floured surface and line a 25 x 5cm loose-base metal pie dish. Chill for 15 minutes until firm. Line pastry with baking paper and pie weights and bake on hot oven tray for 18 minutes. Remove weights and paper and cook for 5 more minutes.
Put remaining butter and flour, sugar and spices in a bowl and rub with fingertips, until a crumb forms.
Mix molasses, bicarb, almond essence and3/4 cup boiling water in a large bowl, then pour into pastry shell (mixture will keep expanding, similar to honeycomb). Top with crumb, then bake for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 160°C fan-forced (180°C conventional) and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve with cream and caramel sauce.